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Jerusalem mayor pelted with (a) fruit.

by michael January 16 2008
Municipal news

It's not easy being Uri Lupoliansky.

As the first ultra-Orthodox mayor of Jerusalem, it was hoped that Lupoliansky could help foster understanding and tolerance between the growing ultra-Orthodox segment of the city's population and, well, everyone else -  but instead, somewhat predictably, by attempting to appeal to disparate groups, Lupoliansky has only managed to draw their ire. Secular voters disapprove of his relatively hardline stance regarding religious and moral concerns in civic life and legislation - such as his opposition to the Jerusalem gay pride parades. His ultra-Orthodox constituency scorn him, ironically, for compromising the values of traditional Judaism to keep from alienating non-religious, or non-Jewish residents. And everybody's got a problem with his administration's constant financial and developmental bungling.

So perhaps it's not surprising that Lupoliansky has received a token of the city's disapproval in the form of airborne fruit. 

A haredi [ultra-Orthodox] man hurled an apple Tuesday at Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski during a visit near the city's Mea Shearim neighborhood, police said.

The mayor, who was surrounded by his bodyguards, was not hurt in the early-afternoon incident, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said.

Lupolianski was paying a private visit in the area, when scores of haredim surrounded the house.

Police were called in to disperse the crowd.

There is, of course, a silver lining in this event, a good portent for the future of Jerusalem. Haredim who express their grievances by throwing fruit - although still a long way away from "enlightened discourse" - are a vast improvement over Haredim who express their grievances by setting every municipal trash bin in their neighborhoods alight, which had been, until now, the preferred tactic.

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