Despite their many protests, residents of the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood of Jerusalem have still found no relief from the ongoing din made by mosque muezzins who issue the call to Muslim prayer at all hours of the day – and the night. Especially at issue is the first call to prayer of the morning that is made – very loudly – at dawn.
And because of the proximity of Pisgat Ze'ev to numerous heavily populated Arab neighborhoods, residents are face with not just one 4 AM wake-up call – but dozens.
There are already laws on the books against noise pollution that requires Muslims to come up with alternative methods of calling people to prayer at a time when the vast majority of Jews and Arabs are sleeping. However, those laws are rarely, if ever, enforced, said Jerusalem city council representative Yael Anteby.
“There is excellent coexistence among many Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem,” she said. “Jerusalem must remain united forever. We do not wish to foster divisions within the city. We hope to see police act against the noise made by the muezzins, as well as the explosions and fireworks” that are often heard coming from Arab neighborhoods, as they celebrate weddings.
“We must act against lawbreakers, because when we do not, it just gets worse,” she said.
Anteby, who is running for city council again, said that she was proud of the work she did in her current term, especially for Pisgat Ze'ev and northern Jerusalem, and particularly in the development of highways that link the peripheral neighborhood to the center of the city.
Also installed during her term was the Jerusalem light rail, which, like the new highways, serve both Jewish and Arab neighborhoods. Such projects, she said, increase Israel's sovereignty over the city.