Friday, June 21, 2013

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Peace Now Right On Target Again

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I recently posted a Peace Now press release which took the words out of my mouth.

Peace Now has done it again. They sent out this week an alert with the cataclysmic news of record-breaking construction in the Jewish towns of Judea and Samaria (AKA West Bank).

I found much joy in reading the "cataclysmic" news release below and share it with you to bring tranquility and relief to you - the supporters of a free, dignified Israel, struggling to stand up to the pressures by Western imperialist powers and multi-billion dollar corporations who dictate concessions.

Peace Now Release
Construction Starts in Settlements Reach 7 Year High9/June/13
According to recent Israel Central Bureau of Statistics data, construction starts in the West Bank skyrocketed during the first quarter of 2013. Despite the fabled 'settlement freeze' or 'restraint', construction continued uninterrupted. Between January 2013 and March 2013 construction of 865 new housing units began. This is three times as many construction starts compared to the same quarter last year (January-March 2012). If compared to the final quarter of last year (October-December 2012), this is an astonishing 355% increase... 
The CBS statistics does not provide a breakdown of all construction starts by location so it is unclear exactly how many units were begun in each location. However, the CBS data does note that many of the units are located in Modiin Illit (241 units) and Beitar Illit (265 units).  According to our research construction is taking place in many settlements east and west of the separation barrier.
Dear Peace Now,

Eight hundred and sixty-five building starts in Judea and Samaria is really nothing to get worked up about. It is a continuation of the policy of restraint being dictated to Israel by the US State Department and European Union which funds Peace Now and serves foreign interests. This restraint in building is hurting Israel, and I prove that below.

Graph of housing prices -
Note the headline of the Peace Now release - "7 Year High." The reason that the first quarter of 2013 has the most  housing starts in 7 years is that up until 7 years ago, all governments built much more in Judea and Samaria in accordance with the demand. Before Netanyahu's time, there was never a Prime Minister who limited housing so drastically in Judea and Samaria. Even during the Olmert/Livni government, there was much more building.

Note in the graph above that exactly 7 years ago, housing prices started to skyrocket and usher in the current housing crisis.

In other words, limiting building in Judea and Samaria has facilitated the housing crisis that Israeli society is trying extract itself from. It is hurting Israeli citizens. As per former senior adviser in the Housing Ministry Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz, some 60,000 units must be built per year throughout Israel in order to bring down the prices of apartments and make them affordable to young couples. That translates to approximately 7,000-10,000 units per year in Judea and Samaria (where land is more available and much cheaper).

The Jerusalem area lacks some 20,000 units. Jerusalem and its satellite communities (e.g. Efrat, Tekoa, Nokdim, the southern Binyamin region) must construct 7-10 thousands units annually to maintain normalcy in housing. Every year, 10,000 citizens leave Jerusalem primarily because there is nowhere to live.

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Instead of launching much-needed mass building, Netanyahu authorizes a few hundred units here and there in the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem, at which time Peace Now and its patrons in Europe scream. The result is that our Prime Minister succumbs to foreign pressures further escalating an already severe internal Israeli housing crisis.

Israel's drastically limiting the number of housing starts in Judea and Samaria to 865 per quarter simply doesn't supply the demand. Israel must do what it needs to do to solve its housing woes, and not listen the dictates of the foreign superpowers and corporatacracies and their local agents like you, Peace Now.

This government seems to be taking some steps to drastically change warped realities in Israel for the better. Let's hope for Israel's sake, that they will step up housing starts to the tune of 10,000 per annum in Judea and Samaria, alongside some 50,000 throughout little Israel.

Coming soon on this site: A One of Its Kind Report on Demands in the Israeli Job Market. Check back soon. Postscript: It came out. Click here.

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