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Israelis mesmerized by bridge demolition

The spectacle surrounding the demolition of the Maariv Bridge reflects Israeli society today: hedonistic, mesmerized by TV shows and hooked on grand media events, escaping the harsh realities of threats from Syria and Gaza.
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On July 7, 1976, a mere three days after the Israel Defense Forces amazed the world by rescuing the Entebbe hostages, Tel Aviv inaugurated the Maariv Bridge. Initially, it was called the “Bridge of Eagles” in a symbolic tribute to Israel’s daring aerial military feat.

The simple and somewhat ugly bridge was designed as a stopgap measure to ease traffic congestion at a major intersection in the fast-growing Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Like everything "temporary" in Israel, it turned into a permanent fixture and survived 39 years. That is, until its highly publicized demolition on the morning of Aug. 21, when Transportation Minister Israel Katz pressed the button at exactly 6:22, officially launching the construction of the city’s light-rail system, scheduled to last six years at the very least.

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