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September 14, 1979 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-09-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Friday, September 14, 1919 1

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Stadium Issue Splits Jerusalem Residents

(Continued from Page 1)
people each. Further-
more, the city has two
successful soccer sides in
Jerusalem Betar, the
present State Cup hol-
ders and Jerusalem
Hapoel. Fans are fre-
quently locked out of Be-
tar's filled stadium.
Back in 1968, Kollek set
- up a special body in the
Municipal Planning De-
partment headed by Israel
Klmche, to determine de-
tails for the building of a
orts stadium. After con-
dering many sites, the
suggestion of Shuafat (in
what used to be the Arab
part of the now-united city)
was eventually agreed
upon. Pasqual Broid, a Mex-
ican immigrant architect
who had designed the
Olympic village for the
Mexico City games in 1968,
was commissioned to draw
up plans for the new
stadium. He produced an at-
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tractively compact 25,000-
seat plan which can be eas-
ily developed into a 50,000-
seat stadium should the
demand dictate it.
The anti-stadium cam-
paign was always vigorous
but not originally over-
militant as the Orthodox
community petitioned and
pressured. Kollek felt safe
enough to give the ,order for
the work to go ahead in con-
So back in
struction.
January earth moving work
was begun on the Shuafat
site. Since then, while
building has proceeded, a
well-orchestrated and for-
midable opposition cam-
paign has been waged by
religious elements.
In fact, religious an-
tagonism towards the proj-
ect comes from two different
directions for two distinct
reasons. The Aguda claim
that they would not object to
a stadium being built
elsewhere in Jerusalem but
that Shuafat is close to sev-
eral religious communities
and sporting events would
disturb the serenity of their
Shabat. The more extreme
Neturei Karta see the
stadium as part of the Hel-
lenization of Jerusalem.
"Take your stadium to
Mount Olympus where it
belongs," read a banner at a
recent anti-stadium demon-
stration.
Kollek has an answer
for both sets of critics. To
Aguda he promises that
in the new, floodlit
stadium, any sporting
events scheduled for a
Saturday will take place
in the evening after
Shabat. To Neturei Karta
he quotes Rambam and
other eminent Jewish
sages who favored physi-
cal exercise and culture.
On April 23, these two
factions, not always on
speaking terms with each
other, staged an impressive
joint rally to protest against
the stadium. A huge crowd

of 50,000 demonstrators
turned out. Meanwhile, the
Agudat Israel faction has
threatened to leave the
Jerusalem municipal coali-
tion over the stadium issue.
Despite this opposition,
Kollek defiantly declares
that there will be no retreat.
He is not intimidated by the
curse of the Neturei Karta
and their assurances that
following the "rod of fire"
ceremony he will drop dead
within a week. He had
agreed in principle to ap-
pease Aguda by considering
another site but no corn-
promise has yet been
reached because no suitable
site can be found, even
though it has been reported
that religious circles abroad
are ready to finance moving
to a new place.
At the moment Kollek
has received little active
support from the sporting
public. Until now sports
fans have had no need for
vociferous mobilization, be-
cause while the stadium
went ahead they felt they
were winning.
In the London Jewish
Chronicle, author Chaim
Bermant interprets the
opponents of the stadium
as asking "Did our
forefathers battle with
Antiochus and against
the imposition of Greek
culture so that a sports
stadium should be built
in the Holy City?"
But what of people in-
terested in sport? "All the
main sports clubs have
party ties and Betar . . . is
linked with Likud just as
Teddy is associated with
Hapoel."
Bermant irreverently
notes: "Everything here in
Israel is tied to politics. If
prostitution were to be
legalized (and there was a
move in the Knesset the
other day to do just that) the
different bawdy houses
would be affiliated to the
different political parties."

Be that as it may, some
commentators believe that
in spite of the great majority
of Jerusalemites who voted
Teddy Kollek into office, the
mayor of Jerusalem, who is
above all a realist, may pre-
fer civic peace to everything
else at such a delicate period
in Jerusalem's history.
And indeed, Kollek has
suspended work on the
Shuafat stadium for two
months, to see if an alter-
native site can be found.
Kollek was responding to
a request from Prime
Minister Begin who
hopes that the 'coming
months will allow tem-
pers to cool. A site in Har
Homa, three kilometers
from Bethlehem, is being
seriously considered.
In this strange yet in-
structive political affair, the
players are now resting but
when play is renewed the
result can by no means be
taken for granted.






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President Carter Issues
Rosh Hashana Message

WASHINGTON-(JTA) —
President Carter has issued
the following Rosh Hashana
message:, "My fellow
Americans: Ag you celeb-
rate Rosh Hashana, the be-
ginning of the High Holy
Days, Rosalynn and I send
our warmest greetings to
you as you gather together
in homes and synagogues to
welcome a new year.
"I know that your liturgy
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cludes prayers for reconcili-
ation between neighbors,
affirmation of life and re-
commitment, and at this
time you reflect on eternal
questions concerning life
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sal human concerns.
"With you, we recommit
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freedom of all peoples and to
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all people learn to live in
harmony.
"May the coming year
bring us closer to the just
and lasting peace for which
we have yearned and
prayed so long, and bring to
each of you new strength of
faith and purpose." -

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