Meretz public housing protest 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Meretz called an emergency conference following reports on Thursday that Finance
Minister Yair Lapid plans to cancel the Public Housing Law.
declaring war on poverty, Lapid opened a war against the weakest people in
society,” said MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz), an outspoken advocate of public
Lapid plans to attempt to revoke the Public Housing Law,
according to a report in TheMarker
. The law gives tenants in public housing the
option to buy their apartments at reduced prices after renting for an extended
A spokesman for Lapid said that action on the law was not
imminent, and that it was still under discussion and would not be taken up at
the upcoming housing cabinet meeting.
Although it was passed in 1998, the
Public Housing Law’s implementation was postponed in the Economic Arrangements
Law year after year. It was first applied in January of this year, following a
High Court of Justice ruling on a petition submitted by Gilon and former
industry, trade and labor minister Ran Cohen (Meretz), who had proposed the
Cohen plans to attend the conference on Monday, as will
representatives of all parties in the Knesset.
“It’s not clear what name
Lapid is trying to make for himself in the days since the government was formed,
but he can already be called ‘chief grave digger,’” Gilon quipped. “Every red
line has been crossed.”
According to Gilon, Lapid will be remembered as
the man who buried the last remnant of government responsibility for
Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich also denounced the proposed
cancellation, saying the Public Housing Law was one of the most just measures
the Knesset ever approved.
Although the law was blocked from being
applied year after year for “political reasons and plain evil,” Yacimovich said,
no finance minister dared try to cancel it before Lapid.
Housing Law] does justice to the poorest and most excluded groups in society and
gives them some property, which they should be able to own anyway,” Yacimovich
said. “In the short time the law was implemented, it fixed injustices and
immeasurably improved the situations of poor families.”