Events occurring on Sunday have the potential to reshape politics in the Jerusalem region.
"For the first time ever," explains Ziva Glanz, Director of the “Jerusalem 5800” project sponsoring the event, “all of the party leaders from the Jerusalem City Council and Mayoral elections are coming together, under one roof, to address you, the voter. This is a unique display of bipartisanship and is much to the credit of the candidates themselves, many of whom, it could be argued, only had what to lose by participating, but they still came – a move, of course, unique within Israel’s usual political climate.”
More unprecedented perhaps, is that joining them will also be the heads of the surrounding regional councils; leaders such as Davidi Perl and Yosef Avrahami, from the Gush Etzion and Givat Ze’ev councils respectively.
“It is one of the first times that local city officials are joining with their regional counterparts to discuss their visions for the region’s future,” a stated purpose of the ‘Jerusalem 5800’ project, explains Glanz.
The project is a privately funded urban master plan working to map out all of the transportation, tourism, housing, industrial, environmental, and even burial and sewage needs, for the entire region, through the year 2050. The region, as defined by Glanz, is an area with Jerusalem at its center that stretches from the Dead Sea, out west to Beit Shemesh and Modiin, and including the communities of Gush Etzion in the south and up north to Ramallah.
It is also a region that largely has not had any new statutorily accepted master plans since the 1950s.
“Most area residents could probably inherently deduce,” Glanz continued, “that much of the urban planning done in these areas has, historically, been incredibly fragmented between numerous municipal and government agencies; each with their own piece of the puzzle.
“‘Jerusalem 5800’ is attempting to change this overall vision and dialogue to that of a more cohesive metropolis, guiding the area to become a true Global City and resulting in a higher standard of living for all of its residents. Sunday’s event is a great opportunity for citizens of the region to hear from the candidates and learn their visions for the future – and a great step towards forming this regional partnership amongst all the new delegates.”
The event, entitled ‘Jerusalem: A Future Vision for an Ancient City,’ will take place 6 PM Sunday night, October 20th, at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, near Liberty Bell Park, in Jerusalem.
Details at www.Jerusalem5800.com.