Givat Shmuel City Hall has decided to implement a change in policy, permitting only persons with a residency card to enter local parks. This means that residents of nearby Bnei Brak will not be permitted in parks. Disapproval and anger over the decision was expressed on social media, primarily Facebook. Residents of Givat Shmuel on the other hand are pleased, as the parks will have more room than in the past.
The municipality contends that the decision is not directed against residents of Bnei Brak alone. These days, Bein Hazmanim, parks are overflowing, causing thousands of Bnei Brak residents to visit parks in nearby municipalities such as Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan and Givat Shmuel.
But it seems that Givat Shmuel is less fond of seeing the chareidim and the municipality has announced on its Facebook page that entry to the parks will be possible only for residents with resident cards.
“Important message,” the Facebook page says. “Dear families, in the next few days they will receive families with children, the mailboxes – the envelope with multiple resident cards, and the cards will be used for afternoon access to Ginot Ramon and Elkana (the rope park) And at different times. Inside the envelope is an accompanying letter – please read it and save the cards. ”
Most of the local residents reacted happily to the Facebook page, some of them even stating explicitly that this was the solution to the problem of the residents of Bnei Brak arriving at Givat Shmuel. One of the responses even read: “Who needs the black cockroaches from Bnei Brak?”
On the other hand, a number of residents expressed discomfort at closing the parks and claimed that this was racist and claimed that they too visit parks in nearby cities. Another resident of Givat Shmuel claimed that she wanted her children to know the residents of Bnei Brak and not just the children of Givat Shmuel. At the same time, dozens of angry reactions among Bnei Brak residents claim racism and discrimination.
“Just think – if the municipality of Rishon L’Tzion (for example, or any other city in Israel) would restrict the entrance to the letter park because I do not think I would like to travel with my children in some park in the country and then cannot enter because I do not have a card.”
Another resident responded that “it’s not for the chareidim not to take over, but for the children who grow up in Givat Shmuel to have a garden to play in. It’s not fair that in the peak season there’s no place in the public garden that we paid for our municipal taxes. When guests arrive regularly on a bus, and you do not have the space and ability to accommodate enough of your private children – then the poor of your city come first.
“It is also time for the municipality of Bnei Brak to honor the children and build a few nice gardens for them as they were when I was a child. Today there are more children and fewer public gardens, but there is nothing to do there on Shabbos, unless you want to hang out with the children on a flooded road or fly with the riding toy from the top of the mountain in the hope that they will not break their heads. In order to get here, they do not do anything for them to have something reasonable near the house. ”
Another resident objected to the decision and wrote, claiming it is racist. The resident explains “I live in Ramat Hadar for 11 years and I am ashamed of this announcement. “Of what ethnicity are we,” the post concludes.
A few years ago, the High Court of Justice prohibited the Kfar Saba Municipality from prohibiting entrance or collecting money at the entrance to parks from citizens who are not residents of the city. Perhaps, here too the matter will come before the High Court.
The Givat Shmuel Municipality is quoted telling Kikar Shabbos News that the premise is wrong and erroneous. “The park will be closed to residents of Tel Aviv and Kiryat Ono, and the park will be closed for residents of other cities because there will be activities for residents of Givat Shmuel.”
“We are not Ramat Gan with a national park and not Tel Aviv, which has HaYarkon Park. We are talking about a four dunam (1 acre) park, and we wanted to do activities for residents of the city who have resident cards and then get the activity for free.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)