Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How Secular Jerusalem Neighborhood Plots To ‘Choke Off’ Orthodox Newcomers 

The ultra-Orthodox need to be "choke[d]" so they don't take over traditionally secular Jerusalem neighborhoods, said the head of a Jerusalem neighborhood group.

Yehiel Levi, the head of the Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood administration said Kiryat Hayovel, a neighborhood in southwest Jerusalem, will not include ultra-Orthodox kindergartens in public building projects as a way to put a lid on the increasingly religious presence there,reported Haaretz.

Screening movies on Friday nights could also send a message to the Hasidic newcomers that they are unwelcome.

"When you choke them they leave. The idea is to make it difficult and when you make it difficult then they're not enthusiastic about coming to live [there]."

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat demanded Levi's resignation from the neighborhood administration, which is partly run by the municipality. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also condemned the remarks as bigotry.

The holy city has become a battleground in recent years between a fast-growing ultra-Orthodox population that hopes to enforce religious edicts of modest dress and Sabbath observance and secular Jews who seek a more permissive environment in their neighborhoods.

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