To read the original letter, click here.
Sir, – In the controversy over the removal of information on Ir Amim’s “tours” from the Jerusalem Municipality Web site, it is important to better understand this non-governmental organization (“Officials protest removal of Ir Amim info from municipality Web site,” March 23).
Ir Amim is a political advocacy group, funded primarily by European governments, which presents a largely Palestinian narrative that distorts the complexity and details of Jewish history in Jerusalem. This NGO’s officials condemn what they refer to as a process by which “government powers are being handed over to the settler organizations” and make the tendentious claim that “archeological digs have become an important tool in the fight for control of [the area around the Old City].”
Last year, Ir Amim produced a series of short films, Jerusalem Moments, which purported to “courageously confront the delicate and charged issues… about the complex reality in Jerusalem, between East and West.” Instead, as Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief David Horovitz wrote, the series was “an exercise in the bludgeoning documentation of Palestinian victimhood and of allegedly mindless Israeli cruelty and aggression.”
Ir Amim also routinely minimizes the security threat to Jerusalem’s Jewish population. Its leaders refer to the security barrier around Shuafat, which has been a major source of terror threats, as a “demographic wall.” While individuals may have legitimately differing views on each of these issues, one can understand why the listing of Ir Amim’s politically charged “tours” on the Jerusalem Municipality Web site was seen as inappropriate.