Sunday drivers: Taking it slow for freedom in Tzur Hadassah.

And now, in local news: The continuation of the housing/construction war that’s being waged in and around Tsur Hadassah.

The Makbat is planned high density housing towers that have permission to be built across the street from Tzur Hadassah near the Delek station and are planned to be part of Tzur Hadassah, not part of Mevo Beitar. They have permission to build 900 units – small apartments, high density. Tzur Hadassah has been fighting this for 17 years and will continue. Yair Kamaiski is the person who leads this, with the backing of the va’ad of the town. The next court hearing, at which citizens are encouraged to show up, is February 2.

Below is the official notice with Q&A about the issues and the protest scheduled for this Sunday, January 15, at 7:15am. Basically, show up with your car between Tzur Hadassah and the tunnels towards Jerusalem and join the slow-moving traffic blob of Sunday drivers  in order to prove the kind of heavy-density traffic that will become every day routine if thousands more people join this area without infrastructure changes. Folks from Gush Etzion are also invited, as they will be affected by the changes in traffic patterns too.

Also, see the organizers’ Facebook page [Hebrew].


5 responses to “Sunday drivers: Taking it slow for freedom in Tzur Hadassah.”

  1. nancy b Avatar
    nancy b

    what does that mean “who would want to live in cramped quarters in a small apartment with a sukkah porch..answer the question for yourself”? Is he talking about chareidi people? He doesn’t want the neighborhood to become more frum? (I understand there are other reasons too, but did he have to say this???) Love it how even in Eretz Yisrael frum jews hate frum jews…

    1. elie Avatar

      Hey Nancy. The issue is not ‘the neighborhood becoming more frum’ – it’s becoming frum at all. While you could characterize Tzur Hadassah as pluralistic – there are certainly different types here – the majority is secular/masorti minded and the small dati-leumi-ish population is pretty liberal.

      While I don’t like the tone used often, I do agree that by catering specifically to charedim, which is apparently what they are looking to do (building for multiple shuls within the planned space, for instance), they are asking for conflict. The ‘native’ population here would have a problem with a sudden demographic change where almost half the residents would suddenly be charedi.

      I believe in tolerance and acceptance, but not asking for trouble. They could build this ‘town’ (certainly it’s being built for more residents than any of the neighboring yishuvim) and leave it a separate entity from Tzur Hadassah if it seems the new demographic will be a clear mismatch.

    2. elie Avatar

      By the way, the protest is not just about that issue, though it definitely is the most touchy for people. There are a few other very important reasons including the lack of public transport along with the infrastructure not being equipped for these major changes. Another issue is the change of character to the area-at-large (it’s not a high-rise type of place) but I think on that one, Israelis in the countryside may have to suck it up eventually with the lack of housing in general.

  2. […] And, perhaps related to supposed plans for the new development across the road? […]

  3. […] Can someone explain to me how adding a brand new apartment building complex, with the capacity for 900 units, to sit on top of what is now a quite pretty nature area (which is besides the point) – can someone explain to me, how those 900 new units inside Tzur Hadassah, for which construction is beginning, with which will nearly double the population of the yishuv, and is meant to be completed within three years – can someone explain to me how that is any more transportation/road/traffic friendly than building 900 units in Mavo Beitar, across the highway? […]

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