9 Things to Know About Jerusalem as U.S. Embassy Opens

9 Things to Know About Jerusalem as U.S. Embassy Opens


An Economic Divide

About 76 percent of the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem live below the poverty line compared with about 23 percent of Jewish residents. In the Arab neighborhoods, the average monthly income is 40 percent lower per person than in the Jewish neighborhoods of the city.

Churches and Real Estate

According to a study by Israel Kimchi of the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Studies, the churches in Jerusalem hold some 5,000 dunams (approximately 1,235 acres) of land in prime areas of the city, including in the so-called Holy Basin around the Old City and in prestigious neighborhoods like Rehavia, Nayot and Talbieh.

Deals were made to transfer the rights to the land where the Israeli Parliament and the president’s official residence are, but according to Mr. Ramon, the researcher, part of Parliament’s grounds may still be church property.

In recent years, he said, private promoters and companies have managed to buy land, or lease rights for an additional 200 years, from Christian bodies, particularly the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, leading to some uncertainty in the real estate market.

Diplomatic Maneuvers

For a period in the 1960s and ’70s, about 18 foreign embassies were in Jerusalem, mostly representing African and Latin American countries. El Salvador and Costa Rica were the last of the group to leave the city, in 2006, reopening their embassies in Tel Aviv. Now, Guatemala, which moved to the Tel Aviv area in 1980, when Israel passed a law formalizing the unification of Jerusalem and effectively annexing the eastern part, is relocating to Jerusalem on Wednesday. Several other countries have announced their intention to move back.

Name Recognition: Team Trump

The Beitar Jerusalem Football Club, a symbol of the city founded in 1936 that has long been linked with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and is notorious for episodes of racism and violence, announced on Sunday that it was changing its name to Beitar “Trump” Jerusalem. “President Trump has displayed courage, vision and true love for the people of Israel and their capital,” the soccer club said in a statement.

In December, Israel’s minister for transportation, Israel Katz, said he wanted to put Mr. Trump’s name on a proposed new train station in the Old City.



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