WASHINGTON (JTA) — American donors gave $25.4 million in the past five years to build Jewish homes in Arab parts of Jerusalem, Bloomberg reported.
Among the contributors are Ira Rennert, the founder of Renco Group Inc., and bingo entrepreneur Irving Moskowitz.
According to Bloomberg, the money has gone to organizations such as Ateret Cohanim, which has bought at least 45 properties, mostly in eastern Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter. The group wants to create a Jewish majority in the Old City, which now is predominantly Muslim.
In response to U.S. criticism of Jewish purchases in the Arab portions of Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Cabinet meeting on July 19 said that Israel would not tolerate any restrictions on Jews purchasing property in Jerusalem.
“Our sovereignty in Jerusalem is indisputable,” he said at the meeting.