'Cholyland' sign
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Jerusalem: Holyland sign vandalized

Unknown vandals change letter 'He' to a 'Chet' so sign will read 'Cholyland'; resident says housing project at center of corruption scandal 'monstrous'

The sign near the housing project which is at the center of what has been dubbed as the as the most severe corruption case in Israel's history has been vandalized, Ynet reported on Saturday.


The suspects in the Holyland bribery scandal include former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, his longtime confidante Attorney Uri Messer and former Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski.


The vandals, who were not caught, altered the letter "He" to a "Chet" so that the sign will read "Cholyland".


"Choly" in Hebrew means "sickness".


Jerusalem resident Ram Milon said his son drew his attention to the altered sign. "We were waiting at the traffic light when my son said, 'Dad look what happened to the Holyland sign; now it's Cholyland'. Something is definitely sick here."


Ram's wife Levana said, "Every time I walked near the project I thought that something was wrong with it. It really is a monster. I didn’t understand how anyone could authorize it – it doesn't blend with the city and its landscape.


"I thought to myself that I wouldn’t live there even if I were given an apartment for free. They destroyed a very beautiful mountain," she said.


Many of the project's residents were not surprised by the reports that its authorization allegedly involved bribes. They were more concerned with the possibility that the affair may result in the depreciation of their assets.


Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court Judge Abraham Heiman, who is presiding over the case, recently said of the Holyland towers, "Anyone who travels on the Begin road in Jerusalem reaches Golumb Street and on the right is confronted by these monsters on the mountain."


On Thursday Olmert dismissed out of hand suggestions that he was involved in the Holyland corruption scandal, saying again that he never took or was offered a bribe.


In a special press conference, Olmert slammed what he characterized as efforts to defame him.


"What we have here is a character assassination attempt that is unprecedented in its scope and might," he told the cameras.


פרסום ראשון: 04.17.10, 22:44
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