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Israel Initiates Recycling Program; Arab Street Erupts in Anger

May 9, 2009 | by Richard Rabkin

Street sweepers being ambushed for allegedly tampering with sanctity of Holy City.

JEWLARIOUS SATIRE: On the heels of the Israeli Antiquities Authority's decision to build a bridge in Jerusalem's Old City that has resulted in mass Arab protests, Jewish-Arab relations have hit another snag with the implementation of a new program aimed at cleaning up the city's streets.

"I don't understand the opposition to recycling," said a visibly confused Gideon Shaked, head of Israel's Environmental Conservation Agency. "The streets of Jerusalem have become cluttered and dirty. We need to clean them up -- it's as simple as that. We are not trying to threaten the holiness of the city. We are only attempting to employ the three Rs -- reduce, reuse, and recycle."

A spokesman for the Arab League disagrees. "The Zionists are trying to erase the evidence of our presence in the Holy Land, but we will not allow it," said Amr Moussa at a press conference in his office in East Jerusalem. "Arabs across the world must rise up in protest! Nothing shall be done to alter the sanctity of Jerusalem: newspapers will not be recycled, diapers will not be thrown out, and gum will not be scraped of the sidewalk! This sinister plot must be stopped!"

The security situation has escalated as there have been sporadic reports of street cleaning vehicles being attacked by Molotov cocktails. Garbage collectors have now been forced to wear full body armor under their white sanitation suits and some of the more frequent routes are being manned by Israeli Mossad and Shabak secret service agents.

Tragically, some Palestinians have also been caught in the crossfire as many fathers and husbands who have been caught taking their garbage to the curb have been accused of being "Israeli collaborators."

For its part the Israeli government has pleaded with the protestors for calm. "To the masses of people who are rioting outside this very office because of our 'keep the streets clean' program, we mean you no harm," said Gideon Shaked. "Please put down your rocks, slingshots, and Molotov cocktails, and preferably do so in an organized fashion so our garbage men can come by and collect them, and bring them to our recycling plant where we will ensure that you will be able to reuse them for future protests."

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