In a special interview with Arutz Sheva ahead of Jerusalem Day, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion spoke about the past year, in which all the tourist sites, synagogues and institutions in the city were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Jerusalem is a reflection of the whole of Israel. You see in it the problems that exist in the whole country," said Lion, who sees his job as "an important and responsible role, because in one moment you can ignite a large fire or put it out."
On the riots of recent days, Lion said that they are indeed explosive not only for Jerusalem but for the entire Middle East, and this is how it should be treated "both in terms of decision-making, as well as in terms of public involvement."
The municipality has created "excellent contact with dignitaries in the east of the city. We have invested hundreds of millions together with the government in road infrastructure and classrooms, with the main goal being to turn the education system in the east of the city into a system of the Ministry of Education."
In his opinion, the riots we have recently witnessed are a product of the education system in eastern Jerusalem. "On the day the riots happened I called these dignitaries and asked what happened. For two and a half years it was quiet, we were good friends, during coronavirus we took care to vaccinate and give them conditions in the east of the city as in the west of the city."
On the light rail, Lion pointed out that Jerusalem is the leading city in Israel in this field of light rail, which is expanding in the direction of Neve Yaakov and from the other side in the direction of Gilo. The city is expected to become much greener than it is today, Lion is convinced as he looks to the future.
As for Jerusalem Day and the sectoral character that this day has received in recent years, Lion said that first and foremost Jerusalem Day is indeed the day of Jerusalem and as such is significant for all sectors. "This is a statement, we have united the east and the west and therefore it is a holiday," said Lion.