Friday, August 12, 2011

YESHA Represents a No Cost Ceiling

On the issue of the attempts by anti-Zionist radical forces as well as B'tselem, New Israel Fund, Peace Now and Haaretz to push the current protests/demos/rallies/assemblies/tent city phenomenon in Israel - J14 -  in the direction of the supposed link between economic hardship and the YESHA communities, EOZ points out:

if the anti-Zionist left would get their way and a half million Jews were ethnically cleansed from their homes, it would cost hundreds of billions of dollars - money that every Israeli taxpayer would have to pay! [America, too, actually mostly] It cost about $2 billion to remove a few thousand Jews from Gaza...the cost of..."social justice" would be a huge burden on the Israeli economy, making the chances of affordable housing in Israel much more remote...

A point I have been making, too.

In Dr. Aaron Lerner's Weekly Commentary, I found that there are false savings if the YESHA communities are harmed and that

"Slashing funding today for the settlements won’t help achieve the “social justice” goals.

That’s because the operative questions is not if Israel spent a bazillion dollars on the settlements in the past but how a change in funding today would impact the situation in Israel.  The first and foremost “social justice” problem is affordable housing. And it is going to take several years – in the most optimistic scenarios – for housing construction within the Green Line to close the supply gap that has pushed prices up beyond the reach of many families.

Any policy decision that encourages families to move from the settlements to communities within the Green Line would only exacerbate the existing shortages – making it take that much longer for supply to catch up with demand."

The huge profits being made in industry - food, etc., - have nothing to do with YESHA.  And YESHA families share the economic burden of health, educational and other necessary services.

Not only that, but moving to YESHA would alleviate financial pressures on young families (see I Harel below).

The issue of YESHA does include persons those seeking a better economic lifestyle, one also cheaper, but it is still a matter of Zionist patriotism, of assuring Israel's lomng-term security and protecting the values of the patrimony.  And this is still a middle-class protest in the main, let's not ignore.

That matter, the national responsibility concern bound up with YESHA, has no cost ceiling on it.

The value of those goals are worthy paying for.



Israel Harel's observation:

Why don't you go live in Lod, where housing is cheap, available, and not far from Tel Aviv, asked reporter Erel Segal in an interview with protesters on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv. "Why don't you," was the contemptuous answer. His question, which expresses a social and ethical outlook, is put into practice by young individuals and families (numbering in the thousands ) who, instead of pitching protest tents and demanding their "rights," have settled in Lod, Ramle, Netivot, Ofakim, Sderot, Kiryat Shmona, Yeruham, Dimona and other developing towns. Many of them, like some of the Rothschild protesters, are the sons and daughters of middle-class families from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Efrat and Ofra. This is the main reason why skull caps and long skirts can hardly be seen in the protest tents put up in the main cities.

If Netanyahu had the vision, determination, and nerves of a statesman, he would declare: The government is committed to lowering housing prices in the center and in the periphery equally. But the price reduction will be relative to the government's strategic, social and national priorities. The price of land in the Galilee and the Negev will be lowest (though also according to a regional ordering ); those residing and studying there will also receive additional benefits. Towns in the center of the country, such as Lod and Ramle, are also a national priority. The government will triple its investments in infrastructure, and in the near future residents of the periphery will be able to reach hubs of employment and leisure in the center of the country on fast trains that do not constantly break down and on multilane highways.

Israel is a tiny country, and those wishing to live in Tel Aviv - though a price reform will be implemented there as well - should adapt to market prices...What is more social and Zionist - if those are the true objectives - than strengthening the periphery? Even the protesters on Rothschild Boulevard are not against others living in the periphery.


Haggai Segal:

...As opposed to all the social-demagogue chatter we are hearing, this was not a waste of money. After all, the 330,000 settlers have to live somewhere - If not in Beit El then in Carmiel.  Moreover, the settlement enterprise constitutes a peripheral area to a no lesser extent than the Galilee and Negev regions. Instead of crowding somewhere in downtown Tel Aviv, we built in Judea and Samaria, thereby killing two birds with one stone: It was both cheaper and more pioneering.



Anonymous said...

actually, without the settlements,
housing prices in Israel would be higher! Settlements draw off part
of the demand that would feed housing prices inside the Green Line.

NormanF said...

Too many people live in the Gush Dan. You'd want people uniformly distributed throughout the country, for various reasons. It make sense to restore the habitation patterns of antiquity, in which the Jews live in the high country and others lived in the plain below them, That is a worthy national goal - to make Israel a secure and prosperous country. And the revanants are part of it.