Following yesterday's controversial post about the rising price of rent in Jerusalem, ISL has now learned that the students at the Hebrew University have also fallen victim to the dearth of affordable apartments and as a result they have turned to the streets. According to municipal officials, more than half of the homeless people roaming the streets of Jerusalem are students who have given up on their studies and have descended to the dark depths of the city - and their souls.
One of the most tragic victims of this situation has been Lev Kandinsky, the genius son of Russian Jews who came to Israel ten years ago. Lev was a brilliant student of physics who, according to his professors, was close to perfecting a mechanism for extracting renewable energy from cow dung. "There is so much bullshit in this country that we could have solved Israel's energy needs for this generation and the next," laments Prof. Stein, one of his teachers. Unfortunately, the scholarship of ten thousand shekels, which is all the physics department could afford, was worth no more than two months rent and therefore simply not enough to keep Lev in the university and permit him to dedicate himself to his work.
Instead, like many students before him, the despairing young scientist found his way to the mean streets of Jerusalem where his great, frustrated talent has been twisted and is now being used against the country and its citizens . Lev, the brilliant physicist, has become an outcast, a criminal.
Galia Cohen, a social worker says that Lev is not unique: "As a result of the high rents, I have seen brilliant computer scientists in the making, potential chess masters, talented artists and great thinkers despair of the economic hardship involved in their studies and wind up in the street with other students. "
"Once there, " continued the social worker, "there is no way back. The students form gangs, and intimidate helpless beggars by asking them difficult questions such as 'How old is the universe and why' or 'What is the square root of π?'. When the bewildered beggars can't answer, the students ridicule them and eventually shatter their self esteem. Many known and well-liked beggars have quit and several have committed suicide," the social worker said, "And what's more, lately, these student gangs have begun to pick on innocent passers-by, threatening them with intellectual riddles and frightening people to death. The homeless students are ruining Jerusalem," concluded Galia. "Woe be to the man, or woman who finds herself at night , alone, in the clutches of such a gang – they will torment her for hours with unsolvable questions and leave her a total psychic wreck," warns the experienced social worker.
Is there any hope for Jerusalem? Can Jerusalem be saved from the student gangs? Can anyone face their ruthless intellectualism, their brutal abstract thinking – and survive, and, ultimately - win? Or will Jerusalem, the nation's capital, become like Gotham – without the Batman?
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