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A busy summer in Jerusalemby michael • August 30 2007
Municipal news, Art, City planning, Shopping, Things to do
Summer 2007 marked 40 years since the tumultuous events of the Six Day War in June 1967 knit together the warring halves of Jerusalem into one united city. The Jerusalem municipality and the city's wealth of cultural institutions, set on commemorating the anniversary in style, stepped up to the plate with an unprecedented offering of shows, festivals, concerts and special events. And the city's visitors, both from Israel and from abroad, responded in kind. Summer 2007 saw a record-breaking million tourists visit the city, finally definitively driving away the pall the Second Intifada had cast over Jerusalem's tourist industry and civic spirit.
Jerusalem's hotels saw 300,000 overnight stays in the month of July alone. The Chutzot Ha-Yotzer market attracted 120,000 visitors. A hundred thousand people came to see the Buddy Bears during their short tenure in Kikar Safra. 20,000 quaffed exotic brews at the Beer Festival. And 200,000 honored the memory of those who fell in the Holocaust at Yad Vashem.
This all represents an amazing reversal of normal city affairs: the success of the 40th year anniversary program means that the city government planned something that worked. Jerusalemites everywhere should be filled with hope. If the municipality can put together a successful summer of events, maybe they can even put together a successful light rail...
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