A plan by the Jewish town of Mei-Ami to construct a new residential development was seriously attacked by Arab residents of a nearby town who demanded the right to purchase homes in the new houses. The proposed construction of 410 homes is on land that residents of Umm el-Fahm claim once belonged to an Arab village. The Arab community is suffering from a severe lack of housing and would welcome purchasing homes in the new development. Eilan Ben-David, secretary of the Moshav Movement said he was against allowing Arabs to live in small Jewish towns(moshavim)since it would be destructive to Zionism. In 2003, the High Court of Justice issued an injunction to the Israel Lands Commission to set aside a plot of land in the communal settlement of Katzir for an Israeli-Arab family whose application to live there was rejected because they are Arabs. The Israeli high courts have taken a strong stand against forbidding Arabs to be denied the right to live where they so desire. Their rulings have been fought by several Jewish groups.
As an individual who was the first Jew to be allowed to live in a St. Louis suburban community after the Supreme Court outlawed restrictive covenants, I support the right of all citizens to live in peace with their neighbors regardless of religion or ethnicity or skin color. The people of Israel should be proud that its High Court is taking a stand on the side of freedom to live where one desires, and is opposing forces of reaction and bigotry. At a time when every action that brings Arabs and Jews together is important, it is sad these bigots refuse to accord equal rights to their Arab neighbors. Is Arabs are citizens of Israel, they must be given the rights of citizens to purchase homes.