The New Development Towns

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.

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