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Nap cops

by ben August 29 2007
Municipal newsEnvironment

Noisy neighbors are no fun no matter where you live, but in Jerusalem, they have the potential of becoming a special kind of nuisance. Many of us live in buildings that are close together, and when Middle Eastern temperaments flare, the cacophony of enraged parents and crying children often becomes inescapable for a radius of several blocks. Of course, Israel's national bird is the construction crane (nyuk nyuk), so professional noise-makers can do their own breed of damage as well. And with Jerusalmite's offices located on the midrechov, street "musicians" and "performers" can also make concentration a challenge. 

Some of us have tried to take matters into our own hands, confronting noise pollution offenders, calling the Echut Hasvivah (quality of the environs) authorities -- or even calling the Police, but the results are always the same: continued noise and escalated levels of infuriation.

Apparently the elderly lobby still wields some power around here, though. While most Israeli laborers (and even some branches of banks) have moved away from the old-European custom of the mid-afternoon siesta, a new local Police squad has been established to enforce the quiet between 2 and 4 p.m. For more on the subject, check out this video news feature from the new Haaretz.com TV, which doubles as a delightful spoof of everyone's favorite reality program, Cops.

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