Oct 27, 2009

Dati Leumi protest breaks up the meetings for future RBS (video)

Yesterday was meant to be a major step in the plans for the future of Bet Shemesh. It was, but not in the way originally intended.

Recently the tenders for the upcoming construction of RBS C/3Gimmel were published, and kablanim have been having their meetings to find out the requirements and needs so they can plan for submitting bids for the tenders. Yesterday was supposed to be a big step, as the city was holding a meet for the kablanim, with the mayor introducing the plans, and then taking the group of kablanim to see the area that is slated for construction.

It was a big day, but for other reasons. People from the Dati Leumi and Secular communities came out to protest. The feeling is that the original deal of splitting the area into thirds, with each community getting a third of the land for housing, is being ignored and the city has a deal with the Housing Ministry which gives all the land to the haredi sector, plus planning for future allocations that have not yet been discussed in City Hall.

Basically the protestors shot down the meeting, not letting the mayor speak or be heard. The chanting focused on the calls of Abutbol as a liar and breaking the agreements he had in place, along with chanting that for every brick laid there will be a protest. Then when the group went to the shetach, the people blocked their access with cars and a protest. Some kablanim continued up by foot, but many left the area, basically rendering the meeting moot and a big waste of their time.

The protest reminds me of when the city under Dani Vaknin's mayorship brought in kablanim when planning the construction of the ma'ar, and the haredim broke up the meeting with protests also chanting for every brick their will be a protest. The Dati Leumi and Hiloni have now learned from the haredim and have accomplished an equally successful protest, when until now that has been the expertise of the haredi community and the DL/H were basically impotent in this regard.

Here are some videos of the protests:

What I don't get is how so many people can be at these things in the middle of the day? Doesn't anybody work for a living? Are so many people self-employed and/or work "American hours"?


  1. "What I don't get is how so many people can be at these things in the middle of the day?"

    I decided that this issue was important enough that I went to work a bit later. I see the mayor taking the city in a particular direction that worries me & I don't want him to have a free ride.

  2. Kol Hakavod.
    It was really a touch of humor, not a serious observation....

  3. I went with family members and friends who work from home/work American hours/ don't work. And there were people there who took off, or came in the middle of work as they realized the importance of this meeting. Thank G-d they did, because it seems we had an effect!

  4. Are these your videos? Can I post them on Facebook?

  5. they are not mine, but they are shared publicly on youtube and are in the public domain. you can use them.

  6. What I don't get is how so many people can be at these things in the middle of the day? Doesn't anybody work for a living? Are so many people self-employed and/or work "American hours"?

    I was there, and work American hours. However, my wife left her job to join the protest. As I'm sure others did too.

    However, the bottom line is, and it's important that people realize this, that because most of us work our turnout is equivalent to a Chareidi protest 100 times as large.

    We've found our voice, don't piss us off!

  7. Menachem - that is very true. When the Eida people recently renewed their protests about the parking lot, this past week they lamented the "small" turnout of just 300 or so people. For them that is small, and for the DL community 100 is large.

    The difference is the culture of protest, along with the fact that DL people are generally less available due to work schedule. so a much smaller crowd by the DL is natural.

    When the haredim scoff at a DL protest with small numbers, they do not realize this point. Because they dont realize how hard it is for people living in the outside world to show up and participate in these protests.

  8. why do people think the mayor reneged on his commitment? he seemed to be sticking with the third/third/third story.

  9. may I suggest that for all of you who think the protest was a huge success- read this week's local BS newspaper Tmura and see the reactions of 2 of the kablanim who were there.

  10. anonymous - are you talking about in the article or in the sidebar? in the article it quotes 2 kablanim who were surprised that there were any non-haredim in bet Shemesh, as they had been told all the building plans are for haredim.
    in the sidebar is quotes 2 kablanim, one of which said the tzibbur ha'clali has nothing in rbs that would interest them.

    with all due respect, I don't know why a kablan from Tel Aviv (or wherever they come from) would know anythign about what the local populace is interested in. Just like haredim have a housing shortage, so does everyone else (obviously it is more acute by the haredim). People in bet Shemesh want their kids to be able to live nearby them. I don't see why they shouldn't be interested in it..

    And then the kablan spoke about the taba which would make the prices very high. Until now that has been used as the reason why the haredim probably wont buy there en masse. and now it is being used to say the general public won't buy there? At the end of the day, you can spin any piece of data whatever way you want.

    But it doesn't make a difference. When it comes down to it, all the kablanim will try to win the right to build, because that is the business they are in. They wont care who it is for. If the haredim get the whole thing they will build there, and the area is split in thirds, they will build there as well. anything else is just talk. they wont care about this protest at the end of the day. this protest was not against the kablanim, but against [part of] the city council and the mayor.

  11. Rafi-
    it matters to the kablanim because they have to publicize their buildings. so- do they publicize in charedi newspapers and shabbat publications or dati leumi?
    second- the kablanim are very well versed in the local population. they HAVE to know who they're building for- rich or poor, israeli or american, chiloni or charedi etc.
    ask around the country and anyone will tell you- beit shemesh is charedi. that's why, in the end, no dati leumi or chiloni will end up moving to RBS Gimmel and kablanim will also only sell to charedi
    third- read the sidebar again and see what the guy from yigal nechasim said: "people have to internalize that there's an identity change in who heads the city...there's a charedi mayor who understands the needs of the charedi community and he's pushing projects thru for them...I don't understand what a chiloni has to look for in RBS- there's no infrastructure for them to live the way they want"
    that's the most telling- the kablanim know exactly who's going to move in- and that's who they'll advertsie and sell to

    just my 2 cents...


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