Distributive Justice from regional industrial areas for economic development - the case of Bezan and Ziporit
The Distributive justice project was conducted by ACAP with funding by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) between September 2016 and August 2017. The project was designed to promote equitable division of income from two industrial zones in northern Israel: the complex of Oil Refineries in Haifa and the Tsiporit Industrial Zone designated to Nazareth Illit.
ACAP proposed a change of approach in the regional division of municipal taxes and other incomes from industrial zones that considers the historical ownership of the land in question, the radius of environmental and health effects around the industrial zone together with the overall socioeconomic status of nearby municipalities. This is opposed to the current situation where only the municipal designation of the industrial zones is taken into account.
In all its projects, ACAP implements a gender sensitive approach to urban development. “Distributive justice” integrated in its activities women activists from the communities, especially impacting women in the peripheral regions.
Complex of Oil Refineries
ACAP conducted a comprehensive study of the area of the refineries since their establishment during the British mandate period. ACAP revealed the lack of any argument in favour of limiting the allocation of revenues from ORL to the municipalities of Jewish towns, particularly given the fact that none of them has never funded the establishment of any facility within ORL. This shows the need for equitable distribution of income that would include all neighbouring communities, that would take into consideration the environmental damages resulting from ORL’s activities and the cost of mitigating their air, water and soil pollution. Also, it conducted a field study and collected planning data on three adjacent Arab municipalities and then reported to the Geographic Committee of the Haifa region on the substantial income gaps between the Arab and Jewish municipalities included in the committee’s scope.
ACAP developed and presented a model for equitable distribution of income among all communities included in the committee’s scope. It participated in all meetings related to the redistribution of income from ORL and reviewed the material presented by environmental experts, economists and geographers before the Geographical Committee. Eventually, ACAP managed to include the three Arab municipalities in the list of communities discussed by the Geographic Committee of the Haifa region with regard to the redistribution of ORL’s incomes. Also, ACAP managed to renew the committee’s activity after it has been suspended for several years, and replace some of its members.
ACAP will continue monitoring developments on this issue in collaboration with the Arab municipalities represented on the committee to help them exercise their rights as part of a redistribution of municipal incomes from ORL.
Tsiporit Industrial Zone
The Tsiporit industrial area was established in 1992 on lands annexed to Nazareth Illit, it includes heavy industry factories and is managed by an administrative organisation. Revenues deriving from this industrial area are controlled by the municipality of Nazareth Illit. ACAP called for equitable distribution of income from the Tsiporit industrial area to four adjacent Arab towns. With the authorisation of the local councils of these towns, ACAP submitted this request to the Ministry of the Interior presenting an alternative model for the distribution of revenues from municipal rates among the participating authorities. The request has been received by the Ministry and in November 2017 a Special Session on Distributive Justice Policy was held at the Distributive Justice Committee in the Knesset. The committee decided to support equal distribution of income from non-residential tax, and to increase the income from such for local authorities in the low socio economic clusters, in order to support their financial situation. Also, it called upon the ministers of finance, of interior and economics to cooperate and develop a plan for distributive justice. At the same time, ACAP carried out a social media campaign to raise the awareness of Arab citizens of the four towns on the gaps in revenues and on the consequences of air, water and soil pollution deriving from Tsiporit industrial zone.
ACAP wants to ensure that the request for change for Tsiporit will be included in the discussion sessions of 2018 of the relevant Geographic Committee, and will also support Arab local authorities that are involved in industrial zones managed by the "Industrial Administration", as currently no Arab local authorities are in the lists of that administration. In addition, ACAP will cooperate with the Ministry of Finance and Economics and monitor their work to make sure that the distributive justice model they develop is fair, professional and realistic.