Michael Bloomberg was in Jerusalem on Sunday for the dedication of a medical center he funded and had named after his father, William H. Bloomberg. But, even on the other side of the world, everyone still just wanted him to talk about Occupy Wall Street. During a brief news conference, the mayor told the crowd he had discussed the situation with his counterpart in Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, and once again said that he had no intention of shutting down the demonstration:
“No, there’s nothing,” he said, responding to a reporter who suggested that the mayor had promised a “plan of action” in his radio broadcast last Friday.
“We just want to make sure that people have the right to protest,” the mayor continued. “The First Amendment is a wonderful document. It gives you the right to protest, it also gives you the right to not protest.”
Speaking about his father, a bookkeeper who died in 1963, Bloomberg remarked that — like most people — he wasn’t the sort of guy who ever thought about “flying overnight to Jerusalem to dedicate a building in his name, having a quick dinner, and then flying back to New York, as I’m going to do.” Even if the elder Bloomberg did imagine such a trip, it’s a pretty safe bet that he didn’t think he’d have to talk about Zuccotti Park while he was on it.
Even in Jerusalem, Thoughts Stray to Zuccotti Park [City Room/NYT]