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Elah Valley has been sold, but don’t worry, not to Sephardim

Hoping a last ditch effort can reverse a decision to turn the national park into high density housing for Haredi families
Valley of Elah viewed from the top of Tel Azeka. (Wikimedia Commons)
Valley of Elah viewed from the top of Tel Azeka. (Wikimedia Commons)


The hills over the Elah Valley have been sold.

This gorgeous, untouched valley, where David fought Goliath is full of nature’s treasures, archeological gems, majestic views, and stunning bike paths. It is the home of Lupine Hill.

Families hike here, bikers get away from life here and everyone who passes through really feels as though they are in God’s country. And yet, the pristine hills overlooking it are slated to be destroyed.


Bowing to pressure from certain interested groups, the previous mayor of Bet Shemesh reneged on his promise to establish a national park in the area and instead zoned it for high density residential building — an extension of Ramat Bet Shemesh. Despite other options for housing in Bet Shemesh such as pinui v binui, these plans are being pushed through.


The plans are not environmentally sound, nor are they varied and meant for all types of residents. They are highly dense apartment buildings with narrow streets, extremely few green spaces and with no additional infrastructure to serve the tens of thousands of new residents.

We see this type of irresponsible building in the new neighborhood of Ramat Bet Shemesh Gimmel which is rife with logistical, planning, and infrastructure issues. Thousands of people are being placed into homes with not enough parks, parking, shopping or schools.

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This neighborhood was approved despite literally twenty thousand — 20,000 — objections on logistical, environmental, archeological, social, wildlife, geological, communal and many more grounds.

Moreover, the new neighborhoods were referred to as the ‘Kiryat Degel HaTorah’ by Moshe Montag of the city of Bet Shemesh. One resident was even reassured that not many Sephardim would be allowed to buy there(!).

What can you do?


First, like this page.

Second, and I apologize for the late notice but TOMORROW is the court date to object.

Please come to the youth hostel in Bayit Vegan, Hapisgah 8 Jerusalem from 9.15am until about 3pm. If we get enough people tomorrow, we will get another day Thursday to object. I will update as to the results.

Third, share this and please let as many people know as possible.

This is an issue for the entire country and those who love it and democracy.


Wanton destruction cannot be allowed to serve a few to the detriment of many. And not when there are other good options!

For the life of me I will never understand how certain things are done, but that does not mean we can’t stop it. There are different people in charge of the relevant government committees now, we do have a chance.

Please join us in keeping this national treasure for all of us.


Help us save the Elah Valley!

About the Author
Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll is a writer and an activist. Cofounder of chochmatnashim.org She loves her people enough to call out the nonsense. See her work at skjaskoll.com