“Death to Israel — oh, and what’s the rent on this place?” Here is an interesting story in light of the barrage of outrage to which we are constantly subjected from Palestinian Arabs about the Jewish presence in the lands of Israel. That avalanche of rhetoric doesn’t stop the more pragmatic among them to choose to live a better life and settle in Israel.
“Jerusalem barrier prompts Arabs to move across town,” from the Washington Times, with thanks to M615.
JERUSALEM — An unanticipated consequence of Israel’s West Bank security barrier has been an influx of Israeli Arabs into Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem who hope to remain on the Israeli side of the barrier.
Salam Kusideh is one of a growing number of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship who have moved across the highway from Arab neighborhoods of Beit Hanineh and Shuafat in search of cheaper housing and a better quality of life in the Jewish suburb of Pisgat Ze’ev.
After eight months in his five-bedroom duplex, Mr. Kusideh is encouraging other Palestinians to follow.
“I tell them the conditions are excellent here,” the 38-year-old carpenter said without hesitation. “Everything is orderly.”
The security barrier, designed to seal off Jerusalem from the West Bank, has driven up real estate and rental prices in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem as thousands of Palestinians return to the city limits.
Fearing that they may be stripped of residency rights that give them access to Israeli government social services, they are willing to pay higher prices for small dwellings on the Israeli side of the barrier.
“They want to escape the wall,” said Jamal Natsche, a real-estate broker from Beit Hanineh. “If you’re stuck on the other side, in the long run, you’ll lose your ID.”
The rising prices in Arab neighborhoods are prompting people such as Mr. Kusideh to consider Pisgat Ze’ev, which was developed as a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem in the 1980s. There, an influx of Palestinians is driving prices in the opposite direction.
Only a few hundred Arabs live in the neighborhood of 45,000 residents, but the flow is increasing.
“I didn’t expect that they would sell it to us. There are a lot of Jews that won’t sell apartments to Arabs,” said Mr. Kusideh’s wife, Grace, who hails from a Christian Palestinian village near the West Bank city of Jenin.