Jerusalem – contested city

Richard Boudreaux in LA Times (one of a three part series):

Jerus Years after Israel seized a hilltop artillery post from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East War and turned it into a Jewish neighborhood, a civic-minded resident launched a turf battle of her own.

Ruth Geva thought that Ramot Allon, a community originally built for secular Jews, needed a police station. But she had to campaign eight years for a place to put one. Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families, known to Israelis as haredim, were moving in and seeking space for synagogues and religious schools.

In 2004 the community got its station. Then last year Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox mayor ordered it closed on a month’s notice and handed the building to an ultra-Orthodox kindergarten.

Furious over the decision and weary of the demands of her devout neighbors, Geva is giving up and moving to Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

“They get all the services and the city remains poor,” said Geva, 59, a community safety consultant. “They take a little bite each time, and finally people like me no longer feel comfortable here.”

Forty years ago, when Israel captured East Jerusalem and absorbed the Arab neighborhoods, it set out to maintain a large and sustainable Jewish majority in the city it was declaring its eternal and undivided capital. Instead, Jerusalem is gradually becoming more Palestinian and less Jewish.

More here.