Jerusalem by the numbers: Poverty, segregation and discrimination

The following is a collection of facts and figures about Jerusalem, compiled and published on the occasion of “Jerusalem Day.” Nationalist Israelis mark Jerusalem Day on Wednesday to mark the anniversary of the conquest of East Jerusalem and the Old City in 1967. The celebrations include the “march of the flags,” where flag-bearing Jewish revelers march through the Palestinian neighborhoods of the Old City, often times while chanting racist, violent and ultra-nationalistic slogans. Any counter protest by Palestinian residents of the neighborhoods is rarely tolerated by police.

While Jewish Israelis celebrate the “reunification” of Jerusalem, data shows that the city is anything but unified. From concrete walls that separate to budgets that discriminate, East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem — despite being a part of the same municipality — are hardly the same, let alone a unified city. Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are just that – residents; they were not granted Israeli citizenship and do not have the right to vote in national elections, do not hold Israeli passports and if they spend a number of years abroad, they are regularly barred from returning.

The following figures were taken from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS – Heb), the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and Ir Amim (IA – Heb).

• Palestinians comprise more than one-third (37 percent) of Jerusalem’s residents (CBS)

• In Palestinian East Jerusalem, 75.3 percent of residents — and 82.2 percent of children — lived below the poverty line in 2012. (ACRI)

• Only 4.4 of the Jerusalem municipal welfare budget is allocated and spent in East Jerusalem. (Ir Imim)

• More than 100,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem live beyond the separation wall, drastically affecting their freedom of movement, economic livelihood and access to municipal resources (ranging from garbage collection to the naming of streets to law enforcement). (ACRI)

• Despite a theoretical legal right to live anywhere in the city, 99 percent of Jerusalem Palestinians live in East Jerusalem, data from 2009 shows. (Ir Amim)

• One-third of all Palestinian land in Jerusalem has been confiscated since 1967. Jewish homes have been built on much of that land. (ACRI)

• Israel has revoked the Jerusalem residency of 14,309 (an average of 6 per week) Palestinian residents since it conquered the city in 1967 through 2013. (ACRI)

• Only 9.5 percent of the Jerusalem municipal budget is allocated for projects and spending in East Jerusalem. Only 2.1 percent of cultural budget, 4.4 percent of the welfare budget and 1.1 percent of the business development budget is allocated and spent in East Jerusalem. (Ir Amim)

• Israeli law states that children over the age of three are entitled to free education, but only 6 percent of children aged three-four in East Jerusalem attend public kindergartens. There is a shortage of some 400 kindergarten classrooms. (ACRI)

• The number of students enrolled in ultra-Orthodox elementary schools in Jerusalem as a whole went up from 57.3 percent in the 2000/2001 school year, to 66.2 percent in 2011/2012. (CBS)

• A plurality of Jewish residents of Jerusalem define themselves as ultra-Orthodox or haredi (35 percent), and another 12 percent as “religious.” Twenty percent define themselves as secular. (CBS)

• The workforce participation rate in Jerusalem in 2013 was 51.3 percent, which is more than 10 percent less than the national rate. (CBS)

Jerusalem Day – from our archives:
Palestinians asked to close their shops for Jerusalem Day
Photo collage: Israeli forces arrest dozens in Jerusalem Day clashes
A spoken-word poem for Jerusalem Day