Hanan Rubin, member of the Hitorerut party the city councilor in charge of youth students and family projects spoke to Arutz Sheva about what the city is doing to on the one hand calm the tensions and raise the morale of the residents, and on the other combat terror activities in the city.
Rubin started out by saying that the situation in Jerusalem is improving.
“Jerusalem is in a better situation than where we were a few weeks ago. This is in part due to the closure of certain neighborhoods in the eastern side of the city, as well as the new intelligence systems that have been setup. These as well as other steps the city has taken with regards to security, have given the city more of sense of control and authority, which has calmed the situation.”
Rubin said that while these tactics are helping they are not getting rid of the problems entirely – a point graphically illustrated by two separate attacks in the capital Sunday. “We need to also deal with the problems at their roots, if we don’t deal with the root problems, we will see the same situation return. Perhaps not immediately but within a year or so things would likely intensify once again.”
However, things are not looking down for the city. Rubin pointed out that “it is important to remember, that even with everything going on, Jerusalem is one of the cities with the lowest crime rates of major cities around the world, and that is something we can be proud of,” he said.
So how do we also raise the morale of a city that has been hit hard by terror attacks? Rubin said that the city is doing just that in a number of ways.
“We are working hard to help the businesses in the city, because they are the ones that are hit really hard. The holiday season is the time when the business make a lot of their money, and this is precisely when the city was hit hard. A lot of businesses lost a lot of money, these past few months. We are creating programs to help make Chanukah a success for them.”
Rubin pointed to the new influx of cash and loans that are being made available for business owners. “We have secured 100,000,000 shekel for business in the city, in the form of a funding that will be provided via grants. In addition, we have also set up a special low-interest loan program for businesses that were hit hard over the past two months, this is in an effort to help the businesses from floundering. Hand in Hand we are also creating programs to help bring the residents of the city back out into the streets, and to bring back tourism both nationally and internationally.”
Rubin said that Jerusalem is currently running numerous new campaigns that are aimed at returning tourism to the city. “There is as national as well as international campaign underway. We are letting people know that the city is functioning normally and that we are continuing on with life as normal here. A big part of that is reflected in the security situation calming down.”
Rubin says that the city is continuing to create new events with increased security that incorporate local businesses, in the hopes that people will come out and once again feel safe. This, the city hopes will be effective to help raise the morale of residents.
Lital Shochet Assistant to the City Council’s Chief Spokesperson said that “the best thing to return a feeling of security to and to raise the morale of the civilians of the city, is to simply carry on as planned with our events and with all of the projects that the city is running.”
“We have not cancelled a single event,” she said. “And we do not plan to do so,” she added.
The city has published a list of events that are being planned for this express purpose.