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November 1, 2014 / 8 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘housing’

Gaza Rebuilding to Begin With Winter

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

The Palestinian Authority unity government will begin reconstruction just as its citizens begin to face the freezing cold of winter.

A report published by the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency noted that none of the rubble left from Israel’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge has yet been removed in Gaza. Private companies will not start that process until next month, PA Housing and Public Works Minister Mufid al-Hasayneh told Ma’an.

Companies will first “prepare the sites” to which rubble will be taken – one in Gaza City, the other in Rafah, on the border with Egypt.

Meanwhile, PA is also expected to sign an agreement with the United Nations Development Program “to distribute $10 million to families whose homes were partially destroyed.”

According to the report, each family will receive between $1,000 to $2,000 to repair their homes. The money is to come from PA coffers, al-Hasayneh explained, since donations from international pledges have yet to arrive.

The United Nations and international donors have never offered financial compensation to the thousands of Israelis whose homes were damaged by rocket attacks from Gaza over the past 12 years.

The United States pledged $212 million to reconstruction in Gaza; the European Union is to donate 450 million euros, and Qatar has said it will send $1 billion. Donors pledged a total of more than $5 billion altogether to repair the damage caused by Hamas choosing to attack Israel from within civilian residential areas and from behind human shields.

Brooklyn Coffee Shop Fed Up with Greedy Jewish ‘Infiltrators’

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

A Brooklyn coffee shop owner justified his anti-Semitic posting on Instagram, where he ranted against Jewish “infiltrators” who “function via greed and dominance” by buying and upgrading homes, resulting in an expensive real estate market.

Bushwick Coffee Shop owner Michael Avila brushed off criticism and raced to post two videos of Jews he’s “in love with,” including Roseanne Barr and a YouTube video that features Jews against Zionism.

See? Avila really is not anti-Semitic.

He said his post on Instagram was a result of complaints by some of his customers about rising house prices. He took aim at two Israelis who were exploring the possibility of buying a building next door to the coffee shop.

“Ok, what I REALLY want to talk about is how to consider the Jews (oh yes, let’s talk about it) who want a piece or all of Bushwick,” he wrote. He declared that Jews “function via greed and dominance.”

His post, part of which is re-published here complete with typos and grammatical mistakes continued, “Bushwick IS rising and progressing, and bettering, but us contributing or just appreciating this rise and over all positive change do not want to be lumped with greedy infiltrators.

Avila, an Hispanic, defended his post by explaining, “It tends to be a lot of Jewish people who are buying buildings here and then turning them into luxury condos, but it could apply to anyone of any race who is trying to be manipulate and self-serving [sic]“

Netanyahu Slams ‘Peace Now’ Sabotage Over Jerusalem

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has slammed what he called a “deliberate” attempt by the leftist Peace Now movement to sabotage his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

The group publicly recycled stale news about a Jerusalem housing project in the southern part of the capital that had already won its initial approval in 2011, with its final processing and approval signed last week. Such projects are frowned upon by the international community, including the United States. The news “leak” was timed to coincide with Netanyahu’s meeting at the White House.

“This is irresponsibility on the international level – for some element to publish a statutory plan in order to sabotage a very important meeting that dealt with the Iranian nuclear program, our basic security questions and Islamic State (ISIS),” Netanyahu said in an interview with Amit Segal on Israel’s Channel 2 News, to be aired after the Yom Kippur holiday.

The announcement of 2,610 new building tenders in Jerusalem’s Givat Hamatos neighborhood was greeted with a harsh condemnation by the State Department, which labeled the project “poison.” Spokesperson Jen Psaki claimed the new homes in southern Jerusalem would “poison the atmosphere not only with the Palestinians but also with the very Arab governments with which Prime Minister Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations, and call into question Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.”

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, meanwhile, also slammed ‘Peace Now’ for its attempt to sabotage the prime minister’s meeting at the White House over the issue, and underscored the group’s foreign ties. Peace Now, a worthless organization whose budget mostly comes from foreign sources, leaked the news the same day as the prime minister’s meeting with the president of the United States in order to poison the atmosphere,” Katz charged.

Likewise, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat rejected the condemnations and instead said the construction in the holy city was “essential, important and will continue with full force.” He added that he will “not freeze construction for anyone” in Israel’s capital. “Discrimination based on religion, race or gender is illegal in the United States and in any other civilized country,” Barkat said.

“[The] 2,600 apartments in Givat HaMatos that we approved two years ago will enable more young people from all sectors and religions to live in Jerusalem and build their future here, thereby strengthening the capital of Israel. We will not apologize for that.”

Thousands of New Homes Approved for Jerusalem Arabs

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

The Jerusalem municipal building committee passed a development plan Wednesday that calls for construction of 2,200 housing units for Arabs in the Arav al-Swahara neighborhood.

The plan allegedly includes restrictions on building sizes, and the residents are referred to as those in a ‘village.’

Mayor Nir Barkat supported the move, saying, “The planning of neighborhoods … by the Jerusalem municipality is a clear expression of Israel’s sovereignty over every part of the city and the unified strength of Jerusalem.”

