Jerusalem official tries to stem Christian exodus

Monday, May 14, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

A Jerusalem municipal official on Sunday urged the government to make it easier for Christian Arabs, even those identified as "Palestinians," to make their homes in the Israeli capital.

Motti Levy, a senior advisor to Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky, told The Jerusalem Post that as the quality of life in the city continues to deteriorate, "the first ones who will disappear from the city are the Christians."

About 10,000 Christian Arabs live in Jerusalem, but they, like their Jewish neighbors, have been leaving the city in ever increasing numbers due to a lack of affordable housing and attractive job opportunities.

Levy noted that most of Jerusalem's Christians are well-educated and professional, and that their exodus is a real loss to the city.

In an effort to at least partially remedy the situation, Levy petitioned the government to make it easier for Christian Arabs who find Palestinian Christian wives to move their families to Jerusalem.

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