Members of the Tel Aviv City Council are discussing a motion put forward by councilman Binyamin Babayof (Shas) proposing the municipality provide financial support for haredi families settling in the Shapira and Kiryat Shalom neighborhoods in south Tel Aviv. The motion sparked outrage among the council's various factions.
According to the motion, titled "affordable housing for haredi families," the city will provide "urgent" rent support for new Jewish families, exemption from property tax for three years, discount in kindergarten payments and school transportation. The motive behind the bid? "The culture of African refugees flooding south Tel Aviv and causing a growing demographic gap resulting in a suspension of Jewish relocation to the neighborhoods."
Babayof, who supported the call not to rent out apartments to refugees, explained that according to police data, there has been a sharp rise in the crime rate in "neighborhoods filled with refugees who have nothing in common with out country and who are multiplying in size in the area due to lenient policy."
The Shas councilman noted that should Mayor Ron Huldai reject the motion, he would seek out governmental funding sources.
Councilwoman Yael Ben Yefet of the City For All faction is planning to initiate a debate on a counter-motion. Ben Yefet told Ynet that funds should be invested to support the existing residents instead of future residents.
Councilman Reuven Ladiansky, who opposes the motion, said that the attempts of haredi representatives to change the neighborhoods' liberal nature is reprehensible.
"This is a cynical attempt to use the refugee and foreign workers issue to create a new reality in the city. Instead of arranging housing for young residents they are trying to import haredi refugees and settle them in the city."
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