Jerusalem Faction demonstions cause mass inconvenience

Calls to Jerusalem mayor to wake up, 'People are stuck for hours on way home, there are no buses; city paralyzed.'

Mordechai Sones ,

'Heavy hand'
'Heavy hand'

Peleg Yerushalmi (Jerusalem Faction) anti-draft demonstrations continue tomake life difficult for Jerusalem residents and visitors, who were stuck for hours on the road when transportation was partially paralyzed by demonstrators' blocking entry into the city.

Ofer Berkowitz, Chairman of the Hitorerut movement and running for mayor, called for Mayor Nir Barkat to take action. "What happened here yesterday is not a demonstration but an unrestrained riot that harms everyone living here. People can't get home from work. Mothers can't come to pick up their children from kindergarten, and patients don't get to hospitals.

"Yesterday we went to demonstrate in front of homes of Jerusalem Faction representatives, but we also call on Mayor Nir Barkat, who has a representative of the Jerusalem Faction sitting in his coalition, to impose sanctions on them. The city funds their Peles newspaper and other budgetary items; he should stop it if they don't stop paralyzing the city.

"The Jerusalem public, including most of the haredi public, suffers from the Jerusalem Faction's agitation, from their roadblocks and traffic jams, and only Mayor Nir Barkat is silent and avoids any condemnation. It is impossible not to suspect that there is a backstage political deal with the Jerusalem Faction. The only time Barkat intervened was when the Faction threatened to hit the marathon. Is routine injury to all residents less severe than the disruption of a of a one-time grandiose event? Barkat once again proves that his priorities are skewed and off the mark, and that he's not concentrating 100 percent on Jerusalem.

"We must remember that when Barkat talks about 'political coups', he certainly has a great deal of experience in such combat, on the backs of the haredi, the secular, and the general public."

Mayor Barkat has asked Jerusalem District Police Commander Yoram Halevi to act more forcefully against the illegal protests in the capital.

Barkat said he would continue his resolute handling of demonstrations and roadblocks: "The time has come to put an end to the disruption of the lives of the residents of Jerusalem. The right to demonstrate is a sacred right, when done in accordance with the law. Anyone who breaks a law for any reason must be treated with a heavy hand and the police must use all means at its disposal to disperse illegal demonstrations. I call on the police to enable routine life in the city, while granting the right to protest as long as it's done legally. I also intend to turn to the government to raise the level of punishments and provide effective tools to the police to prevent demonstrators from harming the public."