Tel Aviv Residents Nominate Atarim Square as a Palestinian Heritage Site

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By Aaron Pomerantz and Yuval Weiss

Last Updated 10/24/2015 at 8:30 PM

Tel Aviv, The Old North: A grassroots community effort is about to pay off, with 10,000 signatures gathered to date in an effort to name the Atarim Plaza as a Palestinian Heritage Site under the auspices of the United Nations Education, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO).  Alert local Ronit S. explained her team’s efforts to date. “After the Palestinians tried and failed to name the Western Wall as theirs at UNESCO, we felt we needed to throw them a bone. Plus it’s like totally gross. So we canvassed the neighborhood around the Harbor and the beaches.  Everyone seemed really enthusiastic, almost as if they wanted to just give the place away….. Except the kids who were skateboarding in the plaza…..And the guy we met who built his own shack in the basement of the old parking garage….Oh and  the guys we saw walking out of the Pussycat Lounge. They seemed to like things just the way they are.  I even saw my boyfriend walking out of the Lounge, but he said he was only there because he had to pee.” 

Reaction across the Israeli political spectrum was mixed. Noted Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy was apprehensive. “I like the “Idea” of a Palestinian self-governing area, but you know, someplace else.  Like in places I don’t want to go.  You know, anywhere east of the Ayalon Highway.  But this…. it is AWFULLY close to some of my favorite breakfast places.  I just don’t know.  It’s all so CLOSE.”

MK Aryeh Deri (Shas) appeared to have reservations as well, but indicated that his fears would be allayed if somebody gave him some money. MK Oren Hazan (Likud) also raised concerns. “If Atarim Square becomes Palestinian, does this mean people won’t be able to visit the Pussycat Lounge? .…Asking for a friend.”

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