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Nov 30, 2011

Bringing Balance To Bet Shemesh

The mayor of Bet Shemesh, Moshe Abutbol, and the office of the Housing Minister, are bringing another construction project in Bet Shemesh to the approval process. This time, it is a project in the older part of the  city, under the terms of a governmental project "Pinui-Binui" in which the residents of a series of very old, and small, buildings move out, they knock down the old buildings, and build new ones in their place - newer, nicer, bigger (generally about 4 times as many as apartments). This project, in addition to the project being worked on by the entrance to the city of  5 high rise buildings of 16 floors each would be targeting the secular residents. (source: NRG)

The mayor is using these projects, about 1300 housing units targeted towards the secular public, as a balance to the fact that the construction in RBS (Goloventzitz, C1, C2 and further down D and E), is targeted to the haredi community.

The mayor is proud of the attempt at keeping a balance of the city's population. I find it to be a red herring, considering 1300 or so units are targeting the secular, while perhaps about 600 to the dati (the claim is that the approved "shchunat hamishkafayim" in RBS A is for the dati leumi), about 20,000 are being built and/or approved for the haredim - right now about 4000 are in the pipes, but the future RBS construction coming to approval will total about 20,000 - 22,000.

Regardless of the red herring, I would find it ironic if the city went to all this trouble to find a way to build for the secular residents and allow them the opportunity to expand only to find the haredim buy out those projects as well, and begin expanding into "old Bet Shemesh". The only reason the city thinks it won't happen is because these projects are designed in a way that should not be attractive - no sukka porches and tall buildings with no shabbos elevator. These might be hindrances but it could still happen.

5 comments:

  1. This is a very big red herring and a badly smelling one at that. The project was exposed in Haaretz as having criminal involvement with many open questions. See http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/investigations/1.1475285

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  2. Construction targeted towards secular communities requires residents to move out of their homes and have to find somewhere to live in the meantime?

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  3. I have not yet seen announced where they would be temporarily moving to. Perhaps they have not finalized that aspect of the project. I dont think it is a big issue. Such projects are standard around the country in older neighborhoods. That is a detail that can easily be worked out.

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  4. It could happen ... the Charedim might send Charedi baalei teshuva to live there. They don't need sukkah porches as much.

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  5. I had a tag I added that was deleted from my previous comment. It said \<sarcasm\<

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