Clash over Arabs moving into Jewish towns reflects deeper conflict

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February 22, 2016 05:00

High Court decision delays case over preventing Arabs from purchasing homes in Jewish Afula.

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Afula

Afula. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The High Court on Sunday did not reach a decision regarding a petition filed by the NGO Adalah against the Israel Lands Authority and construction company Dar Nofarim for the company's refusal to sell homes to Arabs.

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, “argues against inequality and racism” in the marketing of apartments, Mysanna Morany, a lawyer involved in the case for Adalah told The Jerusalem Post.

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The incident under dispute is from 2013 when a construction company allegedly refused to sell a home in a housing project in Afula to an Arab family. Morany said the construction company argued the project was marketed as an “unmixed” neighborhood for its Jewish clients.

The other side is represented by Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael- Jewish National Fund, which owns the land, and the ILA, which markets it, and the construction company.

“We are demanding that the court requires them to make sure equality is followed,” said Morany. She added that a ruling in the case can be expected shortly.

Ofir Shick, the CEO of the NGO Levbagalil (The Heart of the Galilee), which dedicates itself to keeping a Jewish majority in the Galilee, told the Post that 70% of young families in Upper Nazareth abandoned the city for Afula because of the disintegration of the city’s Jewish character, as there is a growing Arab population.

“Now the reality is repeating itself, this time in Afula. Therefore, no one will be surprised if we see in the coming years Jewish migration from Afula to Yokne’am or Zichron Ya’acov and on and on until we are all crowded on Rothschild Street in Tel Aviv,” he said.

“Should we label the first prime minister of the State of Israel David Ben-Gurion as a racist for proclaiming Upper Nazareth as a Jewish city?” Jewish Israeli society has security concerns and wants to preserve its culture and heritage, argued Shick.

“Those who talk all the time about coexistence bring exactly the opposite result – they seek to destroy the existence of the two sides, mix and create a new third-existence,” he continued.

“The real meaning of the language and the concept of coexistence is the recognition that there are really two separate existences and a right to be separate.”

Under this formula, true coexistence can take place, he said.


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