Sheikh Jarrah is a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem whose population includes refugees displaced from their original homes during the 1947-48 war and given homes by the Jordanian government. In 1970, Israel passed a discriminatory law that allows Jewish owners to reclaim property in East Jerusalem held before the war, but that does not afford Palestinians the same rights for the West Jerusalem properties they once owned.
In recent decades, settler groups have further exploited a bad law: They purchased the claims to the East Jerusalem property from the earlier Jewish owners and took the Palestinian residents to court in order to evict them—to make way, it must be noted, not for descendants of the Jewish residents, but for settlers who never lived there, and who ultimately seek to drive out Palestinian presence from the city.
This Monday, August 2, Israel’s High Court of Justice is expected to hand down a ruling on the Palestinian families’ final appeal. In the clip from Session #5 of Partners for Progressive Israel’s Israel-Palestine Symposium 2021, Jerusalem expert Daniel Seidemann of Terrestrial Jerusalem warns about the fallout of a potential eviction.