This acclimated to be a bedraggled Middle Eastern town, now it’s a built-up avant-garde burghal in the centermost of Israel. To allegorize the point: In the backward eighties, the southern automated breadth consisted of the Teva bulb in the arctic end, the beer branch in the south end, a schwarma place, a kiosk and a clay road. Today, it is a hyper-modern bartering breadth abounding with arcade malls, appliance stores, accouterment outlets, restaurants, bars, hi-tech firms, abundant industry plants, burghal offices and its own alternation station. Aback in the old days, aback you collection arctic on the littoral alley you knew you were aing Netanya’s southern access aback you saw a row of villas. The villas are still there, but they are askew now by hi-risers that you can see from the artery afterwards you canyon Wingate. And in those pre-modern times, there was annihilation but a abandoned bank alley aing the outskirts with the centermost of town. Today, that alley is graced with affluence accommodation buildings, a tennis centermost and a planetarium, and a added afresh congenital alongside alley boasts abode hotels, beautiful villas and a bank access aloft the bluff that affords some of the best breathtaking angle in Israel.
Put all this advance into perspective, and the announcement “give the ambassador credit” is apprenticed to edge into the conversation, in animosity the aphotic bribery accuse blind over the mayor. In Netanya, that is one cartilage of altercation that is adamantine to swallow, abnormally today, a day afterwards our abominable and longstanding Ambassador Miriam Feirberg got reelected for yet addition appellation in office.
Miriam Feirberg is not the abashment of Netanya. The absolute abashment is that so abounding voters who are acquainted of her cachet as a bent doubtable accumulate voting for her. I accept the chat “suspect” with all due account for the autonomous assumption that one is “innocent until accurate guilty,” but additionally with the faculty that if one is beneath suspicion for abounding years that being is apparently accusable as hell. Aback in the aboriginal 2000s I asked a Netanya citizen what she anticipation about our adumbral ambassador and her agee dealings, and the acknowledgment she gave me is the best archetypal acknowledgment that bounded voters accept to offer: “Feirberg is base as hell, but she gets the job done!”
Lest we forget, things started alteration for the bigger in Netanya afore Feirberg aboriginal became ambassador in 1998. Her predecessor, Zvi Poleg, laid the background for basement and architecture development in the southern automated breadth as able-bodied as that allotment of boondocks that would after abound into the flush Ir Yamim. Feirberg congenital on those solid foundations. The aberration is that Poleg did acceptable things for this boondocks after ruining his acceptable name.
Feirberg’s clue almanac as a bent doubtable continued predates the badge investigations of her activities. Aback her transgressions were aloof acceptable accepted ability by chat of mouth, the locals were adage that for every architecture admittance she gave to a architect she or a ancestors affiliate got a ample kickback. These rumors would after construe into badge accusations of bribery, artifice and aperture of trust, the best accepted acceding ascribed to baronial Israeli politicians in contempo years, both in the municipalities and the civic government.
In Feirberg’s case, she was advised by the police, who recommended indicting her for the above crimes. She was after bedfast for a abbreviate term, bedfast to abode arrest, abeyant from the Municipality, again accustomed to go aback to assignment and resume her duties as ambassador – and bygone she got herself reelected. With attitudes like: “she gets the job done” it’s not adamantine to affix the dots.
This angle of a mostly about broke electorate is the absolute abashment of Netanya. Miriam Feirberg is aloof an embarrassment that won’t go away.
Netanya doesn’t charge a base ambassador to “bring home the bacon.” This boondocks has bread-and-er abeyant in its actual DNA, its attractive beachfront, its adjacency to Tel Aviv, its affordable apartment another to an added gentrified Tel Aviv, its growing address to French immigrants and the availability of all-inclusive plots of still abortive absolute estate. Netanya is the fastest growing burghal in Israel, not acknowledgment to Feirberg or any one politician.
But with all its advance and development Netanya still has a acute charge for bigger schools, day care, amusing action and burghal face-lifting in genitalia of boondocks that abide abjection stricken. Feirberg is not actual proactive in these areas. There is additionally the amount of religious-secular astriction which Feirberg, in accurate Likud affair fashion, is added absorbed in base than resolving. All this shows why yesterday’s elections were so important. There are some acceptable bodies in the opposition, like Ephraim Bolmash (Labor) and Tali Molner (Pe’ima Hadasha) who can hopefully set things in motion with the aim to acquaint what’s absolutely missing in this town: a non-coercive religious-secular acceding and amusing equality.
Avi Shamir is a freelance writer, editor, translator and the columnist of “Saving the Game,” a atypical about baseball. A Brooklyn College alum with a BA in English, Avi has contributed to the Jerusalem Post, The Nation, Israel Scene, In English and The World Zionist Press Service.
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