What Was The Total Price Of The Pope's Visit?
By Batya Medad
5/14/2009, 12:00 AM
Batya MedadNew York-born Batya Medad made aliyah with her husband just weeks after...
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Israel certainly rolled out the red carpet for this pope, clearing many of Jerusalem's streets for hours every day. So when you're trying to calculate the price of the visit for us, you have to go well beyond the primary, secondary and even tertiary costs. I'll leave out the political price we'll pay, since he definitely towed the Pseudistinian line. I'll try to list the various expenses:
- First of all, all of the security guards putting in extra hours.
- Don't forget the price of all the receptions, food and gifts.
- The planning and then advertising of road closures and changes in public transportation. I wouldn't be surprised if people got paid overtime to work on it.
- Extra travel time for those inconvenienced. And extra payments to babysitters, since everything took longer.
- Businesses and museums which lost customers for days on end, including Lag B'Omer, a school vacation day.
- Doctors and other professionals whose patients and clients couldn't make their appointments, and those who were billed even though they tried to come and didn't.
That's just a start. What would you add? Do you have a shekel/aggorot, dollar/cents estimate?
And about security, remember that Pope John Paul II was shot at the Vatican, proving that most tragedies, accidents and deaths happen close to home.