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Jan 19, 2015

MK Yaako Asher opposes construction of new Haredi city of Kasif

the planned city of Kasif, which is meant to be designated for the Haredi community and will be as large as having a population of 100,000 people living there eventually, was recently approved.

Kasif has been going through various stages of approval, but now the Ministry of Housing committee decided to reject the claims of the environmentalists protesting the plans and approve them, and to recommend to the planing and construction committee to approve the plans.
source: Ynet

Despite a city being planned for Haredi construction, some people in the Haredi community are still upset by it.

MK Yaakov Asher (UTJ), in an interview to Globes, explains why he opposes the plan and is unimpressed with the approval.

Basically he is upset that the government is throwing the Haredim to an area nobody wants. he also says the expenses will be too high to build such a city, and it is a better idea to expand an existing city with new neighborhoods for the Haredi community. Arnona from residential property isn't enough to sustain a city, and if no industrial zones are planned, as they are not, it will just be a bedroom community or a satellite town, and will constantly require government subsidies to stay afloat, and will never be self-sustainable.

my thoughts:
1. Asher is basically acknowledging that the Haredi community cannot sustain itself. They need to connect to the general society in general cities, even with separate neighborhoods, in order to survive/thrive. They cannot do it on their own.
2. Asher wants lots of Haredi housing for cheap, but he does not want it in areas where the property is cheap. he wants it in Jerusalem or other more central areas. Well, those areas have expensive land, which means the housing costs are more expensive. Building in cheaper areas will help keep the housing prices down for the community that needs cheap housing.
3. Ariel Attias, when he was Minister of Housing, was the one who started the process for Kasif. Attias was famous for saying that he believes that Haredi community has to live separate from the general community and mixing the two does not work - it creates tension and conflict. Asher does not like that idea and prefers neighborhoods be built for Haredim in general cities. Asher really does want separation between Haredim and non-haredim. he will not advocate for mixed neighborhoods, and he will not defend the rights, or promote it as an ideal, of non-haredim to live in Haredi neighborhoods. Asher wants separation, just not so much that would require the Haredi community to be self-sufficient.
4. the mayor of Arad, also interviewed in the article, says she is happy with the plans of the nearby town for Haredim. It seems a bit selfish, as she says it means more business in Arad, as the residents of Kasif will require the use of much of Arad's services. She does not want them living in Arad, as she is concerned of what she calls "the Bet Shemesh effect" where so many Haredim will move in they will eventually take over the town and change its style. Basically, she wants the Haredim close enough to give Arad their business, but far enough that they will not change Arad in any way.

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  1. Welcome to the club. I also want a house in downtown Jerusalem or Tel Aviv but I cannot afford it.
    Housing is something you pay for -- it is not an entitlement. If you do not have the money, then work.
    If the price of housing is bothering you, then the Haredi parties should have thought of that BEFORE they supported (in exchange for budgets) left-wing parties in Oslo and Gush Katif expulsion - of COURSE if you make locations in Israel's heartland off-limits then the price of housing will skyrocket. I guess they never taught you that.

    1. Which Haredi party supported Gush Katif expulsion?

      And BTW. Nobody here is asking for free land, the question is who gets to buy the land and who gets awarded the contract. The houses are planned for the community they will serve.

    2. United "Torah" Judiasm gave Ariel Sharon his Knesset majority in January 2005 for the 'expulsion government' in exchange for NIS 290 million in funding. As shuls in Gush Kafit burnt (not "haredi" shuls) and as widows & orphans of terror victims had to sit shivah AGAIN, MK Ravitz stayed on was the Welfare Minister.

      See -- http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/utj-agrees-to-join-coalition-new-gov-t-expected-monday-1.146276

      I QUOTE (see the last paragraph)

      Meanwhile, the 13 Likud MKs who last week vowed to vote against Sharon's new government because of their opposition to the disengagement have decided to meet before Monday's Knesset ballot on this issue to make a final decision on how to vote. It is unclear whether they will vote against or abstain, or even whether all 13 will make the same decision.

      Had UTJ not joined the coalition, their 13 votes against would have been enough to prevent the government's approval.

    3. Shas and UTJ MK's all either abstained or voted against the disengagement. They joined the government assuming that the law would never pass (a valid assumption IMHO) I am not going to get into a whole back and forth about this as I may be wrong :-) IN any even Haaretz is not a very reliable source for news especially if it has something to do with Hareidim, That would be like trusting Fox on a Obama popularity poll.

    4. UTJ was in the government throughout the disengagement -- in Jan 2005 they gave Sharon his MAJORITY and they continued to support the GOVERNMENT throughout the entire process, as (non-haredi) shuls burned, etc.
      Haaretz was the source for CONVENIENCE - there are many others -- see http://lifeinisrael.blogspot.co.il/2012/05/gafni-can-be-sued-by-disengagement.html and many other places. UTJ GAVE SHARON HIS MAJORITY FOR HIS EXPULSION GOVERNMENT IN JAN 2005.
      Shas (under Yishai not Deri) was NOT in the government -- United "Tora" Judiasm was, and their "fee" was NIS 290 million. I even remember that the gov't reneged on their promise to pay the NIS 290 million fee, and United "Tora" Judiasm had to take them to court.
      Whatever their assumptions were, the left-wing motion to expel Jews from their houses and to outlaw building in Judea and Samaria plays a central role in the skyrocketing prices of housing (simple supply and demand). And Haredi parties contributed to this -- Sha$ during their support of Oslo (giving Rabin his majority), and United "Tora" Judiasm for giving Sharon his majority for the Gush Katif expulsion.

  2. I thought it was quite clever of them to figure out a way to herd large numbers of Chareidim into the desert and away from everyone else like that.

    1. But it sounds like everyone agrees that the ideal Haredi setup is residential with nearby kollelim - so that can be set up absolutely anywhere, they don't need to be tied to Bnei Brak and Jerusalem.


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