Jan 16, 2012

Netivot Discriminates In Construction

Yesterday two new housing projects in the Negev were approved that would build over 1800 new units. 1629 units will be built in Netivot, and 134 in Rahat.

Netivot is a city that has been mostly traditional and religious, with some haredi communities that have developed more recently. The mayor of Netivot, Yechiel Zohar, said yesterday on the radio that the neighborhood that will be built is one that "we planned and we will decide what type it will be - haredim will not live in these houses."

1. I do not hear any outcry of discrimination. Had he said it about Ethiopians it would have ended up in the Knesset. Had he said it about Arabs it would have ended up in the Supreme Court.

2. Once again we see the victims of the violence, thuggery and intolerance of the extremists. Cities are wary of any new construction for haredim. They don't know what type of haredim will buy in these projects, and even if most are fine people, who is to say that a group of crazies won't "slip in" unnoticed as part of the group and make trouble later.

12 comments:

  1. You are allowed by law to discriminate housing by ideology, but not by race. This is how yishuvim have vaadot kabala and why Arabs can't be prevented from buying in Harish (Bagatz decided that Hiloni Jews and Arabs are not ideologically different, only racially so).

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  2. How many times does a story about some non-chareidi couple that was terrorized into moving out of its home because the local chareidim didn't want them around have to break in the news before regular folks just decide it's not worth having them around, even the good ones?
    After all, they are providing the answer as to why discrimination against them is okay. They proudly believe in segregating neighbourhoods and what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

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  3. Not just the extremists. I think yesterday's post about the rabbis' letter to Mishpacha is directly relevant to this post. When haredim reach a certain critical mass in a city, you often end up with rabbis trying to prevent newspapers and magazines they don't approve being sold, rabbis trying to prevent eating establishments with mixed seating from opening, signs requesting adherence to haredi standards of tzniut, self-appointed tzniut committees, and sometimes segregated buses. Not to mention Eli Yishai's startling admission a few weeks ago about the effect on a city's finances. Why would any community not want to prevent these things from happening? If haredim feel they need certain "fences" in order to live and raise their children in an environment suitable for their spiritual aspirations, fine, but they can't have it both ways - wishing to create such an environment in neighborhoods in which they live and expecting other communities to welcome them with open arms.

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  4. I see some intolerance in this "zoning" decision, too. Is it not possible to screen individual applicants as a landlord would screen a prospective renter, and rule out crazies that way? This idea of setting aside real estate for one Jewish group and not another looks bad.

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  5. I'd like to point out that (as seen by the Mayor of Netivot) Rabbi Dov Lipman is just as much a Charedi as are the people who spit at him.

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  6. yes, Moshe. I wonder based on what will they stop people from buying? If someone is wearing a black kipa? a hat? a jacket?

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  7. They will probably do the mirror image of what is being done with RBS Gimmel - market the apartments to non-haredim, and build them in such a way that they will be less desirable for haredim, e.g., smaller apartments not suitable for large families, no sukkah porches, and so on.

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  8. By the way, with respect to the comment about Dov Lipman being just as haredi as the fanatics in the eyes of the mayor of Netivot - maybe this is exactly why moderate charedim are, or should be, the most firmly opposed to extremism - I quote from an article Jonathan Rosenblum wrote several months ago: "Haredim in Israel cannot afford such a backlash. And nothing will do more to trigger one than assertions of territorial sovereignty by those who, ironically, profess to believe that we are still living in Galus (Exile). Contrary to what the protestors on Rothschild Street may think, for instance, the haredi community suffers from a critical housing shortage. Haredim will have to move many mostly secular cities (which I view as largely positive development for many reasons). But many mayors have actively fought to prevent haredim from moving in to their cities, in part motivated by fears that once haredim become a critical mass they will demand that streets be closed on Shabbos and the like." See Mayor Abutbol – Say No to Extremism, http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2011/09/12/mayor-abutbol-%e2%80%93-say-no-to-extremism/.

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  9. WHEN I started reading the post i thought that it was going to be about the number of permits that the arabs got ver the number that the jews got.

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  10. i wondered about that too Ben, but there could be lots of reasons for that. Maybe they requested a smaller number of housing units. They are also building smaller buildings - it looks like split houses, on each plot, rather than apartment buildings. Maybe they chose to use the available land in a way that provides less units.

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  11. Like Rafi S said, drawing similarity between discrimination against Ethiopians and Hareidim doesn't work. You can judge people by their actions, not by the way they were born.
    It is a sad state of affairs when people are afraid of living next to Hareidim, because they are afraid of violence and harassment. Again, it is about choices. If the Hareidi leaders do not like the reputation they have gained, they should take steps to reverse it. But they do nothing. That is a choice.

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  12. This is absolutely disgusting.

    No properties should be built with the idea/zoning for one group or another.

    Anyone from any group should be allowed to buy property wherever they like.

    You would think that with our history of forced ghetto living we would be more sensitive to these issues.

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