City in mourning following death of deputy mayor

Cohen, 55, died of an apparent heart attack last Thursday night, not long after police recommended that he be prosecuted for various wrongdoings.

By TRANSLATED BY MIRIAM BULWAR DAVID-HAY
January 27, 2008 13:03
1 minute read.
City in mourning following death of deputy mayor

uzi cohen 88 224. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

City in mourning following death of deputy mayor Ra'anana was reeling in shock last week after the sudden death of colorful Deputy Mayor Uzi Cohen, reports www.local.co.il. Residents poured out their sorrow in numerous emails to the website, describing Cohen as "a pure soul," "a true friend" and a tireless worker for his city and the people in it. Cohen, 55, died of an apparent heart attack last Thursday night, not long after police recommended that he be prosecuted for various wrongdoings. Cohen was known around Israel as a Likud party powerbroker who often boasted publicly that he could - and did - "arrange jobs" for his friends and relatives. He became a household name after he was satirized on the popular Eretz Nehederet television show several years ago, and was known to have enjoyed the publicity it gave him, even adopting expressions the show used in order to send him up, such as, "Ata hamood ata," ("You're cute, you,") and "Ra'anana banana." But back in his home town, where people knew him personally, he was regarded with deep affection. As deputy mayor from 1990 until his death, and as head of the city's Landscaping and Gardening Department for a significant amount of that time, he was largely responsible for Ra'anana's huge park, the many flowers and trees in the streets, and the city's well-tended appearance. Residents fondly recalled the anecdote that after hearing how beautiful the city of Venice was, Cohen decided to "bring Venice to Ra'anana," and promptly arranged for a gondola to be brought to the park lake. More recently, Cohen suggested bringing Switzerland to the city by building an artificial ski slope and bringing America to the town by building a Disney-style theme park, but neither idea got off the ground. The heartfelt messages to the website expressed residents' shock and sorrow at Cohen's death and showed that they cared little about his alleged improprieties or his buffoonery. The emails described Cohen as a "true angel," "a good man," "a man of the people," "a man of vision," and a person who always helped anyone who turned to him. Some said the city would never be the same without him.


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