Featured Post

Free The Hostages! Bring Them Home!

(this is a featured post and will stay at the top for the foreseeable future.. scroll down for new posts) -------------------------------...

Oct 17, 2012

Picture Of The Day: Arad and Bet Shemesh

The secular community in Arad is now protesting against the growing haredi community. While there has been a haredi community in Arad for a reasonably long time, mostly consisting of both a Chabad community and a Gur community. The past 2 years has seen an influx of more haredim, as the Gerrer Rebbe has been sending an increasing number of families to the community there.

The secular are complaining that the haredim are taking over their city. The protest sign in the picture above proclaims that Arad won't be Bet Shemesh. The Gerrers are fighting with the Chabadniks in Arad over control over the main shul, and now they are being fought with by the chilonim. The chilonim claim that the haredim are buying houses (at special prices they offer each other but dont offer to the wider public), opening shuls and nursery schools illegally in apartments, breaking zoning laws that the municipality ignores, etc.

Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel


  1. One simple word - demographics.

    And what does that mean that people are selling homes at special prices to keep the home within the community? When it comes to selling a home, trust me, most people what as many thousands of shekels as they can get.

  2. What it means is that Gerrer chassidim have created a real estate company that sends out teams of guys, two at a time, that go door to door asking whether the owner is interested in selling their home and making offers to buy the house, sometimes for cash. Because of that, sometimes the owner will sell for less, since the offer is immediate, and concrete -- and cuts out a lot of red tape. Everything is done right away, and all the annoying paperwork is somehow "smoothed out" because the Gerrer chassidim in Arad are hooked up politically with the municipality, just as their political party, UTJ, is hand-in-hand with the mayor's party, Yisrael Beytenu. That is how the mayor was voted into office; with support from UTJ and the Gerrer population, and she never misses an opportunity to acknowledge that -- nor is she ever allowed to forget it.

    The Gerrer Rebbe has made sure to continue to send his chassidim to the city in the intervening time so that when the next election rolls around, the voting bloc will be even larger. Perhaps large enough this time to even take the mayor's spot -- or at least ensure that this time the deputy mayor's place will be returned to a Gerrer chassid, to whom it belonged 10 years ago.

    Whenever any house or apartment comes up for sale and they hear about it from any of their other contacts in the community, the Gerrer real estate corporation immediately runs to buy it, and since they have immense financial resources, they are often successful. The corporation then offers the house to a waiting list of Gerrer chassidim who have expressed interest in moving to Arad due to a nationwide advertising campaign promoting the town as a beautiful developing hareidi community. They also offer assistance in helping these buyers to get mortgages, possibly. Because the company is dealing with large numbers, it has the ability to negotiate special concessions from banks, and therefore can persuade a mortgage bank to offer lower rates to new home buyers, especially in a southern development town like Arad, in the periphery. I have been told by some of my contacts that these buyers qualify for a down payment of only 10 percent, rather than the much higher down payment required from most other Israelis by the banks, a minimum of 40 percent.

    That is what is meant that people are selling homes at special prices, and Gerrer chassidim are able to buy them at special prices. It is basic business dealing, and it happens everywhere in the world. Ger just knows how to do business, and they are doing it in Arad, just as they did in Beit Shemesh and in Mea Shearim and to a certain extent in Kiryat Gat and in Ashdod. But Arad is smaller, and so it is more visible here. They will soon swallow our little town, as it appears now. They saw that violence was not going to be as effective as money, and so they decided on money and numbers instead.

    Eventually Arad will become Beit Shemesh and Beitar Illit -- and then Heaven help anyone who crosses them, including Chabad.

  3. thanks for clarifying a bit what is going on in Arad...


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...