Yachad – Ha'am Itanu chairman Eli Yishai, together with Otzma Yehudit candidate Baruch Marzel and candidate Amital Bar-Eli, toured the "seam line" separating Jewish and Arab majority neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem on Monday night, where he promised to bring a change in policy in the next government.
"The state must return the security to residents here," said Yishai. "I pledge that in the coming government and Knesset I will act with all my strength to change the policy on the seam line between Jewish and Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem that is unified forever and ever."
Yishai and the other candidates took a tour with the "Guardians of the Walls" organization that was founded to combat rising violent Arab crime during Operation Protective Edge. Yishai has been in contact with the group for several months, and on Monday visited East Talpiyot, Sur Baher and Gilo where they heard from residents about the frequent Arab violence plaguing the area.
The lack of security "isn't just in Jerusalem but also in the south and the north. The government needs to give power and a budget to the police and to set the policy. We will make sure the state of Israel enforces the law and sovereignty in every place with no exception," promised Yishai.
His condemnation of lacking enforcement follows criticism by Jerusalem Councilman Arieh King, who has faulted Binyamin Netanyahu's government with a de facto division of the capital, and accused Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett of turning a blind eye on the situation as Jerusalem Affairs Minister.
During the tour on Monday night, the Ha'am Itanu delegation heard from residents about routine harassment of Jewish women by Arab men, raucous muezzin prayer calls in the middle of the night, as well as Arab attacks with rocks, firebombs and fireworks. As they were visiting the areas, reports came in of rocks thrown at several roads where the delegation had been.
Marzel, who is fourth on the joint list, said to "Guardians of the Wall" that "we as public figures need to give you support and come to take part in these tours. The police need to know that the vacuum won't be filled with attacks on Jews, but rather this empty space it leaves will be filled. We will be happy of course if the police do the work, but if not, citizens can't abandon their own lives."
"We met with the residents here and their feeling is that they are forgotten," said Bar-Eli, who is sixth on the Ha'am Itanu list. "Someone forgot that you need to implement sovereignty on all parts of Jerusalem, and unfortunately the phenomena we see here can be seen throughout the seam line."
Bar-Eli continued: "We came here to strengthen the residents and to let them know that there are public figures who are with them. G-d willing we will be with them and not just before the elections, but also after the elections, and we will strengthen the feeling of security and implementation of Israeli sovereignty on all parts of Jerusalem."