Ir Amim (Hebrew: עיר עמים; "City of Peoples" or "City of Nations") is an Israeli activist non-profit founded in 2004 that focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Jerusalem. It seeks to ensure the "dignity and welfare of all its residents and that safeguards their holy places, as well as their historical and cultural heritages."
Ir Amim works from several angles to further its goals:
Ir Amim regularly provides information to Knesset members and members of the Jerusalem Municipal Government about actions in East Jerusalem that they believe to undermine Jerusalem's stability, impede parity amongst residents, or threaten the possibility for future final-status negotiations in Jerusalem (such as settlement building in Palestinian neighborhoods). The organization also brings cases to the Supreme and Municipal courts on topics such as building permits and social services in East Jerusalem. An example of this is in May 2016, when Ir Amim filed a petition asking the High Court of Justice to prohibit the Jerusalem Day flag parade from entering the Muslim Quarter, arguing that previous parades have resulted in violence to residents, vandalism, and racist provocations and that in 2016 the parade would coincide with the holy days of Ramadan. The High Court rejected the petition.
Ir Amim daily monitors the situation in East Jerusalem, and exposes key developments and in-depth analysis in its reports almost monthly. This type of monitoring and reporting is the basis for the legal and policy activity of Ir Amim, as well as the media work.
The Jerusalem Policy Forum is a joint project of Ir Amim and the Palestinian NGO, the Peace and Democracy Forum.
Ir Amim's public outreach is primarily aimed at the Israeli public, with the goal of re-orienting the public discourse on the issue of Jerusalem. The organization encourages the public to evaluate both the current realities and the ongoing developments in Jerusalem with regard to the possible long-term ramifications for Israel. Ir Amim's public outreach centers around study tours, media work, briefings, house meetings, and educational programs. Ir Amim also maintains a blog on the Huffington Post.
Ir Amim offers study tours of East Jerusalem to both individuals and organizations. The tours focus on the historical background as well as the Ir Amin view of current political and socio-economic developments in East Jerusalem. The tours travel along the Separation Barrier and through Jerusalem neighborhoods, discussing Israeli policies and their impact on Israelis and Palestinians and on a possible political resolution in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Moments is a film project sponsored by Ir Amim. It is a collection of short documentaries directed by young filmmakers, both Israelis and Palestinians, which reflect the complexity of daily life in Jerusalem, in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The films in the 2008 collection are:
The films in the 2009 collection are:
Ir Amim has worked with several Palestinian non-profit organizations to help to strengthen civil society in East Jerusalem. Emphasis is placed on organizations that work to improve infrastructure (sanitation, water, roads, sidewalks), street utilities (streetlamps, bus stops) or neighborhood services (clinics, emergency services, mail delivery, waste collection). An example of one such organization is Nuran, which provides emergency ambulance service in East Jerusalem.
Some of the issues that Ir Amim engages with include:
British ambassador Matthew Gould had issued a condemnation of Israeli construction in January 2012 based on "a statement put out by Ir Amim," only to immediately retract it saying that the Israeli government “has made clear to us that there has been no new announcement of tenders for building in east Jerusalem today, and that reports of such new tenders were incorrect. This is a welcome reassurance.”
Left-wing activist organization Ir Amim filed the petition in July 2010, alleging that the contract between the National Parks Authority and the nationalist Elad organization was illegal, as the area is a national park and should be public.