Saturday, March 1, 2014

Building Israeli Settlements in Ein Karem

Today, I read very upsetting news. VERY UPSETTING. There is a new plan to build 2,250 Israeli settlement units in Ein Karem. 

This is NOT a good idea.

As a person who is a refugee originally from Ein Karem, I believe I have a say on this even though Israel does not care what Palestinians, especially Palestinian refugees have to say. 

In the news article I read, it said that the plan to build the settlement in Ein Karem is to support Hadassa hospital financially. That is their excuse, of course; that Hadassa hospital needs financial support, so that by building a settlement they will have more patients/customers. 

Where most of us come from, it is the other way around; you build a hospital in major living areas/communities.  Hadassa hospital was built at the top of a small village in Jerusalem, the person who planned the building of a hospital in the first place should have kept that in mind.

Hadassa hospital is not abandoned as they make it sound. They even admitted that thousands of Israelis get treated there and so they want to help the hospital. So if thousands of Israelis already are treated in Hadassa which is only about 20 minutes away from the Old City of Jerusalem by the train and bus (including the stopping at each train stop), then why build 2,250 settlement units? Let us not forget that there are also many Palestinians from both the West Bank and the 48 lands that are treated in Hadassa.

Why are they making it seem like Hadassa is a hospital that is abandoned? Many people know of the village Ein Karem because of the hospital. It is a renowned hospital known by both Israelis and Palestinians (also both Palestinian and Israeli doctors are working there). Before his death, Ariel Sharon, had his own wing at the hospital, and he stayed there for quite some time. There is no need to build settlements to get new patients into the hospital and support the hospital financially.

"Please remember that the Hadassah University Medical Center receives large numbers of patients and visitors daily. Adherence to procedures will enable everyone to benefit from the finest treatment and complete care."  source:

Hadassa Hospital on the hill behind the cathedral of St. John the Baptist's Church

To speak facts and figures, the project of building the settlement units will bring in 800 million Shekels, but they did not state how much it will cost them to build the settlement (of course they did not). To speak common sense, if Hadassa hospital was really in need of support, would it not be better for the Israeli government to donate the money they would use to build the settlement in order to build new hospital departments and rooms? Or maybe for research within the hospital? Would that not bring a greater income to the hospital rather than the settlers who will live in the 2250 settlement units? 

One of the reasons why Hadassa is a  renowned hospital is because it is in a village rather than a polluted city; patients benefit from the clean environment. Building the settlements would have a negative impact.

Many people living in Ein Karem oppose building any new projects in Ein Karem whether it be schools, restaurants, or shops. Ein Karem is a tourist attraction because of its religious place for monotheistic religions. It does not need to become a smaller version of a city. It should not, actually.

Do not ruin what is not yours; do not ruin Ein Karem.

Keep Ein Karem Green; Keep Ein Karem Clean