The Likud party candidate for the upcoming mayoral election in Jerusalem has vowed to build thousands more houses for Jews only as part of his plan to “keep Jerusalem Jewish.”
In comments that, if made by any non-Jew anywhere else in the world, would attract endless howls of “racism,” Likud mayoral hopeful Ze’ev Elkin said he would “work to keep Jerusalem Jewish.”
Speaking in an interview with The Times of Israel, Elkin—who immigrated to Israel from the Ukraine in 1990—added that his “close connection” to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would “allow him to better tackle the challenges facing Israel’s capital.”
Elkin, a former Environment and Jerusalem Affairs Minister, said he had two “key priorities” he said he sees for the city during the five-year term he hopes to win: lowering housing prices for young couples, and increasing the city budget by encouraging business to move there.
By “young couples,” Elkin means Jews.
“The city is getting old because young couples are leaving due to the high price of an apartment. The number of Jews in the city is falling compared with other [population groups]. Negative migration of Jews from the city means that we are now at around 60-40 percent Jews to Arabs,” Elkin said.
To tackle housing costs, he said he plans to “dramatically increase the approval of building projects” in order to meet the needs of the city’s Jewish population, which he says requires an additional 2,000 apartments a year just to provide for natural growth.
To do that, and to close the gap created over the past 20 years, Jerusalem needs “much, much, much more building,” Elkin said.
Asked if he as Jerusalem minister was partly responsible for the shortage of building projects, Elkin denied this, and instead blamed opposition from environmental groups (whom he has also faced in his role as environmental affairs minister) and the Obama administration, “who made it very hard to build” Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.
“I will make it a real priority like it hasn’t been before,” he promised.
The increased building will also benefit the ultra-Orthodox population, with “plenty of opportunity for new projects all over the city,” and in turn reduce tensions caused when residents of secular areas complain of being overrun by their religious neighbors, Elkin said, but he indicated that Jerusalem’s Arab population would not be included.
“There are lots of issues with the way they build and use the space,” Elkin said briefly of Arabs in East Jerusalem. “That is something we will get to when in office, but I’m focusing on different issues at the moment.”
There can be no doubt that if any non-Jewish mayoral candidate anywhere in the world announced plans to build houses for non-Jews only, and deliberately push out the Jewish population by denying them houses (as Elkin plans to do with the Palestinians in Jerusalem), there would be worldwide media exposure and calls for sanctions for this “racism.”
However, just like in Tel Aviv, where the ruling party’s mayoral candidate has put up blatantly anti-African posters as part of his election campaign, there will be no coverage of Elkin’s comments in the controlled media—because according to the establishment’s narrative, only white people can be “racist” and everyone else is just “preserving their identity.”