Opinion: Jerusalem's Green Blues

October 16, 2006 04:23
2 minute read.


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


On a typical summer weekend it is almost impossible to find a free picnic table in the Jerusalem forests without a family or a group of friends sitting around it. They come mainly from Jerusalem, but also from Beit Shemesh, Tel-Aviv, Beer-Sheva, Kiryat Shmona and Toronto. These majestic hills of forests and natural springs, sometimes taken for granted, are one of our most unique retreats, with a special feeling that exists nowhere else on the globe- the air of Jerusalem. Tomorrow the National committee for planning and building will take a final vote between two options- handing these hills to private hands as the "Safdi program" suggests, or keeping them in the hands of the public and mother nature. Extensive construction and infrastructure projects such as highways, 20,000 apartments and sewage lines will cause irreversible ecological damage to the Jerusalem Hills. But loosing the hills is not the only reason for which we cannot agree with this program. Jerusalem has been weakened in various ways in recent years, and the economically strong sectors of the population are gradually leaving. Investment in the development of the hills to the west of Jerusalem will physically harm the uniqueness of the city - and the residents themselves - by diverting funds inappropriately. The trend of negative emigration from the city is a cause for national concern. Development of the Jerusalem hills for housing and industry will not bring new residents from the coastal plain but will rather lead to a further exodus of middle to upper class residents from the city, aggravating the already negative trend. Development of the hills to the west of Jerusalem will inflict a deathblow to the city. Alternatives exist- according to the experts, land for potential building and development exists within the current build perimeters of the city. There is sufficient land to meet the demand for housing, which is caused by natural growth and new and returning residents seeking to settle permanently in Jerusalem. An alternative program planned by architect Uri Bar-Sheshet found that 58,000 housing units can be built in the city in the next 15 years without building in the forest. Instead of saving Jerusalem, we are building an alternative city, while leaving the old one to diminish. We took responsibility for the well being of this city that is in the hearts of so many people. Realizing this program will be irreversible. It will irresponsible to go on with it. The writer is an activist in Greencourse.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Robert Kraft (left), owner of the New England Revolution, and Bruce Buck, chairman of Chelsea, pose
May 21, 2019
The Patriots and Revolution: A tale of two teams with no Israeli players