Dozens of members of the Young Leadership of the National Union joined the tent protesters demanding affordable housing outside the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem. Tents are planned at other protest sites as well. The purpose: To present what organizers say is the true housing problem plaguing Israel, and the solution.
Assaf Danoch, the head of the organization, said that “we think that the struggle for affordable housing is a just one, but we do not agree with the way it is being done – or with the proposed solutions of building in the center of the country. We wanted to present the position that the majority of the nation holds – that the solution is mass building in Judea and Samaria, in Jerusalem, and in the Negev and Galilee.”
To spread that message, members of the group will pass out flyers to protesters and passerby presenting their point of view, emphasizing why it makes more sense than the left's solution – which is essentially to cause the government to fall.
Among the specific points of the National Union's plan:
- Doubling and tripling the number of towns and cities in the Negev and Galilee, and the clearing of bureaucratic obstacles to such building;
Immediate authorization of 10,000 housing units in Judea and Samaria for which all relevant permits have been filed and approved, and are just waiting for the final authorization signature of Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Approving those units will go a long way to alleviating the housing shortage, the plan says;
- A true end of the building freeze in Jerusalem, which has choked off the natural development of the city. Thousands of housing units have been approved, and construction could begin immediately;
- A serious attempt to halt illegal immigration. The position paper says that every five illegal African immigrants on average occupy a two room apartment, so 15,000 illegal immigrants a year means 3,000 fewer apartments for Israelis. This does not include the illegal immigrants already here, estimated by some to be in the hundreds of thousands;
- Importation of up to 10,000 pre-fab homes that could be put together in a matter of weeks, as a form of “first aid” to bring more homes onto the market. The homes could be rented out by the government, and would help alleviate the price pressure on the private market.