Haredi (ultra-orthodox) website "Ladaat" (To Know) reports that Vizhnitz Hassidim have secretly bought 70 apartments in Afula in recent weeks in order to take over the secular neighborhood in the Jezreel Valley town. The sellers did not know that the buyers were haredim, as the purchases were made in stages.
Sources at "Ladaat" told "Globes" that the purchases were just the start of a campaign, and that other haredi buyers groups were now organizing to take over other secular neighborhoods in Israeli cities across the country. "The haredim are looking for two things: neighborhoods where they can separate the haredi and secular communities, and low apartment prices," said a source.
The sources added that there is anger in the haredi community over actions taken by Minister of Housing and Construction Ariel Atias, who has promised low-cost housing for haredim in the periphery, and warned the government that unless it set aside towns for haredi settlement, the haredi coalition partners would vote against the budget. Atias is a member of the Mizrahi haredi party Shas. "Atias promised cities and hilltops, but did not keep his promise. The religious parties voted in favor of the biennial budget last week only because [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu promised to look out for them in the future, but what about housing for haredim? That's why we're seeing these buyers groups, and we'll see more of them," the source said.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 2, 2011
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011