Elad Mayor Yisrael Porush sent an urgent letter to all chareidi MKs who have just been elected to the Knesset, demanding that the coalition negotiations include budget allocations for the chareidi cities, which he says are discriminated against in comparison with other cities.
In his letter, Porush wrote that “this is a golden opportunity that has no substitute, and I am sure that you are doing everything possible to maximize the coalition negotiations.” He later enumerates a number of issues in which he says that it is necessary to restore justice to the residents of the chareidi cities.
Porush writes that, among other things, Mifal HaPayis’ (state lottery allocations) criteria have been distorted for many years, “because some of us are located in the center of the country or close to large cities, and we can therefore enjoy their cultural events and we receive much less [funding] than other cities, but any reasonable person knows that a chareidi public does not enjoy the general culture, which is unsuited, and therefore our location has no meaning, and yet the budget is much lower than elsewhere.”
Regarding the Interior Ministry’s development grants, he notes that “cities close to the center, even though their socioeconomic status is low, receive far less than distant cities, and again, despite the fact that chareidi cities have little to do with non-religious cities, the grants remain very low.”
According to him, as a result, the Israel Lands Authority determines land prices. The land in the chareidi areas is very expensive because there is a great demand for apartments, but not because our infrastructure has the same investment as other central cities, so there is no justification for the high price.
“If we examine the chareidi cities, we find that the chareidi cities, such as Elad, Modi’in Illit, Betar Illit, Rechasim, Beit Shemesh, Bnei Brak, etc., are the poorest cities in the socioeconomic scale, rated 1-2. You do not see caravans with Mr. Chaim Bibas in Modi’in or Shoham, you will see them here, because we said thank you for the apartments. It does not make sense that municipal participation is equal in both special education and welfare budgets – in cities ranked 1 and 2 and for cities rated 5 and 6. This will be confirmed by the other cities as well.”
“The chareidi cities are the poorest, and now you, in the coalition negotiations, you have to do everything to change this situation.”
Yisrael Porush adds and praises “our friend the Minister of the Interior and the periphery Aryeh Deri, who has succeeded in bringing the chareidi cities into the social periphery with regard to the budgets of the ministry, thus bringing justice and order to the chareidi cities. In order to help our public and immediately reduce land prices and help solve the acute shortage of chareidi housing.”
In conclusion, he proposes “urgently binding and passing a corrective law for the chareidi cities, on the issue of education, welfare, housing and per capita budgeting.”
In a similar letter sent to the mayors of the chareidi cities, Porush calls on his colleagues: “Now I turn to you too, the public servants in the local government … It is easy for us to escape and for each of us to take care of his own people and his own city, but I am sure that if we can unite, the injustices of the past, we can help a lot more the residents of our cities.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)