Tel Aviv Night Run, November 13, 2018.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)
The annual Tel Aviv Night Run was set to go ahead as planned on Tuesday, despite considerations to cancel it due to the tense security situation in the South – a move some had called on the city to do.
“We held a discussion this morning, in the context of the situation in southern Israel and the Gaza border communities, about whether or not to hold the Night Run tonight,” Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said.
“I held a series of talks with heads of local authorities from the South and the Gaza vicinity, and following the consultations we reached a decision that despite the difficult reality, it is important that we run the race,” Huldai said. “The event will be held in solidarity with residents of the South, who are currently in a difficult period. In light of the events, the party planned for the end of the race will not take place. I invite residents of the South and the Gaza border communities to participate in the run, free of charge.”
“We will not surrender to terror,” a statement put out by City Hall said, noting that heads of the relevant municipalities in the South shared this sentiment.
In another post by the municipality, it said it had hosted 200 families from the South on Tuesday at community centers in the city and that as well as being invited to join the Night Run for free, southern residents had been invited to visit the city’s museums free of charge.
The municipality reiterated that since Monday night the city’s officials had been in consultations about whether it was right to go ahead with the event and had reached the decision: “to continue running, not to hold the party planned for after and to find ways to support the residents of the South and Gaza border communities.”
But not all citizens agreed with the decision and some residents of both the Center and the South, called on the city to cancel or postpone the event.
“Why don’t they postpone the Tel Aviv Night Run?” asked Tami Hay-Sagiv, director of the Peace Education Department of the Peres Center for Peace, in a Facebook post. “It wouldn’t be to surrender to terrorism, it would a moral decision that is required in light of the situation, in light of the fact that we are again in a war.”
A resident of the South agreed with her, asking how the race expresses solidarity. “I see it very differently! That you sleep well at night while my wife sleeps on a mattress in a safe room when she is nine-months pregnant! Tell us how you are expressing solidarity!”
Another resident of the center concurred, writing: “What solidarity is this exactly, when you run and half the country is paralyzed in safe rooms?”
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