Two days ago the Israeli National Planning Commission made a final decision to cancel the planned building in the hills West of Jerusalem, a plan known to many as the Safdie Plan (after the well-known architect Moshe Safdie, who was responsible for the master plan).
This was a classic case of believing in the power of the people to change what seemed to be a hopeless situation...at one point the Prime Minister of Israel (himself a former mayor of Jerusalem), the Mayor, the CEO of the Jerusalem Development Authority, and staff of the Ministry of the Interior all strongly supported the plan...opposing was a ragtag group of "tree-huggers," those of us who believe that nature, green spaces, fresh air, are important values and part of the future of the Jerusalem metropolitan area.
Slowly, slowly, this ragtag group coalesced into a powerful, and the result was a miracle. The current Mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Lupolianski, came out two months ago against the plan, completely reversing his opinion. In the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, a majority of members from all parties called for the cancellation of the plan. This past week, we saw the results of the petitions, demonstrations, and outcries of painful protest: the vote on the National Planning Commission was 24-3 against the plan.
Believing in the impossible is an important part of start-up life, and living in Jerusalem one needs to re-affirm on a daily basis the belief in the impossible. Yes, the canceling of the Safdie Plan is a small matter compared to reaching peace agreements, figuring out how to share this city, so on and so on. But it is in our hands to change history.
For now...enjoy the view. I did this morning!
Shabbat Shalom -- Have a wonderful weekend.