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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

YNet scared of Hareidim in Jerusalem

An interesting article in YNet:

Most Israeli citizens are well-aware of the division between east and West Jerusalem, but there exists another border in the capital, that which runs from north to south and separates the secular part of the city (south) and the ultra-Orthodox.

Even some northern neighborhoods previously considered to be secular enclaves are becoming more and more religious.

“On Mishmar Hagvul Street, near the religious Sanhedria neighborhood, you won’t see any TV antennas on the rooftops,” ultra-Orthodox reporter Yisrael Gliss says.

The situation in neighborhoods such as Ramot Eshkol or Maalot Dafna is most indicative of the fact that north Jerusalem is becoming more and more ultra-Orthodox, so much so that the northern part of the city is attracting many religious couples, most of whom are Anglo-Saxon.

Architect David Kroyanker says “the ultra-Orthodox are settling predominantly in the north, but the problem is that the border continues to move south. At first traditional religious people arrive, then come the more modern ultra-Orthodox, but it is not long before the neighborhoods become completely ultra-Orthodox.”

Former Mayor Teddy Kollek, who understood in the early 1980s that something has to be done, initiated the construction of a sports complex in north Jerusalem to attract the secular population. The ultra-Orthodox protested against the plan, saying the cars traveling in the area would disrupt the Sabbath. Some haredim even went as far as throwing sand and stones in the tractors’ engines to interfere with the construction works.

Eventually the plan was foiled, and the city’s soccer stadium, which was named after mayor Kollek, was built in the southern Malcha neighborhood.

Each year the religious population takes control of additional Jerusalem neighborhoods and sites, such as the Schneller military base, which is set to be cleared in the coming year. According to an agreement between United Torah Judaism and Agudat Yisrael, the Gur hasidic sect will own the site, and 800 housing units will be built there for its members.

Across the street from Schneller is the Tnuva compound, which was also sold to haredi real estate entrepreneurs.

Kroyanker, who lives in Malcha, is not optimistic regarding Jerusalem’s future.

“The city’s story is one of simple demographics,” he says. “This is a natural process whereby the haredi population is growing at a rate ten times higher than the secular population.”

There is no solution this problem,” he says.

Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, the founder and chairman of the religious ZAKA organization, says “haredim are not taking control of the city because a few rabbis planned it. They are taking control because ultra-Orthodox couples have many children – that’s just how it is.
From the hysteria in this report one would think thatYNet would prefer Arabs taking over Jerusalem rather than thse Jews who are so....Jew-y.

Luckily, I have a solution to the "problem" of a Jerusalem without TV antennas: Encourage non-Hareidi Jewish families to have lots and lots of kids as well! I guarantee, no "ultra-Orthodox" will get upset at this, and as a bonus, the "demographic problem" that is convincing Olmert to give up parts of Israel to terrorists will no longer exist!

To start, donate money to Just One Life, an organization that finds Israeli women who want to have abortions because they cannot afford to have a baby and supports them monetarily and emotionally so they can safely give birth. Over 7200 children have been born to women who have been helped by this program, and most of these are not Hareidim.

It's the least you can do to help save Jerusalem!