Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The True Price Of The Pope's Visit?

Israel certainly rolled out the red carpet for this pope, clearing many of Jerusalem's streets for hours every day. So when you're trying to calculate the price of the visit for us, you have to go well beyond the primary, secondary and even tertiary costs.

I'll leave out the political price we'll pay, since he definitely towed the Pseudistinian line.

I'll try to list the various costs.

  • First of all, all of the security guards putting in extra hours.

  • Don't forget the price of all the receptions, food and gifts.

  • The planning and then advertising of road closures and changes in public transportation. I wouldn't be surprised if people got paid overtime to work on it.

  • Extra travel time for those inconvenienced. And extra payments to babysitters, since everything took longer.

  • Businesses and museums which lost customers for days on end, including Lag B'Omer, a school vacation day.

  • Doctors and other professionals whose patients and clients couldn't make their appointments, and those who were billed even though they tried to come and didn't.

That's just a start. What would you add? Do you have a shekel/aggorot, dollar/cents estimate?

And about security, remember that Pope John Paul II was shot at the Vatican, proving that most tragedies, accidents and deaths happen close to home.


Anonymous said...

There was an estimate of this idiocy costing us 50-60 million sheqel. It's just unbelievable.

They should have just had a rep from the tourism ministry greet him at the airport, assigned a handful of security guards for his stay and wished him a pleasant stay.

Total cost for the Shy Guy Pope Parade and Protection package: under US$10K.


Batya said...

The cancer patients who can't afford medicine and the handicapped and the elderly etc should be protesting the waste.

We all should be!

Has the mainstream media focused on it? I'm losing myself in the movies. Much healthier.

Anonymous said...

Do you know that schools were closed.
PArents then must have lost some working days

Batya said...

a, this is getting even worse than I expected.

Keli Ata said...

I know that the Vatican City is a separate nation within Italy so the pope is regarded as a foreign head of state and all but compare the cost of his visit with that of Obama's 3 AM mad dash to the Kotel during his visit.

The pope's probably far exceeds the cost of that.

But I like Shy Guy's plan. Treat the pope like any civilian visitor. Provide a security detail--let the Vatican pick up the tab for his hotel stay and that of his entourage.

Little trip to Little Town of Bethlehem, the Kotel, usual tourist sites and bye bye pope.

Keli Ata said...

I have another idea--how about the pope stay home and give me money for a three-day vacation trip to Israel? It will mean much much more to me than him and cost a whole lot less.

Or the Israeli government spend a fraction of money on the pontiff's visit and let me come for a weekend? I'd make a much better and more grateful visitor.

Anonymous said...

Keli, do you qualify for a Birthright Israel trip?

Batya said...

keli, shy is right, there must be a way for you to come here!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I am too old for the birthright trip and because I am still in the process of converting am not halachily (oy, spelling) a Jew yet, I wouldn't be eligible anyway, though I do have some relatively recent Jewish ancestry on my dad's side of the family.

B'H one day I will get to Israel. Until then, I continue to live the Kotel Cam from on my computer at night so I go to bed sorta/kinda in Yerushalayim and wake up in Yerushalayim! I am moving closer spiritually, too! I read once about a rabbi in the Shoah. He prayed for his freedom by walking to the gates of the death camp. It was to physically move closer to his freedom. I also read a similar story about a rabbi under those horrible circumstances praying at the gates for a fellow jew, moving closer to him physically and spiritually.

(Keliata posting from work)

Batya said...

G-d willing we'll meet here in Israel.

Good luck with everything.