This week at the Kotel, the Western Wall,
School has started and another week has whizzed by.
The countdown for Rosh Hashannah has begun.
You can feel the seasons starting to change with cooler nights.
Headlines were made when Light rail trains were attacked
in some Arab neighborhoods,
and also of attacks in the French Hill neighborhood.
Sadly, French Hill residents have had trouble with some Arab neighbors for years,
but it was not newsworthy until this recent escalation of violence.
However, this Arab woman was waiting to ride the light rail this week.
There were fewer Arab girls on the streets over the summer,
and there were fewer people on the streets tourists were missingl.
Now, Jaffa Road is looking busier every day.
This week Jordan complained about a “wooden bridge.”
Someone decided to build a second wooden ramp to reach the Temple Mount.
The wooden structure on the left is the only access for non-Muslims.
Though this new one is much smaller, it is coming down.
For a $15 billion gas deal, Jordan gets its wish?
The summer concerts at Kikar Safra
featured music of the Beatles and ABBA.
The last free music concert of season is tonight,
at the Pianos at Jerusalem Theater.
But the big, really big, biggest news in the Middle East,
is opening of the new Jerusalem Arena tonight.
The first press conference was held in the special press conference room,
with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and leaders of the massive project.
Built next to Teddy Stadium and near the Malha Mall,
the view from main lobby of Jerusalem is impressive.
The main floor can be changed for events – sports, recreational and cultural.
There is seating for 11,600 people,
and 16 executive boxes.
I wondered if I would get back to a VIP suite,
and assumed it was my last chance to hang in a locker room with the Mayor.
Workers were all over trying to finish up for the opening tonight.
70% of the 400 million shekel cost was covered by the Israeli Lottery,
but many wish some of that money would go to finish up school construction.
We lived near Washington, DC on September 11, 2001.
As the world remembers those lost in NY Trade Towers,
we also remember those killed in the Pentagon that day.
Sept 11 should have been a wake up call
for US & for the world to terrorism.
Meanwhile, in Israel,
though there have been a stream of terror attacks,
we have two things in our favor,
as shown here.
The inaugural ceremony of the new Jerusalem Payis Arena
will be a salute to soldiers of IDF.
Ah, in Jerusalem, Israel,
summer nights are usually cool and clear.
Not many were out riding on the newly-constructed bike paths,
but the music at First Station had crowds on their feet dancing.
There was a big welcome sign at the only entrance to the Jerusalem Beer Festival.
בירה the Hebrew word for “beer”‘ and “capital” is the same.
The annual event drew a protest from the Arab media this year.
Located in Gan Ha’atazmaut, Independence Park, is it possible
that little white circle in the bottom left,
could really be a danger?
These “Make an agreement with Abbas, not with Hamas'” signs
were in many more locations and more on people’s minds.
Days this past week were hot enough to make the cats lazy,
but the summer signs
were being replaced with lots of new ones
promoting education in Jerusalem,
as school children returned to their classrooms.
Adults took advantage of end of summer
at The Israel Museum.
In the Garden,
next to the Big Bambu, all lit up at night,
was the hugely popular Wine Festival,
where twenty wineries shared samples.
Not all of the samples were wine,
and not all were popular,
as tables were filled with these discarded orange shpritzes.
Usually the children’s wing and playground are busy places,
but not on the four nights of this festival.
Not to worry,
on the way home I saw that signs were already up for a new event
at the Jerusalem Theater, “24 hours of PIANOS,”
plus there is another free concert in Kikar Safra on 11th,
just part of what is happening
on the Jerusalem, Israel, streets this week.
After 11 cease-fire attempts this summer,
where Israel ceased and Hamas kept firing,
this last one seems to be holding.
Almost a full day without red alerts and sirens,
after 50 days Israel is quiet.
People in south can go more than 15 seconds from shelter.
But before Hamas stopped aiming at Israeli civilians,
sadly two men were murdered and
a four-year old boy was killed on his kibbutz,
near the end of this summer barrage of Hamas mortars and missiles.
Though Jerusalem, Israel was not hit
and “only” aimed at a few times,
the streets were eerie quiet this summer.
This summer tourism was way down,
but those tourists who did not cancel had a great time.
One US friend shared photos of her family
enjoying themselves at tourist locations.
On Nasi Street the patriotic flags are gone,
but light poles are covered with blue and white lights.
“Did you know that if you post photos of cute little kittens,
the world will become safe?” a friend posted on Facebook.
I had never heard such a thing,
but it was good to see our neighborhood bully cat was back.
As “normal” returns to Jerusalem, Israel streets,
school starts next week.
I love the “Welcome to First Grade” signs.
Only in Israel is starting first grade a bigger deal
than some university graduations in other parts of the world.
Finally a slow news day.
With the southern border quieter now,
the northern one is warming up with
“spill over” from Syrian fighting.
Cannot help but wonder,
what will happen next on Jerusalem, Israel streets