Daily Israel Report

Court Nixes Yafo Arabs' Attempt to Keep Religious Zionists Out

BeEmunah, which develops properties for the religious Zionist public, gets final OK for project in Jonah's city.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/7/2010, 8:43 PM / Last Update: 11/7/2010, 9:02 PM

Flash 90

 

BeEmunah, a company that specializes in development and marketing of properties for the religious-Zionist public, received the final go-ahead Sunday for a 20-apartment housing project in Yafo (Jaffa), the port city from which the Jonah the Prophet embarked on his biblical journey.
 
The High Court rejected a motion filed by a group of Arab residents of Yafo and three ultra-leftist organizations – the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Bimkom and Rabbis for Human Rights – against the project.  
 
The petitioners claimed that BeEmunah was a discriminatory body because it only sells to the religious Jewish public. A High Court panel under Court President Dorit Beinisch did not reject this claim but said it could not intervene because the sale was already a done deal. According to an ACRI statement, the Israel Lands Authority had “rushed” to sign the deal with BeEmunah in the space of the few days that separated a District Court decision upholding the sale and the filing of their appeal.
 
A lawyer for the petitioners called the decision “very disappointing” but noted with some satisfaction that the court decision meant that the BeEmunah enclave would be limited to 20 homes.
 
BeEmunah Director Yisrael Ze'ira was predictably pleased. “Our new neighbors at the Givat Aliyah neighborhood will be surprised to find that they have gained good, quiet and peaceful neighbors who want peace and wish to do good.”