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March 04, 1983 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-03-04

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14 Friday, March 4, 1983





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25900 Greenfield, 101 Kristen Bldg.
Phone 967-0790

MON. thru THURS.
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10:00 to 1:00 P.M.

Closed Saturday

Construction Boom in Judea and Samaria


HAIFA — Despite great
progress made by the gov-
ernment of Israel in recent
years in providing housing,
the demand has continued
high, both from the annual
crop of newly-married
couples, and from the
thousands who still dwell in
sub-standard housing.
The newest solution to
this problem — settlement
in Judea and Samaria —
has in the last few months
assumed the proportions of
a gold rush. Thousands of
Israelis are lining up
weekly to visit the new

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homes, which range all the
way from modest flats, to
cottages and even luxury
They have been buying at
an enormous rate. The rea-
son? Costs are far less than
for homes within Israel pro-
per, and financial in-
ducements are many. For
many, a flat across the
Green Line is the only
chance for decent accommo-
dations at a price they can
afford; for others, it is an
opportunity to improve
their housing standard and
acquire a larger home with
a bit of garden as well.
Despite what hostile
critics say, not a single
Arab has been displaced
as a result of this de-
velopment. The new
homes are going up on
property which has for
the most part been rocky
wasteland. Some of it is
government land, and
much of it is private
property, legally pur-
chased from Arab own-
ers, fully within the law.
Indeed, for many the ac-
tivity is reminiscent of the
great land purchase pro-
grams of the 1920s and '30s
in the heart of Arab popula-
tions in the Galilee and in
the Emek, programs which
were then regarded as serv-
ing vital patriotic purposes
in strengthening Jewish
Today some 30,000 Is-
raelis reside in Judea and
Samaria. About 7,000
apartments are now under
construction and plans have
been approved for another
7,000. Within a few years
the Jewish population in
the area will be 70,000.
Some of the settlers move
there for patriotic reasons:
to establish a Jewish
presence and to prevent the
land from slipping out of Is-
rael's hands through any
forced political arrange-
ment. To them there is also
something abhorrent in any
advice from foreign powers
which says that Jews are
forbidden to live in a certain
neighborhood. This sounds
too much like similar re-
strictions against which
Jews battle elsewhere.
Should we consent to it in
our own back yard?
Others choose to make

their homes there for simple
economic reasons. They get
more for their money, or
even simpler, they can't af-
ford homes in the big cities
of Israel.
The stretch of land is so
narrow that much of the
new housing, technically
in the area formerly held
by Jordan, is seldom
more than a 15 or 30-
minute drive from major
centers of Jewish popu-
lation in Israel proper.
This is the narrow neck of
Israel, from which it was
always feared that an
Arab drive to the sea
could sever the country
in two.
What might have been
the jumping off point for
such an assault is today
being more and more
thickly settled with Jews.
The military and political
justification for this activity
is evident.
There has been a domes-
tic political byproduct to
this whole movement which
has caused no end of embar-
rassment in one camp, and
fiendish glee in the other.
Israel's Labor Party is
firmly on record as opposing
settlement in these sections
of Judea and Samaria on the
grounds that it would create
political facts which would
later make it more difficult
to surrender the territory to
Jordan or to some other
Arab sovereign power. The
ruling Likud party, of
course, is pressing ahead
with construction for that
very reason.
And lo and behold, the
preis has blossomed out
with detailed accounts of

the great extent to which
Labor's Histadrut and its
various construction com-
panies, from Solel Boneh
down, are among the lead-
ers in the construction
work. Hundreds of apart-
ments, located in the very
areas which the Labor
Party has ruled "out of
bounds," are being put up by
Solel Boneh and its affil-
iated companies like Diyur,
Yuval Gad and others.
The political leaders of
the Labor Party were em-
barrassed and have thus far
kept a discreet silence.
However, Israel Kessar, de-
puty head of the Histadrut,
has not been bashful. What
the Solel Boneh companies
are doing in the West Bank
is strictly business, he said.
If they didn't bid for the
work and get the contracts,
other companies in Israel
would. In other words, prin-
ciples are one thing, but
business is business.

Romania Sends
Torahs, Talmud
Books to Israel

The Federation of Roma-
nian Jewish Communities
has announced that 305
Torah scrolls and some
9,000 volumes of the Tal-
mud have been shipped to
Israel with a special
authorization from the
Romanian goverment. The
federation said that an
additional 30,000-40,000
books of Jewish religious
interest will be sent to Is-
rael in the next few months.
The first major shipment
of scrolls to Israel took place
in 1966 when 3,500 Torahs
Israel Pay Scale were sent to various Israeli
JERUSALEM (ZINS) — institutions.
A special Israeli com-
Israel's Central Bureau of
Statistics reports that the mittee, which includes
average Israeli earns $4.30 Religious Affairs Minis-
per hour, the sixth highest ter Yosef Burg, Bar-Ilan
University President
rate in the world.
Swiss workers earn an Emanuel Rackman and
average of $12 per hour and Romanian Chief Rabbi
New York residents aver- Moses Rosen will decide
age $11.. The newspaper on how to distribute the
Haaretz commented that Is- newly arrived scrolls and
raeli workers produce only books.
half of what U.S. and SWiss
Fewer than 37,000 Jews
workers produce.
remain in Romania follow-
The report added that ing the community's deci-
workers in Bombay, India mation in the Holocaust and
average 80 cents per hour.
subsequent aliya to Israel.

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