Coming together

From the news this week one would think that all of Jerusalem is divided; religious or secular, right or left, east or west.  However, on  many Jerusalem streets people do come together and not just in traffic accidents.

 

Outside the walls of the Old City…thousands of people gather and pass peacefully day after day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Kotel, the Western Wall on Monday or Thursday and certain holidays when 13 year old boys are celebrating their Bar Mitzvahs, invited guests and strangers from all over the world can be found enjoying the celebrations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shopping in the Machane Yehuda Market, shuk has for years been a important part of life in Jerusalem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Yehuda Street

is alive again.

King George and Strauss Streets

in the center of town

 and its shops are also busy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 But the modern malls are real competition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many buses cross the Jerusalem streets,  often riders come together  like sardines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Great Synagogue attracts many visitors.

Bus loads of tourists come, 

Jews, left, right and center  attend

the services.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 

                                                            And finally,

                                                            one thing everyone

                                                            agrees on…

                                                            Yaffo Street 

                                                             is still a mess…….

Sharing Spaces

Over and over I have been asked why I started doing this photo blog…it was this scene.

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The Bell Park in Jerusalem  April, 2009

 

After I took this photo from just outside the Bell Park, I walked the short distance to the Kotel, the Western Wall. I could not get near, as police security barriers were already set up in early afternoon to keep everyone away, even though the Remembrance Day ceremony was not to take place for hours.

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The photo I saw published in the newspapers was of one of men (Arabs?) behind yellow police tape.  Seems the papers, certainly in Israel, publish what supports their agenda. I decided instead of being angry, to take candid photos, real street scenes and share them.  My hope is that people will appreciate seeing the Real Jerusalem Streets, often the other side of the street from the media, and will share with their friends.

 

 

With President Peres in Brazil, IMG_2352

the Prime Minister in United States and France,

and many Israeli officials overseas,

the streets were a bit quieter this week.

The many U.S. congressmen, former President Bill Clinton

and Saban Forum delegates at the King David Hotel

seem to move around in big vans, but with a lot less noise.

 

 

The real Jerusalem streets are often traffic nightmares,  many of them with the space for donkeys or camels, not the large vehicles of today. Pray you never have a medical emergency in Jerusalem, often  even an ambulance cannot get  the needed space to move.

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Space is always an issue, inside and out.  Coming from a ten room house to a four room apartment here was quite an adjustment, utilizing every bit of space is a must.   Putting a fish restaurant on top of a garage, what a use of space!

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The Ethiopian community’s holiday,

 Sigd is now a national holiday.

Thousands of people and buses,

crowded into Jerusalem for Monday’s celebration.

Amazing event!

 

 

 

 

After the cold and wet weather, we had a few hot days.  People came out in droves, even the ants came back from their winter hiding places…and last night  more much needed rain.

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Security

Security issues are the hot topics of discussion, from Moscow to Texas, from Berlin to Florida, from Washington to Jerusalem.

 

The Israeli navy’s seizure of the Francop, a ship loaded with hundreds of tons of weapons, should be a positive thing for our security.

 

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For major events security forces fill the Jerusalem streets.

However, on an average day, if you want one,

just try and find a uniformed policeman on the streets of Jerusalem. 

 

 

During the Pope’s visit in  May 2009, IMG_0962

there were major street closings.

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The resulting traffic back ups are still the talk of the real Jerusalem streets.

 

When the Pope visited the  President’s House bystanders were disappointed that he did not use the Popemobile, but arrived by regular limousine.

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Security going into the new Gap clothing storeIMG_1538

 is stronger than the security leaving the store.

 

 

 

Searching of all bags on entering a mall

or public venue is routine all over Israel.

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However, in stark contrast, on a regular afternoon small children can be seen going home from school alone,

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and in most neighborhoodsIMG_2021

women walk alone safely,

 day and night.

Faster than a speeding bullet

 It is a shame that U. S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton          IMG_2012

was in and out of Jerusalem so quickly this week.

If she had taken a few minutes to visit a local hospital,

 she would have seen the real Jerusalem streets.

 In Jerusalem, there are two Hadassah Hospitals,

one at Mount Scopus and the other location, Ein Kerem…

home of the Chagall Windows.

 

The best photos I did not take…privacy reigns over sensationalism.  The two great grandmothers sitting so close that the flimsy hospital curtain would not fit between their chairs, and both with their husbands stretched out on beds next to them waiting for surgery, both with their hair covered, one Arab and one Jewish…

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Put everyone in hospital gowns, and no one could correctly identify the doctors, the nurses, the Jews, the non Jews, the religious, and the non religious. Patients of many nationalities and religions fly to Israel to have procedures done in Jerusalem.  It is reported that 30% of the doctors speak Arabic. Israeli doctors have marvelous, well deserved reputations.

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With 5 patients crowded into a room meant for 4, and  only one two prong electric outlet for a side of the room, everyone shares. Secretary Clinton could witness real negotiations. Some patients were sleeping in the hallway, the hospital was so crowded. A new building is under construction, let’s hope that Hadassah gets the funds to get this much needed facility up and running soon.

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(Full disclosure my mother was a member of Hadassah.)

 

 

The weather, as usual,  was the focus of most conversations.IMG_2142

Heat wave last week,

then enough rain to make the streets slippery and dangerous.

A few real rain storms and

everyone is hoping for a wet winter…

just not when they have to be outside.

                                                                                                              

 

         

 

 

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   Cold, sunny, rain…                                                  

  even the sun could not figure…in or out.

Rains came and winter is here.