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Feb 14, 2010

The hypocricy of Haredi construction

Mishpacha newspaper mentioned in passing, when discussing the future construction in Bet Shemesh, that a vaadat ichlus is being established for people interested in purchasing a home in the "Goloventzitz" section.

The rejection of any "Vaadat Ichlus" is one of the conditions TOV conditioned on their vote in support of further construction in RBS. Granted, that was a vote for RBS C and not regarding the Goloventzitz section which is really privately owned, yet TOV is still, rightfully so in my opinion, against the vaadat ichlus being established.

In response to this vaadat ichlus being established, Eli Friedman, the head of TOV Bet Shemesh, has said that he will work, as a member of the construction committee, on derailing any option of any construction if the vaadat ichlus is not dismantled. (source: Kikar and independently confirmed)

Something I don't understand about establishing vaadot ichlus, especially in a place like Bet Shemesh which is a mixed city, is the hypocrisy.

A successful, so far, campaign was just waged against those who opposed building haredi neighborhoods in Bet Shemesh. The main battle was based on the fact that it is simply racist and anti-haredi to oppose it just because Haredim want to buy houses, and how can anybody discriminate just because the buyer is haredi.

The claim is correct and I agree that Haredim can and should buy houses anywhere [they can afford to] and nobody can stop them in a democratic country, just like everybody else has the same right. Like it or not.

But then for haredim to set up a vaadat ichlus, right after waging a battle against discrimination, to decide who can and who cannot buy in an area, is pure hypocrisy. It is using the legal system to fight discrimination against themselves, but then to go discriminate against others.


  1. Can't the vaadat ichlus be declared illegal with the correct legal attack? The problem is that if you need to be a member of the amuta in order to move in, then they can make stipulations on who can be a member.

  2. Can someone explain a vaad ichlus for Americans?

  3. ...or even for us Israelis who still don't know what one is...

  4. An acceptance committee.

    You need to pass an interview or whatever or else they won't let you buy or rent a house in their town or neighborhood.

    This kind of stuff goes on in all the yishuvim in order to become a member. The courts have upheld the right of the yishuvim to do this as long as it ahs some objectivity. Religious persuasion is seen as objective. It has been ruled though that a Hiloni yishuv cannot prevent Arabs from buying there. However a religious one could on the same basis that they can stop Hilonim.

    This is a bit like the JFS case in London. You are allowed to discriminate by a persons actions or belief but not by their birth.

    The question is here whether such a committee would be legal for a neighborhood in a town. If however the beighborhood is owned by an "amuta" then they could probably discriminate (by legally permissable discriminations only) and decide who can become a member of the amuta and move in.

  5. thanks, Rafi. That is a good explanation. I have been offline much of the day...
    I don't know the lagality of the vaadat ichlus. Either way, TOV is going to fight it, as it goes against the agreement upon which continued construction was approved.

  6. So how might Bet Shemesh (or maybe just Ramat Bet Shemesh?) look in 15 years:

    (a) like Jerusalem - more commercial options for the general public, but contained and structured in ways that do not (completely) conflict with charedi sensibilities
    (b) like Beitar - nice, but overtaken by charedi agendas
    (c) a city of charedi cast-offs, limited and run down; because it will attract those who overlook or appreciate violent protests, don't need jobs, and don't care whether it has has any major yeshivos to give it a big Torah name

  7. I called the Kvutzat Rechisha hotline and when I asked what type of Vaadat Ichlus there will be, they said it is open to everyone to apply, the project is not for any specific group. When I asked if Dati Leumi can apply they told me, no don't worry, only 'quality' families will be accepted.

  8. Where is the "Goloventzitz" section? Is it part of RBS Gimel, or someplace else?

  9. I'm not sure I understand something. This is privately held land, right? Isn't an owner allowed to sell to whomever he wants and not to whomever he does not want? This is different than RBS-C which is govt land and different than a Moshav which is collectively owned land. If I was selling my car, would it be illegal for me to turn someone down because I didn't want to sell to him for some reason?

  10. wanna - that is basically asking what I asked in paragraph 2. I am not sure the legality of it, and whether it is better or not because the land was privately owned.

    But on the other hand, you are not allowed to discrimnate in a private sale either. if you offer land for sale at a price and someone offers to buy it at that price, you cannot discriminate because he is black or Asian and not sell it to him. Just because it is private does not allow you to do whatever you want.

  11. anonymous - if I understood correctly, the Goloventzitz section is between Ein Gedi and the monastery. It is land that Goloventzitz bought from the monastery something like 20 years ago.

  12. if he bought it from the monastery, how did he get the city to make a deal not to build gimmel before he builds his private section?

  13. He bought it many years ago and had this deal back then with the intention of building. He then refused to build, for whatever reason, and he and the city kept fighting about it.

    Recently, he was convinced to sell the plot to someone else who decided to buy it supposedly for the good of the community to help resolve the housing crisis. He bought it and pretty much immediately worked out the issues with the city and started the process. It is still called Goloventzitz but he no longer actually owns it

  14. but the deal somehow stood - there was a Hadash issue detailing all kinds of govt benefits the project is getting instead of the outright payments in that agreement

  15. because the city is interested in having that project finally under way.


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