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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What Would Theodor Herzl Think?

When I was in Jerusalem the other day, I was struck by the interesting juxtaposition of the large ad reminding us that it's now one hundred and fifty years since the birth of Theodor Herzl and the Jerusalem Calatrava String Bridge, looking rather dwarfed by those Kiryat Moshe-Gival Shaul buildings.  Generally, the bridge dwarfs modern Jerusalem architecture.


We can find lots of symbolism here.

The bridge is a monument to Ehud Olmert's time as Jerusalem Mayor and Israeli Prime Minister.  Olmert is now being tried on multiple corruption chargesI wonder how long the bridge will be up, since building engineers have sown doubt on the quality and safety of the construction.

No doubt that from many angles, that bridge is very impressive and dominates the Jerusalem skyline.

I just can't get over how puny it looks in that religious neighborhood.

Herzl wasn't a religiously observant Jew.

The Zionist Movement tried to replace traditional Jewish ritual observance with new "land-based" customs.

Today a high percentage  olim, new immigrants from western countries are religiously observant Jews.  So, seeing that enormous poster on the high-rise Jerusalem building in a religious neighborhood gives a very accurate sense of who really is living Herzl's dream...


Jewish Ideas Daily said...

You might be interested in this article about how Herzl would react to Israel today: http://www.jidaily.com/Ejh2A

Batya said...

JID, honestly, I won't read it. After Menachem Begin's Camp David and destruction of Yamit and other Jewish communities when he gave Egypt the Sinai and Arik Sharon's yo-yo policies, Olmert's trickery and Bibi's weakness among other similar history, I wouldn't venture a guess at what Herzl would say today. I'll only compare more pragmatic things like what he said over a hundred years ago to what happens today. Sorry

Shy Guy said...

I read the WWHD article. Eh! He would have become a muddled down leftist secularist.

Batya, got a link about the bridge being structurally unsound? This is the first time I've heard that.

Batya said...

Shy, predicting about people of a totally different generation is too iffy for me.
I remember reading it, probably in the JPost, but I was told that a lot of old articles were lost when they changed their internet site format.

Keli Ata said...

That bridge looks awful. Totally out of place in an old neighborhood. Who in the world gave the permit for it to be constructed there?

Okay, the bridge would look nice in a more modern city but not here.

Batya said...

Keli, it's an Olmert monument to megalomania.