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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Teddy Kollek Passes Away

He was 95 years old:
Teddy Kollek, Jerusalem's legendary mayor, diet at his apartment at the Hod Yerushalayim retirement home in the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood in the city Tuesday morning.

Kollek will be laid to rest on Thursday at the Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem. his coffin will be placed at the Safra Square in Jerusalem Thursday morning, before the funeral procession starts making its way to the cemetery.
I remember Teddy (negatively) for his efforts to stymie the growth of the ultra-Orthodox community in the city:
Architect David Kroyanker says “the ultra-Orthodox are settling predominantly in the north, but the problem is that the border continues to move south. At first traditional religious people arrive, then come the more modern ultra-Orthodox, but it is not long before the neighborhoods become completely ultra-Orthodox.”

Former Mayor Teddy Kollek, who understood in the early 1980s that something has to be done, initiated the construction of a sports complex in north Jerusalem to attract the secular population. The ultra-Orthodox protested against the plan, saying cars traveling in the area would disrupt the Sabbath. Some haredim even went as far as throwing sand and stones in the tractors’ engines to interfere with the construction work.

Eventually the plan was foiled, and the city’s soccer stadium, which was named after mayor Kollek, was built in the southern Malcha neighborhood.
A Hareidi view of the matter:
In the late 1970s, Teddy Kollek, then mayor of Jerusalem, schemed to build an international stadium--to be named after himself--on top of the Shuafat ridge, where the present Ramat Shlomo neighborhood is located. The entrance to the grandiose stadium would be through the 443 road which passes by Ramot. One hundred and twenty buses would be able to leave and enter the stadium grounds at once -- every Shabbos during the soccer season.

Kollek suspected that the plan might arouse opposition from the religious councilmen in the municipality, so he cunningly planned to push it through during a period of elections. Promising the religious councilmen all kinds of financial plums if they would agree to the plans, he distracted them from the main issue and was poised to pass it without serious opposition.

Rabbi Bulman was then living in Sanhedria Murchevet. He heard about the plans and was immediately galvanized into action. Joined by Rabbi Hershel Zaks, Rabbi Yoshua Leiman, and Rav Mordechai Krashinsky, Rabbi Bulman held numerous meetings in his home where plans were laid to counter Kollek.

An Israeli askan, who was deeply involved in the efforts, relates, "Most religious askonim thought that the stadium in Shuafat was a local problem, an inconvenience for the nearby religious community of Sanhedria Murchevet. Rabbi Bulman noticed that the stadium was an attempt by Kollek to cut the northern Jerusalem neighborhoods in half and force a secular Shabbos atmosphere on all the northern religious neighborhoods between Ramot and Mattersdorf.
I would not usually quote this source (World War 4 Report), but I remember hearing Kollek say this on the radio. In 2002 Kollek was in favor of relinquishing Israeli sovereignty over some parts of Jerusalem:
Former longtime Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek said Aug. 22 that Palestinians should be granted control over parts of the city, including some disputed Old City holy sites. Kollek said the 200,000 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem should not be under Israeli control. "Listen, they [the Palestinians] have been sitting there for so many years and feel that it is theirs. You can't achieve calm if you don't give them part of what they want and can control. There's no solution without this," Kollek, mayor from 1965-1993, told Army Radio. "I think there needs to be an arrangement and we need to give something to them [the Arab residents of Jerusalem] and have part for ourselves. It will never be easy." Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, annexed to Israel after 1967, have Israeli residency and receive Israeli social benefits. They are eligible to vote in municipal elections, which they boycott.
According to Nicholas Bethell, Kollek was also a moser:
By his own admission, according to Nicholas Bethell's The Palestine Triangle, Haganah member Kollek worked "sporadically" with the British and against the Irgun and Lechi, saying, 'We detained Jewish dissidents, interrogated them, then either released them or handed them over to the CID [British Intelligence].'" Irgun and Lechi members caught by the British were often deported, sometimes tortured, and occasionally killed.
Teddy, like all of us, had his good points and bad points. God will judge him.

3 comments:

Sultan Knish said...

kollek was also responsible for collaborating with the british authorities to turn over jewish resistance fighters to them

Cosmic X said...

I mentioned that.

YMedad said...

In mid-May 1945 he informed the British that Irgun mortars were trained on their military HQ at the King David Hotel.

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