Milstein: Just 32% of Galilee Jewish
Photo: Doron Golan
Carmiel's local paper is running an ad calling on residents of the "Jewish, Zionist city" to email anonymous information on home sales to Arabs. "I side with keeping the Jewish Zionist character of Carmiel intact," says Deputy Mayor Oren Milstein.
Milstein said the email service is run by an individual who, though a good friend of his, has no ties with the municipality. However, in an interview with the website Besheva, he referred to himself as one of the recipients of the emails.
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"Residents of the city are welcome to write to us if they know of an apartment in Carmiel being sold to a resident from one of the villages. Once an Arab family buys a home in the city it will be a statement of fact for generations upon generations," he said, adding that 30 sales had already been prevented in this manner.
"We need to prevent unnecessary conflict between Jews and Arabs," he explained. "We should be living one next to the other and not in such close proximity. Carmiel already has 1,000 Arab residents, and soon they will want a mosque."
Milstein went on to say that though he cannot legally prevent Arabs from buying homes in Carmiel, he would prefer to bring in more Jews from central Israel to "strengthen the city".
"The State of Israel is investing in areas that are not under national consensus, while the western Galilee in general and Carmiel specifically are under consensus. There are currently 580,000 residents in the area and just 32% of them are Jewish," he said.
It was not the first time Carmiel had been flooded with such sentiment. Recently a mass-distribution email called on residents not to rent their apartments to Arabs or immigrants from Eastern Europe or Ethiopia.
Mayor Adi Eldar demanded that police launch an investigation, explaining that "Carmiel Municipality had nothing to do with this ugly and dangerous incitement, and certainly nothing to do with the individual behind this email".
The prior email was sent from the same box as the most recent one, belonging to Attorney Koren Neumark. But Milstein explained that his friend's email account had been broken into and that he had not been the distributor.
"Illegal use was made of the email account and a widely distributed email was sent from it," Neumark said. "However, I had nothing to do with this letter and, on the contrary, I object to its content."
Goel Beno contributed to this report
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