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Jaffa Arabs Against Religious-Zionist Neighbors

Israeli-Arabs in Tel Aviv-Jaffa don’t want Israeli Jews moving in to ‘their’ neighborhood – and spray-painted “Settlers Out!” around town.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 2/14/2010, 3:34 PM / Last Update: 2/14/2010, 3:30 PM

Israeli-Arabs in Tel Aviv-Jaffa don’t want Israeli Jews moving in to ‘their’ neighborhood – and spent the weekend spray-painting messages to that effect around town.

Among the graffiti warnings were, “Jaffa is not Hebron,” “Jaffa for Jaffans,” “Settlers Out!” and “Enough of Settlers!”

Tel Aviv-Jaffa is within the borders of the State of Israel as recognized by the United Nations before the 1948 War of Independence.

The graffiti came just two days after Tel Aviv District Court Judge Yehuda Zaft upheld the right of a religious-Zionist group to win a tender on an apartment complex. Judge Zaft ruled that the plaintiff, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), must pay 20,000 shekels in court costs to each of the four defendants: The Israel Lands Authority, the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality, the B’Emunah organization, and the purchasers themselves.

ACRI, which had also lost the case in a lower court, said it plans to appeal yet again – this time to the Supreme Court.

“I see nothing wrong with a group of people who wish to live next to each other organizing themselves in order to enable them to run their lives according to their desires,” Judge Zaft wrote. He also noted that the suit “was not filed in good faith, because though the petitioners claim to represent the value of equality, they clearly want the complex in question to go to a particular group,” namely, Arabs, and not religious-Zionists.

Yisrael Ze’ira, head of B’Emunah, said after the ruling, “We will continue to build throughout the Land of Israel. The national mission today is to bring rabbis and educators to every city in Israel, in order to strengthen Jewish identity in Israel. We are currently looking for investors who want to combine business with Zionism.”