Getting people to work together, in a challenging political environment, is one of JICC’s most important tasks.
Recently, alongside the many requests from East Jerusalem Palestinian residents to help them meet with officials responsible for the city’s Master Plan, we received a similar request from Jerusalem’s Chief Engineer Shlomo Eshkol to meet with East Jerusalem leaders to discuss it.
Today, it happened. Careful preparation made by Ezadeen Al-Saad, JICC’s head of the East Jerusalem desk, ensured that close to 20 of the main leaders from most East Jerusalem neighborhoods came to the meeting with Shlomo Eshkol at JICC.
These community leaders came from Beit Hanina, Shuafat, A-Tur, Silwan, A-Tori (Abu-Tor) and Tsur Baher. The city planning situation in East Jerusalem is hard to tackle as we are dealing with problems that have not been addressed for over 40 years.
As it was the first time in years that leaders from so many neighborhoods in East Jerusalem came together to discuss solutions, this meeting set the stage for future meetings. Many ideas for the future emerged. First, those who came will continue to meet with the City Engineer to solve city wide issues. Secondly, there will be local district meetings to solve neighborhood planning issues. And lastly – the forum is considering meeting together to tackle other East Jerusalem issues as well.