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January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘building’

Jerusalem: Building Galore

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

With this week’s announcement of the planned approval of 1,440 new apartments in Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, the spotlight turns not only to the political ramifications, but also to Jerusalem’s massive growth in general.

Ramat Shlomo, named for the saintly Rabbi Shomo Zalman Auerbach, is home to some 17,000 people. The mostly haredi neighborhood is located in what used to be no-man’s land in northwestern Jerusalem.

Jerusalem’s Local Planning and Construction Committee is poised to approve the new large-scale construction – despite, or because of, the changing of the guard in the U.S. government. The new buildings will be erected on an area of 70 dunams (18 acres), and will be one of the capital’s largest projects to be approved in recent years.

City officials were quoted as saying that the desire to approve the plan is definitely related to the election results. “This is a new location that until now we never considered for construction, because of Obama Administration opposition,” the source said.

Now, however, the approach is that even though no one can be sure how a President Trump will react to any given situation, “it is generally understood that whatever we don’t do in the coming two months might not be able to be done later.”

Predictably, some on the left side of the Israeli political spectrum condemned the proposal’s timing, location, and everything else about it. MK Nachman Shai, for instance, of the Zionist Union (formerly the Labor Party), said, “Building right now is crazy, and someone in Jerusalem has obviously gone out of his mind…. Approving new housing units in Jerusalem means playing into the Palestinians’ hands. It’s an invitation for international pressure. It’s like sticking a finger into the U.S. president’s eye over and over again.”

Actually, sources in the Trump camp look at it quite differently. A source close to Trump confirmed, off the record, that moves such as this construction plan might actually be to Trump’s benefit, in that when he enters office it will be a done deal and he will not have to relate to it.

Aside from the political consequences, it is worthwhile taking a look at other ways in which Yerushalayim is being built up. Let us begin with the Jerusalem Cable Car project: a two-line cable car system to and from the Western Wall and Dung Gate. As planned, the system will be able to transport 6,000 passengers per hour, a boon for both tourists and Old City residents.

First announced in May 2013, the plan was put on hold two years later but now appears to be back in the arena. The planned route includes four stations: Emek Refaim and the First Train Station, Dung Gate, Mount of Olives, and Gat Sh’manim (a site holy to Christians known as Gethsemane, near the Old City’s Gate of Lions). Each station will be separated by about 1.6 kilometers, or a four-minute ride.

The advantages of the cable car include convenience, safety, reliability, improved service for tourists, quiet, and more. But perhaps most important is what Mayor Nir Barkat told a group of Likud members during a tour of the area: “This will show everyone who really is in charge of this city.”

The Jerusalem Municipality, together with various other government bodies, has issued a short publicity video of the long-planned and oft-criticized project. With appropriately tense background music, it begins by highlighting the crowdedness, safety problems, air pollution and inconvenience caused by the city’s traffic congestion. Noting that ten million people visited the Old City in 2013, the video states that the country’s #1 tourist site “must have improved accessibility in order to actualize the city’s tourist potential.”

Upbeat and pleasant music is then heard for the duration of the video, on the backdrop of tranquil scenes of a cable car gliding over the city streets.

Will the Jerusalem Cable Car actually get off the ground? It’s hard to know at this point. But other large-scale projects are well underway, such as the expansion of the Jerusalem Light Rail. It now traverses the city all the way from N’vei Yaakov in the north to Bayit Vegan in the south, passing by Old City gates and the center of town. Construction is underway to continue this route – known as the Red Line – further south to Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem, as well as to both campuses of Hebrew University, with a new bridge over the Menachem Begin Highway.

The Light Rail is considered to be a success. Just two years after it began operation in 2011, the number of daily passengers grew from an average of 100,000 to 140,000, and today over 150,000 passengers use it each day. An impressive 15 percent of riders say they no longer drive cars in the city. Air pollution has improved significantly as well: Carbon monoxide emissions, formerly measured at 500 parts per million, have now dropped to below 100. Pollution is reportedly so low that monitoring is no longer necessary.

Two new lines are also planned: A Green Line is scheduled to run through Ramat Eshkol, and the 20-kilometer Blue Line will take riders from Gilo and to Ramot, with another arm through Malha and Emek Refaim. The Emek Refaim part of the route has drawn tremendous opposition from local residents, who demand that the train be routed several dozen meters to the east. The matter has not yet been resolved.

