Supreme Court Backs Jews-only Housing in Jaffa Neighborhood

Court rejects appeal by Jaffa residents, human rights groups challenging leasing land to company specializing in housing for religious Zionist community.

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal on Sunday opposing the leasing of land in Jaffa's Ajami neighborhood for the exclusive use of members of the religious Zionist community.

The appeal was brought by Jaffa residents along with human rights groups, in an effort to challenge a decision by the Israel Lands Administration and the Tel Aviv municipality to lease the land in question to B'Emuna, a company specializing in housing complexes for the religious Zionist community.

The Tel Aviv District Court rejected the same appeal earlier this year.

The petitioners said the decision was discriminatory, because it would exclude anyone other than members of the religious Zionist community from purchasing an apartment in the complex, which is situated in a neighborhood where a majority of the residents are Arab.

Israel Zeira, director of B'Emuna, said "Our new neighbors in Giv'at Aliyah, Jaffa, will be surprised and will enjoy their new neighbors who are quite and peaceful."

Attorney Gil Gan-Mor of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel said "the decision is disappointing," but he pointed out that the ruling includes statements that will prevent this kind of discrimination from happening again in the future.

Ajami - Nir Kaider
Nir Kaider