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November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘housing’

Snide Remarks from State Dept. Over Jerusalem Housing Plans

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

The United States has — again — expressed its strong disapproval over the latest plans to build badly-needed housing in an overcrowded Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem.

The district planning and building committee today (Monday, Nov. 3) approved 500 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo section of Jerusalem, an area built after the 1967 Six Day War. The State Department slammed the move, calling it “unfortunate” and “illegitimate.”

A week ago, the prime minister’s office approved plans to build 600 new housing units in the same neighborhood, in addition to 400 units in Har Homa, another post-1967 neighborhood in the capital.

Washington said at that point that Israel was taking steps that were “not conducive to peace in the region and a two-state solution.”

The State Department expressed “deep concern” over plans for what it called “settlement construction” in Jerusalem, in a loud echo of the anger bellowing from microphones in the Palestinian Authority.

But none of the neighborhoods in Jerusalem even faintly resembles a “settlement” and there is nothing remotely agrarian or rural about any of them.

Nevertheless, while meeting with U.S. officials in Washington, PA spokesperson Abu Rudaineh called today’s housing approval a “direct challenge” to the Obama administration” in a clear attempt to provoke the U.S. into attacking Israel.

A spokesperson for the far left ‘Peace Now’ organization eagerly aided and abetted the effort, telling the AFP news agency the approved housing units in Ramat Shlomo would “expand” the neighborhood’s existing “settlement.”

To put this all in perspective, please note that the average Israeli residential high-rise in Jerusalem’s Romema neighborhood, not far from the Central Bus Station, is built with eight to ten floors and features two or four units on each floor. So we are talking about the equivalent of perhaps a dozen to eighteen high-rise buildings – maybe double that if they are smaller. An addition of two streets, maybe.

This is called “expansion” of a “settlement?” Really?

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki underlined the sharp disappointment of the Obama government with the decision in her news briefing, claiming that Israel had no interest in peace with the Palestinian Authority because the housing project had been approved.

“Obviously, if they were going to restart a peace negotiation we would be seeing actions,” she said. “Actions like these are contrary to that objective.”

Oddly, she made no mention of the Palestinian Authority unity government’s violation of the cease-fire agreement on Friday night, by allowing Gaza terrorists to fire a rocket at southern Israel. The rocket landed in the Eshkol Regional Council district but did not injure anyone and did not cause property damage.

For some strange reason, Psaki and her boss have not considered the multiple violations of the cease-fire that have taken place since August to be ‘actions’ that signal the Palestinian Authority has no interest in “restarting a peace negotiation.”

A thinking person targeted in a rocket attack or some other form of terrorist violence (such as a shooting, rock attack or firebombing) might actually think that “actions like these are contrary to that objective.”

No?

Netanyahu OK’s New Housing in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this morning inked his approval on plans for new building projects in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. But it’s important to remember that such approval is only the first step in a very, very long process that often takes literally years to come to fruition.

And sometimes such projects don’t ever really come to pass. The red tape is just that complicated.

Today (Monday, Oct. 27) Netanyahu authorized plans to move forward for 1,060 such units in Jerusalem neighborhoods built after the 1967 Six Day War, according his spokesperson.

Officials said 660 of the units are to be built in the Har Homa neighborhood, and another 600 are planned for the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.

Yesterday (Oct. 26), Israel’s Channel 2 reported that the prime minister’s office has been negotiating with the Judea and Samaria Communities Council over a deal to end the de facto freeze on Jewish construction in the regions.

According to the report, Netanyahu’s representatives discussed the construction of new roads in Samaria, including a new bypass road to circumvent Shechem’s dangerous Hawara neighborhood. Other new roads would include routes to the communities of Immanuel and Eli, and plans to widen Highway 60, where Arab road terror attacks are frequent and not easily evaded.

Several youth villages are planned as well as a number of new parks, and a boardwalk in the Etzion bloc in memory of the three murdered yeshiva students, Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar.

In addition, the prime minister has reportedly agreed to the construction of some 2,000 new housing units, most to be built within the current settlement blocs.

Millions of shekels are to be invested in the project, according to the report, which noted the move followed a meeting between Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi party chairman Naftali Bennett.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/lapid-contractors-shouldnt-be-so-greedy/2014/05/04/

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