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June 30, 2016 / 24 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘housing’

Kulanu’s Leftwing Trend Continues: Housing Minister Supports Settlements Freeze

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

After the resignation of Kulanu Environment Minister Avi Gabbay on Friday, because he objected to the prime minister’s replacing Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon with Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman; and after Kulanu chairman and Finance Minster Moshe Kahlon’s tweet that he would veto any attempt to curb the legislative ambitions of the Israeli Supreme Court; now Kulanu’s Housing Minister and former IDF Chief of Staff Wannabe Yoav Galant, who was forced to resign from the Army under the cloud of a scandal, has also moved to pull his fledgling party to the left. According to a Jewish Insider report, Gallant spoke to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in New York last week and told them his government’s policy was to freeze construction in the Judea and Samaria Jewish settlements. Galant also warned against the emergence of a two-nation state if the 2-state solution is not implemented, and advocated moving in that direction even without cooperation from the PA Arabs.

In other words, at this point there is no daylight between the views of Meretz and at least one Netanyahu government minister on the fate of the Jewish communities on the “wrong” side of the green line: they must come down and every penny Israel invests in adding to them is a penny wasted.

According to the report, Galant was asked several times regarding settlement construction, and his response each time should constitute a challenge to all of Kulanu’s partners in Netanyahu’s government. Galant spelled out that “fundamentally, I’m carrying out the government’s policy that we do not build in Judea and Samaria.” He added, apologetically: “But I’m not the only one who holds the capacity to build. There are private people who build, and other parts of the government which are acting according to the instructions of other ministers.” Make that the Habayit Hayehudi ministers, specifically Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel who is in charge of the Settlement Division.

Galant was concerned about the stalled negotiations with the PA. “In ten years there will be 7 million Palestinians and 7 million Jews west of the Jordan River,” he said, obviously accepting the Arab census information on blind faith. The real figures are less alarming, and the figures of Israel’s birthrate are more encouraging than ever. It turns out young Israeli couples, especially the religious ones, are not watching TV or surfing the Internet at night.

Galant also suggested that even though Israel does not have a partner for peace on the Arab side, this should not hinder its progress towards the 2-state target. “The question rises, what would happen should we take our hands of this plane’s rudders and just let it continue to glide,” Galant asked. “What will happen in one generation?” He, apparently knows what is bound to happen: “We’ve seen what happened in the Balkans,” he said, concluding that “thinking about the future obligates us as a government to bring about a solution even if the other side does not want it.”

Naturally, with the successful record of a unilateral pullout from Gaza to support it, who can refute Galant’s argument. Even the idea of the IDF staying out of the PA areas is terrifying to most Israelis, who recall what the PLO terror network was able to accomplish without Israeli tight supervision. The notion of evacuating the Jews of Area C is both criminally absurd and contrary to the wishes of the majority of Israeli voters.

As polls have shown, the Kulanu party is destined to leave the Israeli political map as quickly as it has appeared, shrinking from its current ten MKs to 6, and making room at the unaffiliated center for the Yair Lapid Yesh Atid party which may end up as the second largest party in the Knesset next time, with a projected 19 to 21 seats. All of Kulanu’s vagaries in the coming weeks should be viewed in that context: a party on its way to extinction attempting to soar once more by flapping its arms with great vigor. It’s not a very attractive image, and in this case it is also likely to inflict some damage on Jews.

JNi.Media

Muslim Swedish Housing Minister Kaplan Resigns after Comparing Israel to Nazis

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Mehmet Kaplan (apparently no Jewish relation), 44, Sweden’s housing minister, resigned this week over comments he had made comparing Israel’s treatment of Arabs to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany.

The Turkish-born Kaplan, a Green Party member, former spokesman of Sweden’s Muslim Council, and a passenger on the “Freedom Flotilla” that tried to break through the IDF security blockade of Gaza in 2010, denied any wrongdoing, saying he was resigning because public and media criticism were interfering with his ability to do his job. He said he opposed “all forms of extremism, whether nationalistic, religious or in any other form” and supported “human rights, democracy and dialogue.”

