Kfar Yona, Israel – Dozens of residents of the Sharon region’s town of Kfar Yona protested while setting tires on fire against the council’s intention of creating an ultra-Orthodox education center in a secular neighborhood.
“The mayor wants to fortify his collation. The town can’t be turned haredi,” Councilman Avishai Baram said.
During the demonstration, residents who support the creation of the education center arrived at the scene and a physical conflict broke out. The protestors changed locations from the main road to the home of Council Head Effi Deri. Baram said, “No need for a haredi education center in the middle of the town.”
The councilman also said, “According to plans the council intends on building a haredi school with 16 classrooms on 2.34 acres of public land. There are only 100 ultra-Orthodox students in the town and there is no need to build such a big school for them. It’s a shame to waste the 18 NIS million (about $5 million) we received from the Pais project on a new haredi center.”
Many of Kfar Yona’s residents settled in the town knowing it was a secular community. “Instead of building a haredi school for outsiders it is better to build a country-club or anything else to serve the majority of the public,” councilman Baram said.
He further stated that the public is required to pay for Deri’s political survival due to his shaky coalition. “We shall keep protesting here until the plans to build the center are cancelled.”
The council released a statement in response which read, “We have no intention of creating a haredi center in Kfar Yona but a new building for the Meir Primary School, which is stationed at a different location in the town. The protestors are a handful of people being instigated by politicians and other parties of interest.
“The protestors’ claims indicate a sense of hating of the other. A secular majority and ultra-Orthodox minority have been living in Kfar Yona for years and years and we shall not allow this instigated handful to violate that.”
The council’s statement also mentioned, “We have no intention of turning the school into an ultra-Orthodox education center. Anyone who claims otherwise is wrong. The school is to be built in place of an already existing school.”