Jerusalem Foundation head blasts neglect of capital

Cheshin: History will judge those who did not bother to save and cultivate Jerusalem.

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
May 16, 2007 00:47
1 minute read.
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In a gloomy Jerusalem Day missive, the Jerusalem Foundation's president lambasted past and present Israeli governments on Tuesday for failing to act on their words on behalf of Jerusalem, and called for the establishment of a special forum to work on behalf of the city. "It has been four decades that prime ministers and ministers who deal with Jerusalem affairs appear at the annual celebrations for Jerusalem and declare how much must be done for Jerusalem. These promises are empty of content and dissipate the following day," said foundation President Ruth Cheshin in a sharp attack on both left-and right-wing governments. "Over the last couple of days, we have heard much anger in the Israeli government over foreign ambassadors who have chosen not to participate in the celebratory events marking the reunification of the city, and yet Israeli politicians only come to such celebratory events and later neglect Jerusalem," she added. The unusually harsh condemnation by the head of the philanthropic organization founded by the late Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek comes on the heels of a series of surveys and statistics showing that the population of Jerusalem is becoming increasingly less Jewish, with thousands of young Israelis quitting the city in search of better jobs and affordable housing in the suburbs and nearby cities. Cheshin called for the establishment of a special forum for Jerusalem affairs to be backed by state and foreign funding, adding that no master work plan has ever been presented to advance the city's tourism, infrastructure, educational and cultural development, in addition to dealing with poverty and demographic challenges. "History will surely judge all those who stood at the helm of the government and did not bother to save and cultivate Jerusalem," Cheshin concluded.

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