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Hail to the Chief, says the Municipality.

by michael January 10 2008
Municipal news

Jerusalem may have its renowned history and its quiet beauty, but due to an unfortunate combination of carelessness on the part of its residents and open negligence on the part of its government, it is not a clean city. Food wrappers are casually tossed onto the street. The facades of otherwise lovely buildings are stained by years of neglect. Litter dots the parks. All-too-frequent Histadrut strikes leave garbage bins overflowing with refuse. It's a problem that could be solved with some simple education and only a little bit of the money the Municipality pours into its ill-advised projects and its campaigns to convince the public those same projects aren't ill-advised, but Jerusalem residents, in the addled mind of their government, don't deserve a true Jerusalem of Gold.

US President Bush, however, does.

The President is currently in Israel, and to welcome His Grace, the Municipality decided to dress up the capital, to the tune of, oh, a few hundred grand:

Jerusalem is spending nearly $400,000 to spruce itself up for the visit, said Jacob Avishar, the city official in charge of coordinating preparations. Garbage teams are in furious race to clean the city's often dusty streets and walls tagged with spray paint, he said.

Thanks, Municipality. Foreign dignitaries warrant Jerusalem in all her splendor, but her actual residents - not to mention the multitudes of tourists who visit every year - will have to contend with squalor. It's like how little kids clean for company - by shoving all of the debris into the closet and hoping mom doesn't notice.

If the city government has nearly half a million dollars to drop when a president visits, shouldn't it also have some money to devote to urban renewal and flagging schools? Or is that money earmarked for the grand train to Pisgat Ze'ev?

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