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Book burning in Jerusalem: City to set up cameras after arson at mini library

Municipality vows to restore popular outdoor free lending library; ‘We won’t forget the disappointment over this act so quickly,’ says Mayor Moshe Lion

The Reading Station in Park HaMesilah in Jerusalem after it was set on fire by vandals on October 25, 2020 (Courtesy/ Jerusalem Municipality)
The Reading Station in Park HaMesilah in Jerusalem after it was set on fire by vandals on October 25, 2020 (Courtesy/ Jerusalem Municipality)

The Jerusalem municipality on Sunday vowed to quickly rebuild a popular outdoor lending library and set up security cameras after vandals set the small stand on fire.

On Saturday, passersby discovered that the Reading Station, an old bus stop converted into a free outdoor lending library in the Train Track Park (Park HaMesilah) in the city’s German Colony had been burned.

Police said they were investigating the incident and the Jerusalem municipality said it would work together with the Ginot Ha’ir Community Center to renovate the site.

The city said it would also add security cameras, new signs, improve accessibility and install more seating areas.

“We will add books and renovate in the coming days,” Mayor Moshe Lion wrote in a Facebook post. “But we won’t forget the disappointment over this act so quickly.”

“Look after our public areas, they belong to all of us,” he wrote.

The Reading Station — one of many around the city — allowed the public to donate and take books.

People reacted with outrage to the incident with many posting pictures to social media noting the Nazi burning of Jewish books on Kristallnacht, while others added German author Heinrich Heine’s famous quote: “Where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings too.”

Organizers called on the public to hold off from donating new books at this location until the site was fixed up, but said anyone wanting to help could email tahana.moshava@gmail.com.

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