Aug 28, 2011

harish: Demanding But Refusing Housing

While the haredi community should perhaps be doing a cheshbon hanefesh as to why nobody wants them living nearby them, it is horrible that wherever they have a chance to move to the local people protest against the haredim and chase them away.

the Israeli public praises itself on it's being a liberal community, and often it really is. The Israeli public is far more accepting of differences than many other places, offering rights and equality to groups that in many places are way behind, such as rights to certain minorities, rights to homosexuals and the like. Yet when it comes to the haredim, the most enlightened and liberal Israelis go into a black hole of discrimination and lack of acceptance.

Even in a place like Harish, a city that is being planned to be built specifically for the haredi community in the Menashe Region near Wadi Ara, the leftists and Arabs are joining hands to protest and say the haredim should not be brought to their area.

So, in a city that is populated by a general public populace, one might say that bringing hundreds or thousands of haredim will upset the balance of the city, will change the dynamics, will disturb the status quo, will cause friction in raising religious fights, they wont be paying arnona, they'll demand the roads being closed on Shabbos, etc. One can debate whether those are worthy arguments or not, but the concerns can be legitimate.

Yet in a place where the city is a new city designed specifically for haredim, there is no justifiable reason to protest against it. Last night up north, there was such a large protest against the plans to build the area of Harish for the haredi community.

Why are the liberal Israelis who defend the rights of Arabs not defending the rights of the haredim? Why are they protesting against? They need places to live.

Adderaba, just the opposite, if we don't allow the construction of areas for the haredi public, they will continue taking over neighborhoods and cities where they are currently in smaller numbers. That will chase out the general public, both to take advantage of rising prices as demand grows by the haredi "invaders", and because they don't want to live near the new haredi neighbors. And we will be witness to more of the horrible fighting that happens when these situations occur, such as in Bet Shemesh, in Kiryat HaYovel of Jerusalem and other similar areas. They should be supporitng the constructing of Harish and other such cities.

I would even add that it is hypocritical to be out demanding soutions to the housing crisis, with the protest already running about 5 or 6 weeks, while then refusing to allow housing to be built for people seriously suffering from lack of housing. Building such cities and neighborhoods, and they are going to have to be built both for haredim and for general public in order to solve the housing crisis, is absolutely necessary. You cannot demand increased construction and cheaper housing and then protest the plans that provide it.


  1. While there is no logic to hatred, here are perhaps the reasons:
    1) Irrational hatred. People on both sides of the line have been raised for generations to hate the other side. Chareidim teach their kids terrible things about chilonim and vice versa. While mentioning how people don't want chareidim living neearby, you should also note the fate of any non-Chareidi who dares move near a Chareidi neighbourhood. It wasn't so long ago that Rav Shteinman said that while it was racist for chilonim to refuse to sell homes to Arabs it was okay for chareidim because they need homogeneity in their neighbourhoods.
    2) Chareidim rarely remain confined to their areas. How many places in Beit Shemesh outside the chareidi enclaves are regularly terrorized by chareidim with nothing else to do all day other than scream Shabbos! and Tznius!

  2. as I said, those are reasons to support them having their own city. if not, they will continue expanding outward and buying up apartments in secular areas chasing them out. build them their own city and at least there is a chance that they will stay there. in beitar they have not bothered the neighbors. in Kiryat Sefer and Modiin Ilit they have stayed there and not made trouble in Modiin itself... etc

  3. Rafi,

    They haven't moved from Modi'in Illit to Modi'in because the 2 cities are almost 10 km apart (RBS is much closer to Beit Shemesh than KS is to Modiin).

    However, if you were following the Modiin list, there has been a lot of discussion (and ant-Charedi comments) about busloads of residents from Kiryat Sefer who come to Mpodi'in to enjoy our parks.

  4. I dont follow the Modiin list. whats wrong with them going to enjoy the parks?

    the rest of the country does (at least lots from bet shemesh go) so why shouldnt they?

    people go from all over to park Ranana (and I'll bet Modiin people do as well), and to all such big parks around the country. i dont see whats to complain about

  5. Harish is not a brand new city for Haredim. The issue is a bit more complex. There is a yishuv of Harish which has not been particularly successful so the government decided to make it into a new Haredi town, because the government owns the land, has plans but no-one wants to go live in Wadi 'Ara... except Haredim.

    The Arabs don't want them there because they don't want any Jewish town in their neighborhood. The Hiloni Jews don't want it because I suppose they'd rather just live in their failed settlement of Harish and let it wither away than have new people come and elbow them out.

  6. re: Park Raanana

    Weren't they considering an entry fee because too many people from surrounding areas were coming? (they may have even actually instituted an entry fee since then)

    Basically the secular perceive little to no value to the Charedim and won't support anything for them anywhere. The perception is that the Charedim have lots of kids (on the states dime), send them all to yeshiva (on the states dime) for many years, don't serve the country in any way (army, sherut leumi, etc), don't contribute to society (because they insulate themselves from society), hardly work, and don't tolerate anything the secular do (no matter how innocuous), and repeatedly use their political power to extort more and more money from the state for their sector (special housing deals, education grants, child payments, organizational support, etc).

    As far as the secular are concerned, the Charedim could almost all disappear and the country would be fine if not better off. Their secular and for the most part don't see much value in Torah or Torah learning.

  7. So, Rafi, you asked why people don't want haredim living near them... I just have 2 words for you: Orot Banot.

  8. rw - i still say hafuch. that intolerance is because they are in a mixed city. if they had a city oif theor own like harish (as they do in beitar, modiin ilit and other places), relations would be good. nobody would be encroaching on anybody else.

  9. Rafi, I think the haredim agree with you. That's why they want to make Beit Shemesh "one of their cities" and get rid of everyone else. They're already a majority.

  10. (The above was slightly tongue-in-cheek.)


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