Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Thursday rejected municipal recommendations and cut funding for a toddler health-care center in East Jerusalem, while approving aid to a similar center in a Jewish neighborhood.
The funds would have gone to opening a branch of the “Drop of Milk” (Tipat Halav) program, which provides prenatal and toddler health-care services in Silwan, an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
Last year, authorities from the Jerusalem municipal offices recommended to the mayor to open the aid center in Silwan, which would service around 100,000 residents.
Authorities also recommended opening a similar center in a Jewish neighborhood that is home to around 7,000 residents.
During discussions on the 2010 budget, Barkat decided to cut the aid that would open the center in Silwan while simultaneously approving the aid to open the same center in a Jewish neighborhood – a move that outraged residents of Silwan.
“I don’t understand why there is a ‘Drop of Milk’ center in the mayor’s neighborhood while there is none in ours?” asked Silwan resident Fakhri Abu Diab. “Why does he deserve one and we don’t? Are my children different from his children?
“Soon, Hamas will open a ‘Drop of Milk’ center and we will go there,” Abu Diab added.
Jerusalem city councilwoman Laura Wharton condemned the decision.
“This decision is caused by discrimination against the Arab population and I hope that we will succeed to reverse it,” Wharton said.
As opposed to most of Israel, the ‘Drop of Milk’ program in Jerusalem is under municipal authority.
Like other health services in Jerusalem, including toddler care, there is a wide gap in services provided to residents in East and West Jerusalem.
Other Jerusalem areas under public jurisdiction contain a total of 25 ‘Drop of Milk’ centers, while East Jerusalem, with its 250,000 residents, is home to just four Drop of Milk centers.
Many residents of East Jerusalem have difficulty taking their children long distances in order to receive care. This results in many children not receiving vaccinations as well as a delay in services for sick children living in East Jerusalem.
In response, the Jerusalem municipality said that they are working to improve services provided to the residents of Silwan and they still intend to build a ‘Drop of Milk’ center in the Arab neighborhood in the future.
Mind you, they will scream that Israel is the beacon of light, the only democracy in the ME aso. They all know that this “democracy” is thin as cheap make-up. Truth is not their cause, while promoting and justifying apartheid is. Israel is new-South Africa! These are OLD NEWS! If you didn´t know, you need to ask yourself why!!!
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Filed under: A MUST READ, gaza, ISRAEL, ISRAELI-APARTHEID POLICY, occupation, proIsrael thinktanks, Racism/hate, shoah, zionism | Tagged: "thin" democracy, apartheid, democracy, discrimination, Drop of Milk, East Jerusalem, failed state, israeli apartheid, israeli democracy |