A residential housing proposal by a Jewish housing association in Gateshead has been greeted with objections that have utilised antisemitic tropes.
The Jewish Community Council of Gateshead has applied for planning permission to construct a 26-dwelling estate on the brownfield site of the former Go-Ahead Bus Depot.
The project will be undertaken by Adler Housing and funded by private money with some sponsorship from Homes England.
The houses are specially designed with the size of religious Jewish families in mind, as well as their practices and security needs.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has been made aware of objections to the proposals raised on social media that utilise antisemitic tropes, suggesting that the British Jews for whom the houses are being designed are somehow not really British and that the homes are, as it were, being designated for alien migrants whose rights to housing should be deprioritised in favour of native Britons. There has also been a suggestion that Israel would not tolerate foreigners turning up demanding housing estates be built for them, the implication being that Britain should not tolerate it either.
In reality, the prospective residents are British Jews who have an equal right to housing as their fellow citizens, and the comparisons to Israel are gratuitous. It has also been pointed out by defenders of the proposals that the design of the homes to meet the needs of religious Jews – funded by a mix of private money and a government grant to which others are equally entitled to apply – is no different from housing specially equipped for other protected groups, such as the elderly or the disabled.
It is understood that Gateshead Council is minded to grant the proposal planning permission, subject to a section 106 agreement, which is common in connection with such proposals.