Haredi MK Expelled From Knesset Session
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Israel has a massive shortage of affordable housing, a crisis that caused tens of thousands of Israelis to demonstrate and to form protest tent cities in the middle of Tel Aviv and in other locations this past summer.
The man in charge of building new housing is Israel’s Construction Minister Ariel Atias. Atias is haredi and a member of the Sefardi haredi Shas political party.
This housing crisis was the subject of a Knesset debate yesterday.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) reportedly slammed Atias after he refused to give priority for affordable housing to families where both parents work. Most haredi families have only one working parent – usually the wife. Haredi husbands usually eschew work and instead study in yeshivas.
Ynet quotes Livni as saying that Atias' decision "is an insult to those who went out to the streets" to protest the government's inaction and to demand affordable housing. She also claimed that Atias' decision makes the affordable housing benefit accessible to haredim only.
MK Yisroel Eichler of the Ashkenazi haredi United Torah Judaism party responded by calling Livni "our enemy," which caused Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin to expel Eichler.
Livni has also been very active in the fight to protect the rights of women and to stop haredim from forcibly segregation public buses and other public spaces by gender.
Livni appears to be arguing that a family where both parents are employed would make too much money to get first crack at new affordable housing, meaning that only families where only one parent or no parent works will be awarded that housing. Those families will overwhelmingly be haredim, leaving the majority of Israel’s non-haredi working poor and working near-poor without access to affordable housing.
Livni’s proposal, on the other hand, would ensure that working poor and working near-poor Israelis would receive almost all the available affordable housing. Some of those families would be haredi.
[Hat Tip for the video: Burich.]