The Israel Land Administration Council approved this week a proposal by Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Attias for affordable housing criteria. According to the proposal, in tenant priced housing tenders (mechir lemishtakein) 20 percent of apartments in a given tender would be earmarked for singles over 35 or families without children, 35% would be for families with one or two children and 45% would be set aside for families with three or more children.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz stepped up giving priority to IDF veterans in the new housing criteria. In a press statement Steinitz said he had reached an agreement with Attias in which points given to former IDF soldiers and National Service participants in tenant priced housing tenders would increase by 50%.
In addition to the 20 points men would receive for military service, another 10 points would be given to a wife who either served in the IDF or National Service, bringing the total points for IDF and National Service participants up to 30.
Attias responded this week in the Knesset to the Opposition, which claimed the criteria were somehow formulated to benefit the chareidi public. "Only someone who doesn't understand math or doesn't want to understand math could say such a thing," he explained.
"For instance, in the childless group," Attias explained, "if you're in a situation of not having children, only then can you have to vie for 20%. Who accrues years of marriage without children — chareidim or people who never have children? Regarding the next group, 35% of apartments for one or two children — who accrues years of marriage with just two children? Chareidim or non-chareidim? And in the third group, 35% goes to families with three or more children. Who accrues years of marriage with just three children — chareidim or non-chareidim?"
The decision by Netanyahu and Steinitz to give greater priority to military service is part of a trend to give more preferential treatment to IDF veterans and is detrimental to all Jews who keep mitzvas, since gedolei Yisroel strictly prohibited women from entering the IDF or National Service, saying it was considered "yehareg ve'al ya'avor."