lod 88 248.
(photo credit: Carl Hoffman)
The Kardan real estate development firm’s Lod sales bureau was set afire over
the weekend in what appears to be an effort to deter national-religious families
from buying homes in the mixed Jewish/Arab city.
The office, located near
Lod’s Old City, is offering around 300 homes for sale to national-religious
buyers. Currently, approximately 75 such families live in a project nearby, who
moved to the city to strengthen its Jewish character.
Lod, 15 km.
southeast of Tel Aviv, has been on the front pages recently as three residents
were murdered there last month. The cabinet recently approved a plan put forth
by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to spend NIS 160 million to boost efforts
to fight crime in the blighted downtown. As part of the program, a network of
surveillance cameras will be affixed across the city and a control center will
be opened to monitor the footage.
Asaf Weiss, who heads the recently
formed Campaign for Lod’s Security, has no doubt that the fire was started by
criminals, who have time and again made clear to members of the
national-religious group that they are not wanted in the city.
firefighters told him the fire was an act of arson.
The Campaign for
Lod’s Security is a grassroots organization composed of residents – Arabs and
Jews, secular and religious – who are dedicated to promoting the city’s security
“Burning the office won’t deter us from bringing more
families to the neighborhood. The national-religious [settling group]
managed in the past few years to bring hundreds of families to Lod in order to
strengthen the locale. The arson won’t stop us from acting to promote social
change against the violence in the city,” he said on Sunday.
“I call on
the national-religious public to continue and settle here, and be part of this
important national and social project,” Weiss said.
contributed to this report.