NY mayor presents J'lem with expanded MDA station

Station cost some $10 million, some of which donated by Bloomberg himself and rest by MDA friends organizations in North America, Europe.

NY mayor Michael Bloomberg with Netanyahu 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
NY mayor Michael Bloomberg with Netanyahu 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Memorializing his father, William H. Bloomberg, who died almost 50 years ago, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg dedicated in Jerusalem on Sunday night a beautifully expanded and renovated Magen David Adom station that will save the lives of tens of thousands in the coming years.
It cost some $10 million, some of which was donated by the mayor himself and the rest by MDA friends organizations in North America and Europe.
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“I believe my father is looking down and has a big smile on his face,” said the billionaire businessman and threetime mayor of the city that he said is a great friend of Jerusalem and Israel. His mother, Charlotte, who attended the cornerstone-laying ceremony in early 2007, died a few months ago having almost become a centenarian. The mayor had previously dedicated a unit at Hadassah University Medical Center in her honor.
Calling Israel the “only real democracy in the Middle East,” Bloomberg said it “gives us a good example that if you want a free democracy, you have to fight for it.”
He praised the cooperation of New York and Jerusalem, including its Mayor Nir Barkat, who, he said, “comes to visit City Hall every time he arrives in New York.” Both cities, he said, “are targeted all the time” by terrorists.
Commenting on the exchange of Gilad Schalit for 1,027 terrorists, Bloomberg said he respected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to do so, but didn’t know what he would have done in his place.
The magnificent edifice, which replaces the old, dilapidated station built by friends of MDA in 1963, includes a modern blood collection center, auditorium, visitors’ center, facilities for more than 60 ambulances and mobile intensive care units and those who man them, and an advanced system for locating every building in the city and its environs.
The event was very disorganized and chaotic, with long delays and crowding in which dignitaries stepped over each other as two mezuzot were affixed and American and Israeli security guards seemed at odds with each other.
A feature on Jerusalem’s new MDA station will appear on the Health & Science Page on Sunday, October 30.