This week in Jerusalem

Peggy Cidor's round-up of city affairs.

Judging Uri
The Jerusalem police announced they will recommend that the court indict former prime minister and Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert over corruption charges in the Holyland project. The police will also recommend the indictment of Shula Zaken and former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski, as well as his two former deputies on the city council, Yehoshua Pollak (UTJ) and Eli Simhayof (Shas).
Olmert is suspected of having accepted bribes in the sum of NIS 1 million for advancing the interests of the real estate developers. Lupolianski, the two former deputies and former city engineer Uri Sheetrit are suspected of having accepted bribes, breach of trust and money laundering.
While Olmert and Zaken are suspected of having accepted personal bribes, leaks from the police investigation allege that Lupolianski is not suspected of taking the money for himself but of having agreed to help the real estate developers in exchange for generous grants to Yad Sarah, the nonprofit organization he created and headed for years.
Sources among the haredim say that the community is shocked at the possibility that Lupolianski, known as a man of hesed, could be implicated in a felony. In addition, say the sources, it is not clear how the court will rule, as there is hardly a citizen in this country who has not at some point in his life used the services of Yad Sarah.
Fun and games
To bring the summer vacation to a funfilled close, the Hadar Mall in Talpiot is hosting three days of storytelling and games for tots and toddlers from Sunday to Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Take your kids to expend some of that playful energy before they start school.
Calling on deaf ears?
Some 300 women, mostly Beduin from the Negev, accompanied by Jewish activists and supporters from across the country, demonstrated on Monday in front of the Interior Ministry. The women called for Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) to listen to their grievances and to find solutions other than demolishing their houses, which are illegally built according to Israeli law.
“The women are the first to suffer from the demolitions,” said one woman, “because all the responsibility of caring for the family and the children is on our shoulders.” Traffic was partially stopped during the demonstration, but there was no indication that Yishai considered meeting with the demonstrators.
Expensive ticket to ride
Deputy Mayor and head of the Finance Committee on the City Council David Hadari (Habayit Hayehudi) admitted this week that he didn’t know exactly where he would find NIS 4.5 million needed to cover the cost of the scheduled test run of the light rail on the Calatrava Bridge. Sources at Kikar Safra say that the understanding was that the cost would be paid by the CityPass consortium. But it has refused to pay, arguing that it was to be included under the heading of maintenance, which is at the municipality’s expense.
No one would dare cancel the test – who knows what still awaits us on this issue? – and no one will, of course, run the risk of not verifying whether the beautiful – and very expensive – bridge is strong enough to bear the weight of the light rail, passengers and all.
The consensus is that Hadari will ultimately find the money. What has yet to be determined is who will pay the test passengers who will be asked to go along for the ride.