National Union: Gov't has de facto frozen building in J'lem

The Netanyahu government has de-facto frozen building in large portions of Jerusalem, the National Union complained Monday while presenting a no-confidence motion on the Knesset floor. MK Uri Ariel (National Union) lashed out against the right-wing government during his speech on the no-confidence motion.
 “The government’s members are invited today to make a historic decision to choose between their seats and Jerusalem,” he said. “It will be interesting to see how [Foreign Minister Avigdor] Lieberman and his friends will vote, and to see if they are willing to abandon the capital. The increasing gas prices are indeed a crisis, but it pales in comparison to the building freeze in the capital city that is damaging Israel’s authority in Jerusalem and also increases the housing prices.” National Union speakers accused the government of bringing about the flight of Jewish residents from Jerusalem as a result of the skyrocketing housing costs.
Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Attias said that his office had paved the way for over 2,000 new units in Jerusalem in 2010, but acknowledged that “there is a problem” regarding building in east Jerusalem.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who has frequently spoken out in favor of maintaining a unified capital, did not participate in the roll-call vote on the National Union’s motion. Despite the Speakers silent affirmation of the National Union’s stance, the no-confidence motion easily fell by a vote of 56-30.