Tibi to Arab leaders: Walk the talk and invest in East Jerusalem

Arab states have donated only $37 million of $500 m. promised two years ago

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel.

MK Ahmad Tibi (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)
MK Ahmad Tibi (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)

Arab Knesset member Ahmed Tibi (Ra’am Ta’al) told regional Arab leaders on Wednesday that they need to invest more in East Jerusalem if they’re going to use it as a rallying cry.

Having returned from the International Conference for the Defense of Jerusalem held in Doha, Tibi remarked that Arab leaders talk about preserving East Jerusalem from Judaization, but fail to adequately invest in the city, Channel 10 reported.

“Two years ago, they promised to grant us $500 million in aid, but only gave $37 million,” he said in reference to the Arab Summit held in Sirte, Libya, in March 2010. “Arab states don’t know how to support East Jerusalem, only how to give empty slogans about it.”

Tibi called for greater investment in cultural infrastructure, like research institutions, mosques, schools and in the al-Aqsa mosque complex. Compared to West Bank cities, he said East Jerusalem is devoid of trade; it is “a sad, closed off city” in desperate need of support.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the conference that Arab leaders must save Jerusalem from Israel’s Judaization.

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