עיריית ביתר עילית

Please do not abandon the residents of Beitar Ilit!

Please do not abandon the residents of Beitar Ilit! (Enlarge)

In an emotional letter to the Prime Minister, the mayor asks to end the freeze on housing units that are ready for marketing. "I know your harsh stance – 'if they give, they will get', which makes me and the residents of my city wonder what happened to the Prime Minister. How can he just stand by and watch while his government carries out such insulting decisions".


"During the past few days, we received the notice that our city, Beitar Ilit, was taken off the list of the Cities of National Preference.  Still in shock from this decision, we received another insulting message – that the Ministry of Construction and Housing has approved the marketing of 36 housing units for our city which has 50,000 residents! This is more than a tenth of the whole population of Yehuda and Shomron", wrote Mayor Rabbi Meir Rubinstein in an emotional letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


In his letter, the mayor asked the Prime Minister to return Beitar Ilit to the list of the Cities of National Preference, and immediately permit the marketing of thousands of housing units. "In the beginning, I thought there was a mistake in the numbers; however, at a closer look I understood that this is how your government insults the Chareidi public".


"I wish to remind you that with all due respect, the same thing happened last time your government announced a freeze. You made a promise that immediately after the freeze construction would resume. Despite the fact that the freeze was absurd and irrational, we did not oppose your decision, and quietly complied. However, following the completion of the freeze, the Housing Minister allotted us a mere 294 housing units."


"The housing crisis within the Chareidi public has reached disastrous proportions. Young   couples are living in cramped conditions that are unfit for families – in basements, shelters, garages and attics. Most cities do not welcome us, and other cities have offered us projects that got stuck for various odd reasons."


"The city of Beitar Ilit has the potential of building thousands of housing units on land that has not yet been utilized due to political reasons. All the necessary permits and documents are ready. The infrastructure is ready; there are electric and sewage systems, as well as water and communication. The marketing of thousands of units can begin in an instant. "


"No other government has frozen construction in Beitar Ilit, not even a leftist one. This city enjoys national consensus. Your government is making its own unsupported decisions, just like Olmert did in 2007 when he independently ordered a freeze."


The mayor also writes that there are those who tried to compare the freeze to the release of terrorists with blood on their hands. "I did not agree with this. I know your harsh stance – 'if they give, they will get', which makes me and the residents of my city wonder what happened to the Prime Minister."


"Beitar Ilit is the only readily available solution for the housing crisis in the Chareidi community. Thousands of housing units are ready for immediate marketing. Think for a moment, Mr. Prime Minister, how many people we can save with these units. How much this will benefit the economy and the country. Please, do not abandon the residents of Beitar Ilit, which was named 'Ir Va'Em B'Yisrael' by the late Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir. For the sake of its glorious 3,000-year history".