What are Arab citizens expected to do when the city only builds for Jews, and why do single mothers almost always pay the price?
Hannah al-Naqib (right) as Israeli authorities demolish her home in Lod, February 10, 2015. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
There has been no approved zoning plan for decades. Arabs cannot build
on their own lands, and plans that are meant to authorize legal
construction in the Arab neighborhoods are stuck in bureaucratic
pipelines – at least according to the plan for the improvement of the
Lyd municipality that was passed by Netanyahu’s government. Meanwhile,
the municipality collects its arnona tax, and homeowners are
levied enormous fines in the process of procuring permits, all while
leaving roads unpaved and offering no basic services, as well as
continuing to threaten residents home demolitions whenever there is a dispute between the mayor and the head of the opposition.
Not a single housing project has been built for Arabs, not even one
meant for the general population where Arabs would also be permitted to
purchase homes. None. On the other hand, thousands of new housing units
have been built at lightning speed right across from the Arab
neighborhoods for the latest gari’n of religious settlers
(small communities of religious Jews who move, usually from the occupied
territories, into cities with mixed Arab and Jewish population) or
other religious groups. Furthermore, the plan to encourage more
privileged families to settle in Lyd has been making much progress, with
families of army and police veterans moving into the city. A young Arab
couple cannot even go near the sales offices of these projects, much
less dream of the huge subsidies and grants that are offered to the
city’s new residents who have come to “strengthen” Lyd.