Let us also note a huge construction project near the Knesset and government complex in Givat Ram: The building of a new National Library, six stories high and four stories deep. Currently just a gigantic hole in the ground, the Swiss-designed structure with a sloping oval roof is slated to be completed by 2019.

The planned Jerusalem Business District at the city entrance can also not be overlooked. With construction underway, it includes the grand Israel Railway station from where passengers will be transported to Tel Aviv in 28 minutes, two 24-story towers of the Jerusalem District Government Complex, a pedestrian garden area near Binyanei HaUmah, and more.

In short, those who manage to go a few months without seeing Jerusalem can often barely recognize it when they finally return.

To take part in the critical efforts to keep Jerusalem Jewish and united, via updates, bus tours of newsmaking parts of Jerusalem, and more, send an e-mail to tours@keepjerusalem.org or visit Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech’s website at www.keepjerusalem.org. 

Hillel Fendel and Chaim Silberstein / KeepJerusalem.org

Globalists Continue to Pressure Israel to Destroy Jewish Houses while Building Homes for Arabs

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the Israel Rising website}

Israel’s Civil Administration, the section of the army in charge of administering Israeli control over Judea and Samaria authorized new Arab buildings near Jewish Susiya.  The government has been under intense pressure to provide building permits for Arabs in Area C, the area of Judea and Samaria under complete Israeli control.

While Arab squatters from Yatta continue to illegally build and set up a fake village on top of the remains of the ancient Jewish village of Susiya, the government in Jerusalem has folded to international pressure and agreed to allow Arabs to build houses nearby.

National Union faction head Uri Ariel was outraged.  Yet, the program is part of Defense Minister Lieberman’s new program of reward for “moderate” Arabs while coming down hard on extreme ones.

“The program’s goal is to do good by those prepared to live in co-existence with us, and on the other hand make things harder for those planning terror attacks,” Liberman said, according to Ha’aretz.

However, this reasoning is dubious as the EU has been publicly advocating for new Arab houses in the area for months as well funding the illegal encampment nearby. More than likely, Lieberman’s carrot and stick policy is coverage for his inability to stand up to international pressure.

Obama and EU Forcing Israel to Kick Jews Our of their Homes

Meanwhile, the Jewish community of Amona slated for destruction has sent the government scrambling for solutions to the ruling of the Supreme Court that insisted on leveling the Jewish community.  Although the government is trying to find a way to legalize Amona in order to prevent a coalition crisis, chances are slim Bibi Netanyahu will be able to stall long enough to find a solution.

The Obama administration has stepped in and urged the Israeli government to knock down the Jewish homes effectively leaving the inhabitants homeless because as State Department spokesman Mark Toner has insisted that the 98 homes of Amona are an impediment to peace.

The government in Israel seems incapable of preventing an infringement of the Jewish people’s basic sovereignty in its historic homeland. Until it understands than any folding against international pressure gives more power to its enemies, more and more Jewish communities will be in danger.

Israel Rising

Building Blocks – September 2016

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Jewish Press Staff

Conference Debating Bringing Holocaust Images to Life [video]

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Films from the Holocaust period are filled with haunting images, providing a rare opportunity for researchers to piece together the stories of lives cut brutally short. In today’s digital age, such film footage is particularly compelling and stirring, granting us a glimpse into a living memory of a world that was – and is no longer. A groundbreaking conference on the subject, the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) workshop entitled “Holocaust Archival Footage as a Historical Source: Methodology and Ethics in the Digital Era,” is currently taking place at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

EHRI is a trans-national project aimed at supporting and promoting improved access to Holocaust documentation scattered across the globe. The workshop, designed especially for experts, convened some 30 top level professionals, providing tools and tips for researchers and historians from Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the US and other countries in utilizing Holocaust-era footage as a historical source. Sessions included newly-discovered footage located at various archives and collections of Holocaust-related material; the unique challenges entailed in locating, collecting and restoring these rare films; and technical and methodological dilemmas of using of source movies.

One of the stories featured at the conference was about David Teitelbaum, an amateur photographer who was born in Wielopole Skrzyńskie, southeastern Poland, in 1891 and later relocated to the United States, where he became a successful businessman. Teitelbaum would return to his hometown almost every year to visit his family, and in 1938, he filmed his trip. In June or July 1939 he traveled to Wielopole again, but only stayed for a short time, sensing that war was imminent. Members of the Teitelbaum, Rappaport and Sartoria families, as well as their neighbors and acquaintances, were likely filmed during that last visit.

