For background on the Jerusalem Employment Coalition see our previous post.
Today we held a meeting at the East Jerusalem Family Center of the Municipality Welfare Department. Twenty five coalition members listened to officials of the municipality East Jerusalem Welfare Department who described the dire situation in East Jerusalem in terms of employment.
The obstacles for employment in East Jerusalem include a wide range of issues – from language and cultural barriers, to political obstacles and more – leaving little hope for fast improvement. There are only two municipality employees assigned to handle this situation, which affects the lives of 250,000 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. Leaders from East Jerusalem, as well as NGO representatives, all agreed that momentous action is needed in order to mend the situation. Another meeting will be held to achieve practical outcomes.
While this is a positive step, it is important to note that without a significant shift in the general attitude towards East Jerusalem it will be very difficult to tackle these problems effectively.