WZO pushing new Jewish towns to 'balance’ Arab population in Israel's north - National Israel News | Haaretz




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Exclusive || WZO pushing new Jewish towns to 'balance’ Arab population in Israel's north
Group plans to settle 100,000 Jews in central Galilee by establishing new towns, expanding existing.
By Zafrir Rinat | Dec. 1, 2013 | 3:14 PM |
3 Tw eet 122


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The site of the planned com m unity in the lower Galilee.

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The World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division, which is defined by the government as one of its executive arms, is formulating a plan to settle more Jews in the Galilee to achieve a demographic balance with the Arab population. This would be accomplished by establishing new towns and expanding existing ones beyond the limits set in the national master plan for development. In recent weeks, the Settlement Division has contacted a number of planning firms to suggest that they bid on a tender to prepare a development policy document for absorbing 100,000 new residents in the central Galilee, in the area surrounding the Beit Netofa Valley. The division is already advancing government-sponsored plans to erect a number of new communities in the Negev. The goal of the plan is stated clearly in the letters: To further expand and develop the mitzpim (hilltop settlement) plan of the 1980s, with the goal of “giving expression to Israeli sovereignty through settlement activity.” The letter notes that the mitzpim plan created a strong network of communities but did not succeed in changing the demographic balance in the area. “The current reality in the rural region of the central Galilee is a lack of settlement options that will attract a stable Jewish population and create a meaningful demographic balance,” the letter states. “Sustaining

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WZO pushing new Jewish towns to 'balance’ Arab population in Israel's north - National Israel News | Haaretz
Nov. 30, 2013 | 10:50 PM | 32

the area and preserving our hold on it requires the continued development of a rural-settlement array alongside urban development and the continued realization of the objectives of the mitzpim plan as a plan to improve settlement continuity and enhance the demographic balance.”

'Judaizat ion' of t he Galilee means racism Haaretz Editorial | Dec. 2, 2013 | 6:00 AM | 11 Arab council heads slam Israeli plan t o build new Jewish t owns in Galilee By Eli Ashkenazi and Zafrir Rinat
Dec. 2, 2013 | 5:00 AM | 16

To attract tens of thousands of new residents and achieve a demographic balance, the Settlement Division claims that several major steps are necessary, including the establishment of four new communities that already have preliminary government approval. Two of these communities, to be called Shibolet and Ramat Arbel, have yet to be approved by the relevant planning bodies. Two other communities, Haruv and Yissachar, were originally slated to be built north of Kiryat Tivon in the western Galilee. Now the WZO is proposing that they be moved to new sites east of the Movil junction, to a site in the central Galilee.

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The Settlement Division letter criticizes the current planning policy, which is based on National Master Plan 35 (the plan for national development). This plan stresses the expansion of existing communities, discourages the establishment of new communities and limits the capacity of rural communities to 500 homes each. According to the letter, the division believes that within existing communities and adjacent to them, new neighborhoods should be built of 700-1,000 units each. The division also proposes abandoning the policy of dense construction in urban areas like Carmiel and Upper Nazareth, and to instead allow the construction of single-family homes until the outer edges of city limits. “This is a continuation of the demographic war in the 1980s that was conducted against the Arab population,” said MK Hanna Swaid (Hadash), who lives in the Galilee and is a planning expert. “The previous plan undermined older cities like Carmiel, Tiberias and Afula by drawing strong populations to the single-family homes in the new communities. But the area has enough communities. What is needed to help both the Jews and the Arabs is more jobs, infrastructure improvements and a reduction in the education and employment gaps between the center and the periphery. This [proposed] process is not a planning process, but part of the struggle over the land.” The Settlement Division proposal could have far-reaching implications for the open areas of the Galilee. “Establishing new communities involves more than just the residential structures themselves, but also accompanying infrastructures like roads, electricity, sewerage and water pipes,” noted Itamar Ben David, head of planning for the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. “This will ruin the landscape, reduce the amount of open space and lead to the destruction of natural habitats. This is especially true when we’re talking about single-family homes that are built in an outrageous waste of precious land. “Unfortunately we are seeing, over and over, and during the past year or two even more often, the Israeli government, through the Settlement Division and the Construction and Housing Ministry, working vigorously to advance initiatives like this,” Ben David continued. “These initiatives contravene the national planning policy led by the Interior Ministry, and come instead of working toward a serious and thorough solution to the real problem, which is the housing shortage.” The Settlement Division spokesman said in response: “In accordance with cabinet decisions, the Settlement Division is fully authorized to propose and advance regional and local plans and suggest them to the decision makers. The work of the division focuses on settlement development in the area in question, and is based on a feasibility study that will be presented, in the end, to the decision makers. “As part of the Lev Hagalil [Heart of the Galilee] plan, we are examining, inter alia, the feasibility of establishing a number of communities about which there are government decisions that have yet to be implemented,” the statement continued. “National Master Plan 35 does not preclude the existence of plans of different types that it has defined, and everything is