Swedish TV fished out footage of Kaplan from seven years ago, where he says, “Israelis treat Palestinians in a way that is very like that in which Jews were treated during Germany in the 1930s.”

Israeli ambassador to Sweden Isaac Bachman described Kaplan’s comments as “deeply anti-Semitic.” Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallström—remember her?—said the comments were “terrible.”

Wallström was embroiled in a housing scandal last year. Not connected to Kaplan.

“Let me be clear: [my resignation] is not a confirmation of reports about me that I consider wrongful. I know who I am and what I have done,” Kaplan told reporters in Stockholm. He had also come under fire a week ago, after Swedish media published photos of him dining with Turkish Swedish leaders, including the local leader of an ultra-nationalist group called Gray Wolves.

In 2014 Kaplan compared the young Muslims from Sweden who went to fight for ISIS in Syria with the Swedes who fought for Finland against Russia in WW2.

JNi.Media

Grave Watching

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Some fifty Hareidi men stand in protest at a construction site in Gilo where ancient grave were found while digging.

They believe the bodies found are of Jews, and do not want them moved for the construction of new housing units that were planned for the site.

Photo of the Day

JNF Plans to Build 3,000 Homes on Land It Owns in Tel Aviv Area

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) plans to build up to 3,000 residential units on land it owns in the greater Tel Aviv area.

TheJewishPress.com reported here last week that the JNF owns land worth approximately $1.75 billion.

It plans to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the new project following an approval of the new policy last month.

No timetable has been announced, Globes reported, but building on its own land will save the cost and bureaucracy of having to deal with Israel Land Authority tenders.

However, it will have to apply for building permits on land where there are no existing apartments or which needs to be re-zoned, meaning it could be years before final approval is received.

The bureaucratic procedures may be shorter than usual because the plan has been coordinated with the government, which has promised that it will ease the housing shortage in the metropolitan Tel Aviv region.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Israel State Comptroller’s Report Details Housing Crisis

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Israel’s state comptroller Joseph Shapira released his report Wednesday on the nation’s housing crisis, detailing a 55 percent rise in the price of a home between 2008 and 2013.

According to the 294 page report, rent costs rose by 30 percent in the same period, and that “no solution was found” by the Netanyahu government. Wage raises did not match the skyrocketing prices, the report noted, and,”The various government departments responded with no strategic plan of action in the long term, and without having set any goals.”

What was once a given – the Israeli tradition of both sets of parents splitting the cost of buying an apartment for their children when the young couple marries – is today a given no longer. For many Israelis the high cost of living has put the tradition entirely out of reach. Rents are also significantly higher, even in communities located in the “periphery.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party released a statement in response to the damning report, saying that only a strong government led by Netanyahu could resolve the crisis, “just as we did with many other reforms and deep institutional changes we implemented, which made the Israeli economy strong and competitive.”

Former Likud MK and current candidate Prof. Benny Begin told the Anglo Voters’ debate at Cinema City in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening, “In 2009, less than 20,000 apartments were being built annually. This year with Housing Minister Uri Ariel, 50,000 were built. But we need a stable government, a strong backbone and a strong Likud to keep one government in place in order to continue that trend,” he emphasized.

Yisrael Beytenu candidate Ashley Perry, also present at the debate, said his party would strengthen the economy and the housing market by helping families purchase new homes with a mortgage designed to avoid the difficult issue of the 33 percent out-of-reach down payment. For Israelis who have served their country via the military, Perry said, there should be a 90 percent mortgage incentive plan and after-school programs for working mothers to help them earn a living.

Yesh Atid MK Rabbi Dov Lipman, another candidate present at Wednesday evening’s Ango Vote debate, also underlined the fact that more than 50,000 housing units were built this past year but said his party chairman had been sabotaged. “The plan was to build thousands of rental units as well,” he said, “but there was not enough time for Yesh Atid to implement our entire housing improvement plan, which involved an increase of NIS 10 billion in the 2015 budget. It was on the table when elections were called. We wanted to pass the budget, and then call the elections – but the prime minister refused.”

