Jan 22, 2017

Gafni's goose and gander of Haredim in Maale Adumim

There are a few things about this report that bothers me.

According to the report in Behadrei, there is a Haredi school in Maale Adumim. This school requested assistance from city representatives and the head of the education department told them to leave Maale Adumim and to go instead to Jerusalem.

MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) protested this response saying there are clear instructions from above to not give Haredim a foothold in Maale Adumim.

It also seems there is an implicit threat in Gafni's protest to not support the request for annexation of Maale Adumim.

Here are my thoughts.

If Haredim live in Maale Adumim, they need, and deserve, schools that are fitting for their lifestyles and preferences.

I don't know if Maale Adumim is an open city letting anyone in, or a closed community that requires approvals based on fitting a lifestyle profile. If it is a closed community, then it is understandable - there are plenty of those, and attempts to "break in" with a different lifestyle often fail. If it is an open city, then they have to accept Haredim who want to live there just like they need to accept anyone else.

I also have a problem with Gafni. Not with his protest for this school - that is legitimate. My problem is the hypocrisy. When a Haredi yeshiva high school (Chochmei Lev) was offered plots/buildings in different mixed neighborhoods of Jerusalem, but were pushed out by askanim and residents, Gafni did not go out and defend their rights to be present in those areas, because he opposed the institution. What is good for Gafni's goose was not good for his gander when it came to schools he did not like in the same situation.

Further, show me a Haredi town that is tolerant of other communities entering and joining and using resources? Do Beitar or Kiryat Sefer or Modiin Ilit allow dati leumi or secular communities to join and then fund their schools? I agree with Gafni that the haredim in Maale Adumim should be funded like anybody else, but I'd like to see Gafni support opening up Haredi areas to others the same way he expects others to open up to Haredim.

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  1. Of course Maale Adummim has no entrance committee: It is a city, and anyone who wants to move in can do so. Obviously, unable to do this on their own, the charedim want special treatment. The city is perfectly entitled to say "no."

  2. Haredim are saying they want a new school building they won't move into an existing building


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