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WZO pushing new Jewish towns to 'balance’ Arab population in Israel's north - National Israel News | Haaretz

being done in accordance with the various stages of evaluation that are the guiding principles of the proposed plans. “It is worth noting that at this time the Settlement Division, in accordance with a government decision, is working on planning a Druze settlement in the Galilee.” The chairman of the Lower Galilee Regional Council, which has jurisdiction where Shibolet and Ramat Arbel will be located, said the move implements a cabinet resolution that “unfortunately” has yet to be put into practice. “We have to establish new communities and broaden existing ones,” said Moti Dotan, the council chairman. “For instance, that’s what we’re doing in Mitzpeh Netofa and Beit Rimon, near Shibolet, which will be built between them. I would like to note that the government and the planning authorities have restricted us with National Master Plan 35 in terms of the number of housing units in existing communities, and we have not succeeded in getting past those planning restrictions, so we support the construction of new communities.” He said Shibolet would be located on Mount Turan and would help people with special needs integrate into mainstream society. “Settlement and Zionism are not dirty words, even though not many people use them.” Salah Suleiman, who heads the neighboring Arab regional council of Bueina-Nudijat, said the government should spend the money on improving existing communities - including the nearby Arab ones - rather than on building new ones. “While they’re investing in new communities, it would be appropriate to strengthen the nearby Arab ones. Our situation is very bad, terrible,” he said. “I’m not opposed to development, but let it be development for everyone.” Suleiman also wondered aloud at the point of the document laying out the plan for building the new towns, which said doing so “gives expression to Israeli sovereignty via settlement activity.” “Are we objecting to the sovereignty of the state and its laws?” he asked. “As long as they don’t take our land, we don’t take an oppositional stance.” Suleiman also said he does not understand the logic behind building new towns rather than expanding existing ones. “Building new communities requires a huge investment,” he said. “It’s a waste of public funds. They should give a boost to what already exists. Why do we need more communities?”

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2 2

This is absurd! 22 By Eldar 02 Dec 2013



Wow, Israel plans t o build cit ies in Israel? wild news indeed!
By Ehud 02 Dec 2013 08:28AM



This Plan Is Not New, but must be expanded upon 20 By Chaim Ben Kahan 02 Dec 2013 07:32AM




Uh? When was t he t errit ory LEGALLY acquired by Israel?
By talknic 01 Dec 2013 05:06PM



Act ually much of t he land was purchased at great expense from absent ee Arab landlords.
By Dav id Plane 01 Dec 2013 07:03PM



Show me any count ry in t he world who legally "acquired" ot her.
By Eldar 02 Dec 2013 09:30AM




Poor just ificat ion, but good idea any way .
By David Plane, Genev a, Sw itz er land 01 Dec 2013 02:09PM



Great Point . Let 's bring back Palest inian refugees t o large swat hs of Jewish coast for et hnic "balance" and new "infrast ruct ure"
By mtolives 02 Dec 2013 06:08AM




We support Israel
By West Indian 01 Dec 2013 01:55PM



Not t he answer
By h 01 Dec 2013

15 02:53PM


There are no Jews left in t hose count ries.
By Golani 01 Dec 2013 09:47PM




Creat e fact s on t he ground
By Er ikT 01 Dec 2013 01:41PM



Hang on, t he Galilee is inside Israel. It 's not in t he West Bank.
By Dav id Plane 01 Dec 2013 43 9 02:54PM 02:06PM



By h 01 Dec 2013

Nope, like Jerusalem it s OUTSIDE 1947 selfchosen and declared borders!





