Nov 5, 2018

Do we live in a free and open society?

The newly elected mayor of Tiberias, Ron Kobi, said some nasty things the other day. He said he is going to do whatever he can to stop building projects designated for the Haredi community. Kobi said the Haredi community should continue to grow but only outside of Tiberias - in Tiberias they are already 22% of the city and they should not be allowed to reach the 30% mark.

Obviously Kobi has brought the wrath of the Haredi politicians dowqn on his head with these statements. Anytime a mayor talks about not building for Haredim or not being willing to bring a HHaredi community to his or her city, the Haredi politicians make a big deal out of it. Kobi was particularly nasty, but his point was not new or unique.

As I have said before, Israel is a democracy with a mostly free society. People can, and should be able to, buy a house and live, wherever in the countrey they wish to. Haredi people should be able to live in Bet Shemesh, Eilat, Ranana, Beer Sheva, Tiberias, Tzfat, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa or any other town, just like anyone should be able to buy his dream home in whatever town he or she might prefer.

However, I do not get excited by the outrage against mayors trying to prevent the Haredi community from buying in any given town, as wrong as I think it is, as long as those very same Haredi asknaim and politcians do the very same thing attempting to prevent secular or dati people from living in Haredi areas. As long as the Haredi asknaim are working to psuh secular resident sout of Bet Shemesh and ensure all future construction is for Haredim and not for secular, as long as secular wannabe residents are not welcome in Modiin Ilit, Beitar, Har Nof, among other places, I don't get excited by the outrage. I think both are equally wrong, but I do not think it is right to demand one side open its doors to the other with no reciprocation and to continue allowing the other side to build itself enclaves that keep everyone else out. Either we live in a free and open society welcoming to all or we do not. You cannot have it both ways.


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6 comments:

  1. Can you point to a single entity or person who espouses both opinions.
    You cannot lump all chareidi askanim together, and presume they all have the same approach. Can there not be some askanim who prefer integration, and some segregation?
    Until you can find such a person, you should cease harping on this point.

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  2. perhaps there might be some. the main ones, the ones leading the Haredi parties and communities, are the ones who work on isolating Haredi areas and keeping everyone out while getting upset when others try to keep Haredim out of "their" cities. If there are some who encourage integration seem to not have influence in anything more than small and insignificant numbers

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    Replies
    1. Before you can level a criticism of hypocrisy, you need to demonstrate that a specific person or entity actually said that. Come on, if they are "the main ones", public figures, you should be able to find plenty of material. Find one, and we'll call him out for hypocrisy.

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  3. There's nothing anyone can do to prevent a charedi from presenting money and buying a place anywhere he wants in a secular area.

    Charedim, on the other hand, can officially prevent non-charedim from moving into "their" cities.

    Anytime you hear someone talking like this, they're speaking about controling zoning or benefits or whatever so as to keep charedim from getting *special* benefits (which of course most of them need) to allow them to move into other areas.

    If charedim weren't by and large on the dole and could afford (or not afford) homes like anyone else, none of this would be an issue.

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    Replies
    1. What are you talking about? There is no official way to stop non-chareidim buying in a chareidi neighborhood.
      There are no special benefits that chareidim receive. They do not need dole money. The city does not provide dole money. There are reductions for poor, which apply to anyone, and are anchored in law.
      The way it's done is to restrict them from opening schools. Chareidim cannot manage without their own schools.

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  4. it is also planning neighborhoods in ways that either are attractive for haredim to buy or unattractive. such as, if they plan for tall buildings with many floors. buildings with no sukka porches. designing neighborhoods with not enough shuls and schools and mikvas and the like. etc. all that would make it difficult for haredim to buy there.

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