Several years ago, this rare color footage depicting Jewish life in the shtetl of Wielopole before the Holocaust was donated to Yad Vashem. With the assistance of relatives (particularly Channa Rachel Helen Glucksman, David Teitelbaum’s niece), Yad Vashem has succeeded in identifying many of the individuals in the film, including a number of sick or elderly Jews who were murdered in an aktion in the town.

Since the film was uploaded to Yad Vashem’s Youtube channel, it has been seen by over 130,000 viewers, many of whom have commented on how deeply moved they were to have caught a glimpse of Jewish life in the town before it was destroyed forever.

The Yad Vashem Archives house hundreds of Holocaust-related films, including raw footage, newsreels, amateur films, propaganda and feature films, and postwar trials. What makes this footage so unique is that it contains many layers of information beyond the recorded data – the personal backgrounds of the subjects, the historical context of the events depicted, and even the motivation and ideology of the photographer – all of which may be revealed through painstaking research.

Efrat Komisar, Head of the Film Footage Section at the Yad Vashem Archives and one of the presenters at the workshop, explained the importance of correct usage, critical research and cataloguing of film footage. “These wartime films have a complex nature, stemming, among other things, from the photographers’ intentions in creating the film in the first place. Nevertheless, they are invaluable as original documentation. The films open a window onto the world of their subjects, as well as that of their creators. They supplement information provided by other forms of documentation, as well as priceless visual testimony of people and places before, during and even immediately after the Shoah.

“Historians, researchers and filmmakers alike have an obligation to investigate these precious films thoroughly, and present them to the public together with the most comprehensive and accurate information possible, thus building a more accurate visual memory of the Holocaust,” Komisar continues. “Moving images provide something that other kinds of documentation – written, aural and even still photographs – cannot give: multisensory scenes of people, places and events that depict often very personal accounts in real-time. In a way, seeing them almost brings them back to life.”


Israel Begins Building Underground Barrier Along Gaza Border

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

The IDF has begun building a 70 kilometer long subterranean barrier along the Gaza border.

The concrete barrier, which is expected to take years to build and cost NIS 2 billion, will go to depth of a few meters underground and include advanced tunneling detection systems in case Hamas tries to dig below the wall.

The hope is that the barrier will block Hamas’s terror tunnels from crossing the border from Gaza, though Hamas has previously built tunnels that go dozens of meters underground into Israel.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Head of Search in TA Building Collapse, as 3rd Dead Discovered: Time Not on our Side

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

“Time is not on our side,” said Home Front Command chief for the Metropolitan Tel Aviv District Colonel Amir Ulu, who described the challenges facing hundreds of rescue workers at the collapsed building where three have died—the third victim discovered Tuesday morning—and 23 injured so far. On Monday night the rescuers lost contact with two victims who until then could be heard from under the layers of dirt and destruction. “The more time passes, the more problematic it becomes to find living victims, although in the past we’ve rescued collapse victims after 30 hours,” Ulu said.

Rescue worker with dog at the site of the building collapse September 5, 2016 in Ramat Hakhayal, Tel Aviv.

Rescue worker with dog at the site of the building collapse September 5, 2016 in Ramat Hakhayal, Tel Aviv.

As dark was setting at the collapsed, 4-story parking garage under construction in Ramat HaKhayal in north Tel Aviv, the rescue teams mapped the construction site, but the dimensions and sheer mass of the detritus and debris posed a significant difficulty. “It can take us hours to reach each one of the mapped areas,” Yonatan Raz, Ulu’s deputy, told Walla. “But the command’s decision is that we’re not leaving. We have the capacity to remain here for 48 hours, with the hope of finding trapped victims who are still alive.”

The rescuers believe there are four more people under the collapsed structure. Overnight the site was flooded with high voltage lights and shifts were changed frequently, to maintain the workers’ alertness. The rescuers are fearing additional collapses in two spots, which they continue to monitor. “The structure has stopped moving, which is good news,” Ulu said Tuesday morning.

Ulu related that only a week ago, commanders from the Home Front Corp, Police and MDA underwent a course intended to regulate communications between them in the event of a major disaster, “And here we are, applying what we’ve learned, unfortunately,” Ulu concluded.

David Israel

Bomb Blast Outside Brussels Police Building

Monday, August 29th, 2016

A bomb exploded outside the Brussels Institute of Criminology early Monday, RTL reported. There were no casualties. A car rammed through the building’s barriers at around 3 AM and one or more attackers exploded a bomb near the laboratories which caught fire.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bomb-blast-outside-brussels-police-building/2016/08/29/

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