Justice Ministry won't cancel controversial Jaffa land award

Public tender won by Bemuna, a construction company building projects with the express intention of beefing up the Jewish population there.

By DAN IZENBERG
July 15, 2009 22:45
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Justice Ministry will not intervene to cancel the results of a public tender that awarded land in Jaffa to a construction company planning to build apartments exclusively for the religious-Zionist community, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) revealed on Wednesday. The land was awarded to Bemuna, a construction company that is building projects in mixed cities such as Ramle, Lod and Acre with the express intention of beefing up the Jewish population there. In a letter to Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz protesting the ILA decision, ACRI wrote, "the Israel Lands Authority is obliged to honor the constitutional right to equality and to act itself in an egalitarian manner. Therefore, it must not allocate public land to a third party that discriminates." In response, Justice Ministry attorney Ariel Zvi wrote that "after examining the concrete circumstances in this case, we did not find reason to intervene, because the land had been offered in tender twice before without any response, because the [Bemuna] construction company offered the highest bid and because the project involves a relatively small number of housing units." However, Zvi added that the question of whether the ILA should be allowed to grant land to a company that intends to market the housing in a discriminatory way "is a very serious one." He wrote that on the one hand, there was the matter of discrimination. On the other, there was the question of whether the ILA could be held responsible for overseeing how the land purchaser used the land. "As a result, the Justice Ministry has decided to consider the possibility, from now on, in certain kinds of tenders, of demanding of those applying for the tender to declare that they will not discriminate against anyone when they market the land," wrote Zvi. While the Justice Ministry has refused to intervene in the sale, ACRI has also petitioned the Tel Aviv District Court to cancel the awarding of the land. The district court threw the petition out, but the organization appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, asking it to order the district court to consider the petition. In the meantime, the Supreme Court has issued an interim injunction prohibiting any more work on the disputed land.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN