Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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19 Iyar 5760 - May 24, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Tsefas Protest Against Absorption Ministry Plan to Place Non-Jews in Chareidi Neighborhood

by Yehuda Ariel

A rally was held in Tsefas two weeks ago to protest an Absorption Committee plan to place non-Jewish immigrants in the city's completely chareidi Me'or Chaim neighborhood, as well as in the religious Tzahal neighborhood.

A letter sent by neighborhood representatives to Absorption Minister Yuli Tamir stressed that these Christian immigrants have no place in a religious-chareidi neighborhood, and that such a step would result in serious conflict.

The protest rally was held on Thursday, Nisan 29, in a building intended for the immigrants. Residents stressed that by dint of a 1996 government decision, this particular building had been slated for religious residents in need of housing. According to the decision, the entire building was slated for local residents and it was stipulated that its future residents would be religious.

The residents protest that the new plan to give non-Jews apartments in their neighborhood was deliberate, totally ignores past promises as well as offends religious families already residing in the building. The neighborhood committee organized the protest rally at the request of rabbonim and local residents. The rally was attended by about 200 residents.

The letter sent to the Absorption Committee states that the residents have nothing against the immigrants who are supposed to move in except for the fact that they do not fit in with the neighborhood. Residents stress that they have learned from reliable sources that these are churchgoing Christian immigrants who surely have no place in a religious neighborhood.

"Neighborhood housing problems are quite serious and there are many religious people who want to live here. It is therefore quite paradoxical that you have chosen to settle non-Jewish residents in the neighborhood, ignoring the 1996 governmental decision," stress the residents, adding that they will continue to hold protest rallies until the building is made available to religious residents.

Residents plan to organize a protest rally in front of the Absorption Ministry in Jerusalem if the problem is not addressed. Representatives of the religious community in the Tsefas City Council were among the participants in the rally.

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