Yachad candidate Hillik Bar also blamed the prime minister, noting that at least two million Israelis live in rented housing. “It’s a jungle,” he said. “This government has made no attempt to reduce the price of housing.”

Bayit Yehudi candidate Uri Banks slammed Yesh Atid party chairman and Finance Minister Yair Lapid altogether over the issue, saying he “came in with a foolish plan which increased demand without the supply to meet it. He committed suicide on that plan and brought us to these elections.”

Hana Levi Julian

‘Dump Bibi’ Panting for Comptroller’s Report on Housing Crisis

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

The office of the State Comptroller and Ombudsman stated Sunday that it will release the report on the housing crisis before the elections and possibly by the end of the week.

A decision on the exact date of relapse will be made in the next couple of days.

Israel’s anti-Netanyahu establishment media and the Herzog-Livni “Zionist Camp” party are antsy-pantsy for the report that they hope will serve as the damning piece of news they woefully lack to give them a victory in the elections.

The report probably will be sharply critical of both the Olmert and Netanyahu governments for the constantly high price of homes, a situation that has existed more or less since 1948.

If the report goes back a couple years before the Olmert administration, it will include the Sharon government, whose Housing Minister in 2005 was none other than Yitzchak Herzog. One year before, the minister was – are you ready? – Tzipi Livni.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

PA ‘Warns’ Israel Over Temple Mount Visits, Jerusalem Housing

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Palestinian Authority spokesperson Nabil Rudaineh is “warning” Israel over its decisions to build housing in Jerusalem, and visits by lawmakers and others to the Temple Mount.

Yesterday (Monday, Nov. 3) Rudaineh roundly condemned Israel’s approval of a project to build 500 housing units in Jerusalem’s crowded Ramat Shlomo neighborhood.

Although the PA spokesperson had called for calm in Jerusalem, on Monday he also warned that visits by Jews to the holiest site in the Jewish faith – the Temple Mount – was “provoking the sentiments” of local Arabs.

His outrage has been echoed in high places abroad by State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, who issued similar warnings on behalf of the Obama administration as well — and who nowadays refers to the Temple Mount first by its Arabic name, the ‘Haram al-Sharif‘ before using its English name. Needless to say, none of the staff in the Obama administration refer to the Temple Mount by its Hebrew appellation, ‘Har HaBayit.”

In a briefing with reporters, Abu Rudaineh claimed that “settlers and extremists” were “storming” the Al Aqsa Mosque located on the Mount, which is also considered the third holiest site in Islam.

Abu Rudaineh insisted that “incursions and transgressions against the holy sites are continuing and even escalating,” and warned that visits by Jews were provocations to Arab worshipers at the mosque.

A female Knesset member who visited the Temple Mount yesterday was physically and verbally attacked by a screaming Muslim Arab woman yelling “Allah huAkbar!” – the Arab battle cry used by jihadists prior to an attack. It means, “God is great!”

The attacker was arrested and brought to the local police precinct for question but it is not clear whether she was subsequently detained or released. Israel Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld was unable to answer that question and later was not available for followup.

On Sunday, MK Moshe Feiglin also visited the Temple Mount. Today, MK Tzipi Hotovely is also scheduled to go up to the holy site.

The daily visits are being coordinated in part to honor Rabbi Yehudah Glick, head of the Temple Mount Faithful organization, who is still fighting for his life after being attacked by an Arab terrorist last week.

Glick was shot at point-blank range by an Islamic Jihad operative on a motorcycle in a targeted assassination attempt after speaking at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center — where the assassin was employed at the facility’s restaurant despite having spent 10 years in an Israeli prison. Glick has undergone multiple surgeries  and is still being held in a medically-induced coma for life-saving purposes.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pa-warns-israel-over-temple-mount-visits-jerusalem-housing/2014/11/04/

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