An order from the Jerusalem District Court was required in order to bring the plan to a vote. It was repeatedly blocked by council member Aryeh King, head of the Israel Land Fund, and Bayit Yehudi party member Mati Dan.

Lapid: Contractors Shouldn’t Be So Greedy

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Finance Minister Yair Lapid accused Israel’s building contractors of over-charging for housing and called on construction companies to forego profits for the benefit of young middle class couples. But Lapid stopped short of proposing a genuine free-market solution to Israel’s housing crisis: A massive buidling project in Judea and Samaria.

Speaking to the Globes financial daily, Lapid said he had proposed a series of steps to bring down housing prices in Israel, including exempting first-time home buyers from value added tax. But he pointed out that although land prices have fallen in Israel in recent years, housing prices have continued to rise over the same period of time. That, he said, is a clear sign of one thing: Greed.

“The real estate market enjoys a huge profit margin,” Lapid said. “Over the past four years, land prices have dropped, but housing prices have risen by 64 percent. The contractors certainly have places they can cut back.”

Lapid stressed that he does not want to put small contractors out of business by demanding they drop prices on their products, but he also warned there would be a “transition period” that could harm some builders.

While the finance minister – who in the past has referred to Jewish building in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem as a “double mistake – seems undeterred by the anti-capitalist notion that the state should set prices in a free market, he has also apparently refused to consider another free-market solution to Israel’s ongoing housing crisis: Massive building in Judea and Samaria.

Bringing thousands of new homes onto the market in Ariel, Gush Etzion and further afield would presumably lead to a sharp drop in housing prices in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other major Israeli cities. A building project would also ensure the livelihoods of small and large construction companies alike.

Instead, Lapid said he is concentrating on  a series of tax-related measures, and the hope that builders will forgo some of their profits.

“These steps will bring down housing prices,” Lapid said.

Netanyahu to Trade Freeing More Terrorists for More Yesha Homes

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Israel will trade 26 more terrorists for between 1,000 and 2,000 new homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria, according to a government official quoted by Israeli television Wednesday.

There is a broad consensus in Israel against freeing more terrorists in the four-step release plan to release 104 terrorists and security prisoners during the nine months that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has scheduled for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to reach an agreement on a future PA state without endangering Israeli security.

Kerry has set the rules of the game, and Netanyahu knows that rejecting the release on Sunday of more terrorists, even though PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has not lived up to a promise to play by Kerry’s rules, would leave Israel checkmated in Abbas’ game to have international backing to skip talks and go to the United Nations for recognition. The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the release of the third batch of 104 terrorists.

Netanyahu’s ploy has been to announce new homes every time a batch of terrorists are freed. He did this in July and last month and is about to do so again, infuriating the Palestinian Authority and the European Union but not violating Kerry’s conditions.

Kerry has implied it was assumed that Israel would announce plans for new construction for Jews in Judea and Samaria, even though the United States calls Israelis in those areas “illegitimate.” President Barack Obama has called the settlements, including Palestinian Authority-claimed neighborhoods, in Jerusalem, “illegal.”

The Prime Minister can always climb down from a weak limb simply by announcing new homes but not going through with issuing tenders, particularly since the bureaucratic process for doing so could take months.

When Kerry dug up the remains of the “peace process” in July and forced Israel and Abbas to get back to the so-called negotiating table, he demanded that both sides not issue interim reports on the talks. Israel agreed to release terrorists only if there is progress in talks and if the Palestinian Authority does not resort to more violence.

Prime Minister Netanyahu on Wednesday blamed Abbas and the Palestinian Authority for the escalation in terrorist attacks, saying they directly incite Arabs to attack Israelis.

Since July, Palestinian Authority terrorists have murdered at least four Israelis and have carried out numerous other terrorist attacks, not including rock-throwing and fire bombings.

In addition, Abbas and his negotiators have consistently complained that no progress is being made, and he has threatened more than once to end the talks and go to the United Nations.

Kerry has four months left to come back to Washington with a deal.

Cost of Lapid’s Housing Plan Estimated to Be Bigger than His Ego

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Finance Minister Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid party, has come up with a fantastic plan to solve Israel’s apartment shortage but it has one large problem –  a cost of approximately $14 billion, according to an estimate by Globes business newspaper. That may be par for the course for the former journalist who didn’t even finish high school, let alone specialize in math.

Approval of the plan has not taken into consideration how the government will pay for it. A large cost will be compensating owners of farmland where some of this planned 150,000 apartments are to be built.

“Contractors regret that no one consulted with them in drawing up the plan, assessors call it ‘hallucinatory,’” Globes reported. The land will cost the government approximately $12 billion but will have to be sold for far less  in order to make it a feasible investment for contractors.

The plan also faces heavy opposition from environment groups and the environment ministry.

Even the estimate of $14 billion is low, according to Israel’s Real Estate Appraisers Association chairman Ehud Danus, who said the final cost could be double after taking into considering necessary schools and parks.

The Ministry of Finance responded to the report with a weird admission of that “we’re talking about the preliminary stage, and as we accumulate the land for projects, we’ll budget the activity later on.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/cost-of-lapids-housing-plan-estimated-to-be-bigger-than-his-ego/2013/12/08/

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