By Shimon

WZO pushing new Jewish towns to 'balance’ Arab population in Israel's north - National Israel News | Haaretz
01 Dec 2013 04:18PM 0 0

Those borders were breached by t he Arabs and t he new accept ed borders are based on t he 1948 cease fire lines which include t he Galilee
By Legal double talk 01 Dec 2013 09:49PM

15 14

Under t he UN Human Right s Act
By inbound39 01 Dec 2013 01:15PM



"Jewish t own", "balance Arab populat ion" ... Y ep, Israel is racist .
By David T. 01 Dec 2013 11:04AM



Why can y ou have Arab Towns and not Jewish Towns, Y ou are t he racist here.
By Laur een 01 Dec 2013 00:34PM 0 0 08:32PM



By potobac 01 Dec 2013

13 12 11

This isn't news - old exist ing plan regurgit at ed by Haaret z
By Br ian Cohen 01 Dec 2013 10:05AM



By zionis t forever 01 Dec 2013 08:33AM



So called set t lers are in fact Israeli refugees fleeing Palest inian qasams,t error and war on Israel.
By Daniel 01 Dec 2013 06:52AM



@ daniel, i didnt know qassams reached germany , poland, russia, USA...
By [R] 01 Dec 2013 08:25AM




Balance Arab populat ion
By Nady a 01 Dec 2013 06:09AM



On who's land would t hese new villages be built ? 09 By Uncle Sam 01 Dec 2013 05:26AM On Indian (nat ive american) lands.
By RedNose 01 Dec 2013 09:55AM 54 4 01:03PM





Right of Conquest
By inbound39 01 Dec 2013

Are t here enough Jews in t he world? 08 By Joey 01 Dec 2013 04:10AM There is an acut e short age of housing in Israel. Most of t he y oung generat ion do not already own TA home.
By Do s ome res ear c h 01 Dec 2013 11:35AM






racism in planning
By jonathan kuttab 01 Dec 2013 03:39AM



jonat han kut t ab
By z ionist for ev er 01 Dec 2013

19 63 09:53AM 47 2 03:55PM 119 66

t ot al misunderst anding
By jonathan kuttab 01 Dec 2013

So freaking t ransparent 06 By Heinz 01 Dec 2013 03:33AM So freaking st upid.
By Fac ts . I don't need no s tinking f ac ts . 01 Dec 2013

8 57 11:30AM

back t o basics
By jonathan kuttab 01 Dec 2013

40 1 04:03PM 121 63


Israel lies during negot iat ions, and Israel lied BEFORE negot iat ions even st art ed
By Invade and Occ upy Tel Av iv 01 Dec 2013 03:14AM



Ignorant comment
By Itz c hak

WZO pushing new Jewish towns to 'balance’ Arab population in Israel's north - National Israel News | Haaretz
01 Dec 2013 57 69 09:54AM 63 4

The Israeli t erm "Set t lement s" is used explicit ly for occupied t errit ory
By Nots o Ignor ant As y ou 01 Dec 2013 00:37PM

Y ou can be cert ain t he part of Galilee Israel wishes t o Judaize t oday was t he part NOT included in UN Res 181.
By Inv ade and Oc c upy Tel A v iv 02 Dec 2013 06:55AM



observat ion 04 By potobac 01 Dec 2013

98 02:52AM



The quest ion I alway s ask, where will y ou find t he Jews t o fill t hese set t lement s?
By Rammer 01 Dec 2013 02:52AM



No. It 's a good deal for slackers and criminals Welfare and a free house and land.
By Melis sa 01 Dec 2013 10:36AM



Have y ou any idea where t he Galilee is in. Nobody get s free housing and land in Israel.
By Ignor anc e y our name is Melis sa. 01 Dec 2013 11:23AM



How Bewildering 02 By H 01 Dec 2013 02:51AM




Good Idea.
By Jamaic a Mon 01 Dec 2013 02:51AM



no mast er plan
By gman 01 Dec 2013

79 53 06:34AM

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