Daily Israel Report

Massive Budget Protest to Clog Jerusalem Roads

Stay away from Jerusalem if you want to get to the airport Monday. A massive protest against the proposed budget is expected to clog city streets.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 7/5/2009, 4:50 PM

Israel news photo

The Union of Local Authorities is planning to clog Jerusalem streets with pick-up and garbage trucks Monday morning to protest the proposed 2009-2010 budget and the accompanying “Economics Arrangements Bill."

Leaders of the protest have issued a warning to air travelers. “We advise anyone planning to travel abroad tomorrow to stay overnight near Ben Gurion Airport, so as not to miss their flight,” the union stated.

City mayors and leaders of local authorities plan to convene at a huge protest tent opposite the office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at mid-morning.

Apologizing ahead of time for the expected traffic jams and clogged approaches to the city, union chairman Shlomo Buchbut commented, “Inconvenience may be caused to Israel’s residents for one day, but we are saving the local authorities for them, and the local authorities take care of them every day. We will prevent the Prime Minister from realizing his intentions, which will ultimately raise arnona [local property taxes] paid by all residents, in order to paper over the government’s own failures.”

The union charges that the proposed Economics Arrangements Bill, a complex tangle of legislation for implementation of many budget items which often contains policies not spelled out in the budget, would force towns and regional councils to fire 6,000 workers.

Buchbut charges that proposed cuts in the budget will cause the complete collapse of 80 local authorities.