Flipping Holyland the bird

New campaign aims to convert unused sections of housing project into public property.

April 27, 2010 05:39
2 minute read.
The Wake Up Jerusalem campaign against Holyland.

holyland big penis 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Fed up with the mounting corruption charges in the ongoing Holyland scandal, the Hitorerut Yerushalayim (Wake Up Jerusalem) movement launched a campaign on Monday calling on municipal planning authorities to suspend all further construction at the Holyland site immediately and convert unfinished sections of the luxury housing project into areas for public use.

Hitorerut, created in 2008 to represent the capital’s students and young people at City Hall, is promoting the campaign on its Facebook page – accompanied by a series of online flyers, designed by members, which depict the Holyland’s massive spread of apartments and lone high-rise tower in various “creative” adaptations.

In one such flyer, the apartments and tower are portrayed as piles of excrement, with the slogan “Holy-S**t!” in bold Hebrew letters above.

In another flyer, the apartments and tower are left intact, although manipulated slightly to resemble a hand extending its middle finger. The text above reads, “This is how bad they screwed you.”

All the flyers end with the phrase “Returning the land to the city.”

Organizers of the campaign told The Jerusalem Post that, first and foremost, the flyers were meant to shed a humorous light on an otherwise “depressing and sad chapter in the city’s history.”

“We wanted to make people smile a bit because we know how upsetting this whole affair has been,” Merav Cohen, a Hitorerut member and organizer of the campaign, told the Post.

But beyond the humor, Cohen said that the campaign was meant to enact real change with regard to the property where the now-infamous housing project sits.

“We want the unused sections of the Holyland site to be turned into something that benefits all residents of Jerusalem and not just a select, wealthy few,” she said.

“We’d like to see the area turned into a city park, or even better, affordable housing units for young people in Jerusalem, who are the main victims when prestigious projects such as the Holyland go up,” she continued. “There’s still a very difficult housing crisis for the city’s young people and students, and this could be a way to start addressing that.”

Cohen said Hitorerut had already taken its initiative to the office of Jerusalem’s municipal legal adviser, Yossi Havilio, and that the option of pursuing legal action to gain public rights to sections of Holyland was “being examined.”

In the coming days and weeks, Cohen said Hitorerut would try to draft more people to the campaign’s ranks and, ideally, turn it into a mass, citywide protest.

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