Housing Minister Atias backs separate haredi areas

"If neighborhoods and towns are not planned for the haredim, they will occupy secular neighborhoods."

Minister of Housing and Construction Ariel Atias said that even though there are 6,500 weddings a year in the haredi (ultra-orthodox) community, the Israeli government has not planned a single designated city for haredim in the past ten years. He made the comment to the Gesher non-profit organization, which seeks mutual understanding between religious and secular Jews in Israel, at Beit Gesher in Jerusalem last night.

Atias warned, "If neighborhoods or towns are not planned for the haredim, they will occupy secular neighborhoods."

The Gesher conference, entitled "A separate country" examined secular, religious, and haredi housing. Atias said that he favored separate housing in separate neighborhoods for haredim. He added that he would not let his children meet with secular children to get to know each other or exchange ideas.

Former Shinui MK Yosef Paritsky said, "The haredim don’t interest me. We're all minorities, and there should be equality in rights and duties."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 27, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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