Sunday, April 11, 2010

High up bridges and low-down scandals

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Today I'd like to join Louis la Vache's Sunday Bridge Series but also to combine it with a little rant.

Sky bridges, also called skyways, catwalks, or skywalks, connect these apartment buildings.
In case they don't count as a bridge proper, the photo also shows a traffic bridge over the main road.
This is the back side of the same Holyland Park at dawn, in 2008.
Then we were doing salvage digs up there, clearing the area of antiquities before the construction bulldozers and cranes moved in.
(To see what we found, and how, in those Canaanite shaft tombs click on my label "Archaeology.")

Just about everyone who drives by wonders how this huge project was ever permitted to mar the skyline of Jerusalem. Jerusalemites call it a monstrosity.

It is said that the only ones who like it are the residents of the 642 apartments. From their windows and balconies, they are the only ones who don't have to see the outside of the complex. They see only the stunning view of Jerusalem, the surrounding hills, and probably even the desert.
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A few days ago the media ban was lifted on a big investigation of a scandalous scandal; and then we, the people, suddenly understood how the towering Holyland monstrosity ever got off the ground.
Land developers allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of shekels in bribes to public officials to get approval for it. :(
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Judge Avraham Haiman described the affair as “one of the most severe instances of public corruption in Israel’s history, which will send shock waves throughout the country and which has caused irreversible damage to the public interest.”
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If only the hill could revert to being just a quiet 4,000 year old Canaanite cemetery . . . .
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23 comments:

Hilda said...

Sigh. Looks like you have the same problem as we do. But at least yours got exposed. Will there be prosecutions and have the officials admitted guilt?

And about the columbarium — the word is used only for niches which contain ashes in urns. I searched for kochim and the closest English word for it is loculus.

Abraham said...

Gosh...and it covered a cemetery? That really surprises me too. Is there nothing sacred? Maybe it is only because it is a Canaanite cemetery that the officials found the bribes acceptable. Or, maybe not.

Your comment on my blog caused me to conjure up this memory...

"Holy smokes, Dina.
I went to British Columbia one year to speak at a college. And while I was there this man said I had the touch of a healer but would "possibly" never be able to heal myself."

Suzanne said...

Ugh. Rant on, I'm with you. Soon the Holy City will be enclosed with high rises letting pilgrims niether in or out. A walled city, may peace be within your walls. O Jerusalem.

Louis la Vache said...

Rant away, Dina, and rightly so!
Politicians world-wide are the same. Always for sale.

OK, «Louis» is about to go on a rant of his own, so he'll stop now and write that he's very happy you joined the Bridge meme this weekend, rant and all!

B SQUARED said...

Corruption everywhere. Even in God's city. what a shame.

moneythoughts said...

That hi-rise can come down faster than it went up. Some one should run for office on that plank. Then if they win, I bet it would come down. Yes, Israelis and everyone else from every society can be corrupted. The press is important to rooting out corruption and making things right. And, even the Internet can be a force for good too.

Small City Scenes said...

It is a monstrosity, dina. How could anyone live there and be proud. Over a cemetary? I hope every apartment is haunted. You have every right to rant on. May the sacred hill be sacred once again. MB

L. D. Burgus said...

It is an unusual thing. I would thing arch. would come first before you cover it up.

cieldequimper said...

Same problem everywhere... There are lots of covered graveyards here. The last I heard was unearthed in Quimper, next to the cathedral a few years back when they found a medieval graveyard while making new pavement.
It's a good bridge post though.

VP said...

So now Israel is a 'normal' country at last! Welcome to the world of bribes and kickbacks...

T. Becque said...

Rant is what more people need to do, and more! I hate to see history covered over.

Halcyon said...

A very nice bridge. A very despicable scandal!

crederae said...

beautiful Dina, that is funny about the cemetry.
Bribery in land development probably exists a lot more than we are aware of in America also.

I love that bridge idea but then I am a sky sign.

shalom

Ann said...

That really is an eyesore, its an extremely ugly building. Thankfully times are changing a bit here. I've got post later this week about a new youth hostel which is raised over an archaeological dig site and yesterday I visited a local historic house which was restored as part of a new housing development. Don't like the development but at least it saved the house and adjoining church.

Cloudia said...

Sigh...if only....



Aloha from Waikiki


Comfort Spiral

Pietro said...

Those skywalks connecting the apartments are not nice but interesting: never seen them before!

Trotter said...

Hi Dina! There must be some stunning views from there... But why are always bribes involved whenever you're talking controversial developments? ;))

Blogtrotter Two is waiting for you in Turkey.... ;)
Enjoy and have a great week!!

JM said...

The connected five buildings look amazing as seen from the angle of the first shhot!

Catherine said...

At least Dina, this makes a very interesting post !
So public officials experiment corruption too ! What official doesn't, I wonder.....

Rob and Mandy said...

Gosh, how could they disfigure the hills of Judea with this!

Petrea said...

'Twas ever thus. That doesn't mean those buildings shouldn't be torn down.

Ania said...

I've never been to Israel but those buildings is not how I imagine it to look like.

Spiderdama said...

I remember this building near Teddy Soccer Stadium..? Took many pictures because we think it was strange and the sky was in fire:-)
I love to see your photos from Jerusalem and I wanna go back when I see them. You have the most beautiful country after Norway, hehe:-)