This week in Jerusalem 464443

Did you think this is a matter just for those living in the US? Think again. Representatives of the Republican Party in Israel have launched a local campaign.

A new network of ultra-sophisticated security cameras will be installed across Jerusalem (photo credit: Courtesy)
A new network of ultra-sophisticated security cameras will be installed across Jerusalem
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Shameful shaming
Following recent and repeated cases of public shaming of the city’s social workers on social media, municipality CEO Amnon Merhav has decided to fight back. Social workers employed by the community and welfare administration at Safra Square, who among other tasks have to decide on cases when the best solution is to take a child away from family custody, have recently been exposed to extreme shaming on social media. Their names, their children’s names as well as videos exposing them are circulating online as part of what seems as an organized action to harm their work.
Those who decide on custody cases have always been exposed to harsh criticism, but it seems that this time things have gone a little too far. Merhav has instructed the municipality’s lawyers to submit court claims against those who act violently on the Web against Jerusalem’s social workers.
Trump is here
Did you think this is a matter just for those living in the US? Think again. Representatives of the Republican Party in Israel have launched a local campaign to promote advocacy for their party and their candidate, Donald Trump, across the country.
The main goal is to reach out to recent and less recent Israeli newcomers from the US, to get them to exercise their right to participate in the election process even in Israel.
They plan to meet potential voters, at malls across the country – where there is a large community of Americans. A large container with T-shirts, hats and other popular giveaways as well as lots of printed material on the party has been shipped from the Republican headquarters in the States and will be distributed here.
Not enough Housing solutions are lacking in the capitals, and even when they are available, the prices are so high that Jerusalem remains a city seriously lacking affordable housing. One reason for this is the lack of city construction projects, and therefore what is offered on the market is far from being sufficient.
This has now become official, with the last report of the Israeli Building Center revealing that Jerusalem has only 9.6 new apartments for every 1,000 residents, compared to 12.1 units in the rest of the country.
The solution? According to center head Eran Rolls, only active governmental support to increase new construction will bring real improvement to the present situation and lead to an eventual drop in prices.
Happening at the museum
Save the date: Tuesday, August 23, the day when the Israel Museum will turn the “Threads and Knots” exhibition – running now – into a huge happening of various activities for children. This will include several workshops, magic and circus shows, outdoor night cinema and even an introduction to the lives of spiders. Throughout August, all activities for children, including entry to the Israel Museum, are free. On the special happening days, these activities will run from 5 to 9 p.m.
Call the police
The Israel Police’s vast new plan to address the capital’s needs is taking root in the city. Following the approval of the comprehensive NIS 1 billion plan submitted to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, a large and complex system of cameras will be linked to a center in which security and municipal services will work together to provide the best possible answer to residents’ security needs in real time. The system will include a network of ultra-sophisticated cameras mounted across the city (something that already exists in the Old City and in several parks), which will be monitoring every robbery, attack or criminal attempt as well as other emergency needs across the capital.
The project, planned to operate from Gilo, will also include the participation of social workers and other municipal services representatives, plus several units of the security forces. However, this also means that residents’ privacy will be significantly hindered.
Haredization, the official way
One of the Jerusalem Development Authority’s tasks is to enhance internal and foreign tourism to the city, and it is behind some of the largest tourist projects here in recent years – some of which involve activities on Shabbat. On the haredi benches at city council, there has thus been anger towards the JDA, an organization owned equally by the municipality and the national government (through the Jerusalem Affairs Ministry.)
Nevertheless, the JDA has been endeavoring to attract haredim from across the country to visit Jerusalem and enjoy its various attractions and activities, so far with little success. In times like ours, one typically deals with challenges of this nature by engaging a consultant representing the sector in question. In that framework, a haredi expert consultant in media has been hired for a short-term project to attract ultra-Orthodox tourists to the capital.
The consultant is none other than the media consultant of MK Moshe Gafni, one of the most strident voices against Shabbat desecration in the city. Having Gafni’s consultant advise the JDA’s tourism department may seem like an intriguing choice, but according to JDA sources, it seems this arrangement is proving fruitful.
Defacing a legend Osnat Kollek couldn’t believe her eyes. A few days ago, the daughter of legendary mayor Teddy Kollek brought her grandson to show him the special sign identifying what was once Kollek’s private house in Rehavia – and found that the sign had been stolen.
Detailing the history of 6 Rashbam Street, where Kollek and his wife lived for more than 40 years, the sign was a recent initiative of the Council for the Preservation of Sites in Jerusalem and its director, Itzik Shweiki. The attractive placard utilized a costly technique to produce both writing and a striking photo of Kollek, and according to Shweiki, the council will seek a special donation to replace it.