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0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem


News Digest: ‘Trashing’ the Streets of Jerusalem

"2,150 workers have been fired from the Jerusalem Municipality. More than 1,000 workers will receive a letter of dismissal by the end of the day. At of now, over 600 letters have been sent to the municipality, including 317 sanitation workers, 64 municipal police workers, 160 workers from the Ministry of Labor, 21 employees of the Absorption Authority [1], and more. About 400 additional letters are being processed […] The layoffs, as ordered by Mayor Nir Barkat, began as a result of the budget crisis in Jerusalem. ‘Kahlon is responsible for the layoffs and the fatal blow to the livelihood of more than 2,000 Jerusalem families’, Barkat said in the context of his confrontation with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon [2].”

– Kol Hair News

"Shame on the Mayor of Jerusalem!

I brought a group of tourists to Mahane Yehuda market. We ran into a huge garbage heap that spills over onto the road, endangering the pedestrians, the buses and the vehicles passing through the street.
One of the tourists asked the guide why there is so much garbage on the road. My jaw-dropped in shame that this is the way our mayor had chosen to fight for our city's budget.
If he really wanted to fight for the budget, he would have made sure not to harm the city's residents in the process. But apparently, the mayor would rather get his budget for the municipality building than look out for the city's residents.

Mr. Mayor, I think you've overreacted. You're just hurting yourself and not achieving your goal! This is a sad day for the Jerusalem Municipality!”

– Idan Kosman, Posted on the ‘Jerusalemites’ Facebook Page

"Shabbat Shalom to Nir Barkat, who reminds me how much of a fool I am for staying in this city.

Nir Barkat believes that his city does not receive the budget it deserves. He could not get the budget by standard procedures; so he turned to the trivial solution of Israel 2018: strategically dispersing piles of garbage. So now I'm in the market, on the coldest day of this winter, making my way through the piles of sanitary hazards. I pity the merchants and peddlers who will end the month with losses because of one bad market day on a Friday [the busiest day at the markets].

The political system here is shattered, and it's time to talk about it. The whole idea of democracy is to be a system of mechanisms designed to settle conflicts of interest and allocate budgets by peaceful means.
But in our culture, anyone who thinks he does not get what he deserves simply takes the most powerful hammer he has access to and uses it with all his might and its the middle class who has to pay the price. Those people who are just trying to make a living by forcefully pushing forward the wheels of our economy, allowing for any budget at all to be divided – a budget that comes directly from their pocket. We are approaching a situation where the only means for obtaining resources is the amount of violence that you are capable of and willing to initiate. And maybe we're already there.”

– Yonatan Lazar Telem
0202 Editor's Notes:
[1] The Ministry of Absorption is responsible for encouraging immigration to Jerusalem, receiving and processing new immigrants in the city and preventing emigration. They provide support and guidance for immigrants in Jerusalem.
[2] Over the past year, there have been ongoing reports regarding the political tension between Mayor Nir Barkat and Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon which has arisen over the Jerusalem budget. Barkat blames the government for depriving Jerusalem’s residents of an appropriate municipal budget necessary to cater to their health, cultural and educational needs. Moreover, Barkat claims that the budget per resident is 30% lower than in the other large cities (Tel-Aviv, Haifa) in Israel. Mayor Barkat's protests and campaign to enlarge the budget have drawn both criticism and support.

#Budget #Protest #Jerusalem_Municipality

Jerusalem Municipality | עיריית ירושלים
Nir Barkat – ניר ברקת