Daily Israel Report

Minister Ariel the New Target for Far-Left Anger

Far-left groups target Housing Minister for criticism: ‘We won’t let him mess up the peace talks.’
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 8/11/2013, 9:13 AM

Uri Ariel
Uri Ariel
Flash 90

Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) has become a target for left-wing anger. Ariel’s encouragement of housing projects built for Jews in Jerusalem has led various groups to accuse him of trying to “mess up the peace talks.”

The latest such project is an initiative to build 63 housing units between the majority-Jewish neighborhood of Armon Hanetziv and the majority-Arab Jabal Mukaber neighborhood.

The new homes will be marketed to Israelis.

Ariel will be at the site on Sunday for the inauguration of the new project, as will Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

Leftist activists published statements expressing their frustration with Ariel, and calling on their supporters to come and protest. “We won’t put up with settlement building in east Jerusalem, and we won’t let Uri Ariel mess up the peace process,” they declared.

“Beyond the act itself, which is meant to create facts on the ground and perpetuate the occupation, the timing is aimed to undermine the peace talks,” the groups accused.

“We will be there to demonstrate against him, against the settlements, and in favor of the peace talks,” they concluded.

The groups made no reference to ongoing Palestinian Authority incitement and anti-Semitism, which has continued apace during the relaunching of talks between Israel and the PA.

According to past polls, a majority of Israelis oppose giving any part of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority, and believe that building should not be frozen in any part of the capital.