The New Development Towns

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Israel is working on making the Negev bloom, again:

Development in the northern Negev received a boost on Tuesday from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who approved the creation of a new rural settlement district in eastern Lachish, consisting of seven new communities. (MORE)

Call me crazy, but the last time a concerted effort was made to house families moving from another location (this time it’s from Gaza), Israel ended up with development towns. Mizrachi Jews were isolated in rural areas of the country and given little economic, educational, and organizational resources. As a result, development towns today still suffer from gang violence, poverty, and inadequate health and school services.

While I know that the circumstances are extremely different than in the 1950s, I hope that the government will be mindful of the needs of its citizens on the periphery, both physically and socially.

Posted on August 31, 2007

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One thought on “The New Development Towns

  1. BSL1

    I think it’s an interesting first move. As you note, I’m left to wonder what’s next for these families and their newly established communities. The obvious parallel appears to be the US involvement in Iraq. The gov’t in both cases appears to create something which at first seems positive, but the indication of its success will be based on what happens 3 months, 12 months, and 5 years out. Ben Gurion is noted as THE believer in establishing the Negev, and saw Israel’s future as being contingent on how well they were able to harness and develop the south. BG, if you’re out there, perhaps you could sign-in and comment.

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