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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Lapid blasts his own government for trying to create affordable housing

Finance Minist4er Yair Lapid has blasted his own government for putting out tenders for 1,187 housing units in 'east' Jerusalem and in the 'settlement blocs.'
According to the ministry, 793 of the new homes will be in Jewish neighborhoods of east Jerusalem. It includes 400 new units in Gilo, 210 in Har Homa and 183 in Pisgat Ze'ev.
In addition it plans to publish tenders for 394 new homes in West Bank settlement blocs that Israeli believes it will retain in any final status agreement with the Palestinians.
This includes 117 new homes for the Ariel settlement, 149 for the Efrat settlement, 92 for the Ma'aleh Adumim settlement and 36 for the Beit Illit settlement.
Palestinians have insisted that Israel must halt all West Bank settlement activity and Jewish building over the pre-1967 lines. Israel has refused to cede to this request.
It was understood that settlement activity would continue when a new nine-month negotiating period was announced at the end of July.
It was expected that Israel would time it announcement of new housing to coincide with the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) said the new units would help bring down the cost of housing and that he did not accept any limitations on where new building could happen.
But Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who promised his voters that he would bring down the price of housing, is no longer interested in bringing down the price of housing.
"Announcing the decision to market 1,200 housing units in east Jerusalem and in the larger settlement blocs at this time is a double mistake," Lapid said in a statement.
"Solutions for the problem of housing should be founded in the areas of need," he wrote. "Additionally, the use of resources meant to provide housing for the middle class to needlessly defy the Americans will impede the peace process."
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, however, who welcomed the move to built 800 new housing units in the Jerusalem area.
"New construction in Jerusalem is essential to the development and strengthening of the city and for allowing young people to live and buy apartments," Barkat said, "I am glad that the government of Israel sees us eye to eye on this important need."
He also said that there is a need to continue to develop more housing as well as to invest in "continued economic, cultural and educational development."
Areas of need? Lapid wants to build more housing in isolated parts of the Negev where there are no jobs? And that's how he thinks he's going to solve the housing crisis? Let him first create some jobs outside of the Tel Aviv area so that people who live outside of Tel Aviv will be able to commute to work.

Or is he trying to claim that no one wants to live in 'east' Jerusalem or in communities in Judea and Samaria from which commuting to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv is easy?

Either way, as usual, Lapid is a disingenuous fool.

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