Wednesday, April 1

Blocking the bridge, stupidity or maliciousness?

You can build a wall and make it obvious who's wanted and who is the outsider. You can also build a 4 lane road used by no almost no one in order to detach one part of the area to another part, to "keep them out".
The latter technique is extensively used in Jaffa in order to create a clear dividing line between the poor housing estates and one of the wealthier parts of Jabaliyeh (or Givat Aliyah, if you like to use that name).
A 4-lane wide, deeply laid road devides two city parts. On the southern side the Jabaliyah mosque stands and a foot bridge connects the two parts of the city.
The bridge is used mainly by the kids from the nearby housing estate when they walk to school, by Ajami's residents for going to the mosque and by the guys from the yeshiva, the "Torah Seed" as they like to call themselves.
The bridge (an atrocious Orientalist affair by the way) is accessible to bikes and those on foot only. It's the only easy access for Ajamis elderly and infirm Muslims who want to pray or attend classes in the mosque, unless they have a car. And as many of them are poor and do not have cars, using the bridge is the ONLY way they can reach the mosque. Going around is quite a distance not easily walked by the elderly and infirm nor by those fasting during the month of Ramadan.

Until yesterday.
The bridge has been effectively blocked by the newest construction of the Jaffa development team of the Mishlama.
They have created side walks and a tiny road where no one really needs them, at the same time raising the pavement in such a way the bridge is no longer easily reachable by those with difficulties. In the past people could park their cars next to the bridge and cross on foot. Elderly devout could drive over the bridge in their "kalnoit", their little "golf car" type vehicles and reach the mosque. No longer so, as of yesterday, when easy access to the bridge serving the mosque was simply blocked to those with walking problems.
No brain or bad intentions?
The community is trying to organize against the latest development.

The municipality was called in order to stop the works. The municipality claimed they had shown the plan to the neighbours who had said nothing.
There is just one slight problem with the municipality's claim; the plan they showed the neighbours was exactly the other way around. The bridge was to be kept open and another road was to be blocked in order to safeguard those walking to the mosque from being hit by speeding cars who could not easily notice them due to a corner that allowed for little leeway.
The road that was supposed to be block off on one side will have only two houses in it, therefore becoming a dead end road wouldn't really cause any problems. Instead the municipal geniuses (or are they evil planners?) blocked of the mosque bridge. Brilliant.

Posted by Picasa

No comments: