‘It is time to guard our house!’: Nazareth Illit mayor promises to prevent a Palestinian school in order to ‘stop the demographic deterioration’ of the city

Israel/Palestine
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The above statement was published by Nazareth Illit mayor Shimon Gapso and posted on a Facebook page for the city. Nazarth Illit is a predominantly Jewish city located inside the state of Israel that was established in the 1950s overlooking the Palestinian city of Nazareth to promote the Judaization of the Galilee. We have covered the rampant racism in the city before . Ofer Neiman provided the following translation:

An account to/for the residents – what have we done on the issue of the city’s identity? 

Upper Nazareth – Jewish Forever!
Not to be taken for granted, but the result of a staunch standing and a daily struggle

When I assumed office, many people told me that the trend of negative emigration of Jews away from the city was unstoppable. And indeed, in recent years, whole neighborhoods in the city were abandoned by their Jewish residents, and the proportion of Jews in the population decreased every year.

This trend, which began with the innocent belief in the message of coexistence, has posed a grave danger to the very existence of a Jewish community in the Galilee. After all, the arrival of Arab residents drives Jews away, and the danger of a complete Jewish exodus is not a wild fantasy.

I have decided to take on this complex challenge with all power and resolution.

No longer shall we close our eyes, no longer shall we hold fondly onto the law which enables all citizens to reside wherever they wish. It is time to guard our house!

And indeed, through persistence in the face of adversity, a daily struggle through clear public statements, and actions to which the golden rule of silence applies, with courage and perseverance, we have accomplished the impossible: We have stopped the demographic deterioration, and have kept the proportion of Jews in the population at 82%.

Maintaining the Jewish identity of Upper Nazareth is the most important task of the mayor, and is the most crucial to the city’s future and our lives here. Any other municipal success will be meaningless if our city loses its identity, and the Jews try to flee it by all means available.

I have not hesitated, and I shall not hesitate, to declare loudly and clearly: I will not allow for a change in the city’s Jewish character. I will prevent at all costs the establishment of an Arab school in upper Nazareth. And I will take action for the establishment of neighborhoods for Jewish residents.

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