Israel: Netanyahu’s solution to religious incidents - ‘Split City of Beit Shemesh in Half’
Netanyahu faces heavy criticism by members of the coalition, as well as the opposition, in the wake of a report that he’s considering dividing the city of Beit Shemesh in half in bid to end religious tensions.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was criticized by both opposition and coalition members Wednesday morning following a Yedioth Ahronoth report that he is considering ending the tensions between ultra-Orthodox and religious residents in Beit Shemesh by dividing the city in half.
According to the report, Netanyahu said in closed forums that he was in favor of any solution which would prevent violence, including the possibility of dividing the city into one city for haredim and another city for secular and religious Jews. The newspaper said Netanyahu had already discussed the issue with Likud and Shas ministers.
Knesset Member Yohanan Plesner (Kadima) slammed the prime minister, saying that “instead of dealing with the problem, Netanyahu is – as usual – only dealing with the symptom.
“I expected the prime minister to say he plans to halt the distribution of 25,000 new apartments planned in the city exclusively for haredim, and instead he raises this unfeasible idea to divide the city.
This comes in the wake of increased public criticism and outcry in Israel over a recent wave of incidents aimed against women in particular and non or moderately-religious Israelis in general, carried out by factions of religious extremists, as previously reported here: Israel: Thousands Protest over religious-based segregation