Israeli Soldiers

 The Israeli military units sent to Haiti were fast  and effective, saved  hundreds of lives and have started returning home.

In Jerusalem, you usually see soldiers carrying a gun,  but not always…

Both young men and women in uniform are regularly seen on the streets of Jerusalem

shopping or schlepping back to their base on Sunday morning after a Shabat  at home.

 

 

                  On duty and off, some  have parents 

                 who live on the other side of the world.

Not all action is life-threatening or serious. This week visitors from Nigeria and the Far East ‘attacked’ a group of young people in uniform going towards the Old City at Jaffa Gate…with cameras!

.

   Wonder if the Goldstone Report made headlines there?

 

Wish I had a video, perfect flash mob-a huge crowd one minute, everyone lined up and then they were gone!

                                                                        Quite a sight for these kids.

In Memory – Martin Luther King Jr

The United States celebrates a federal holiday

in memory of Martin Luther King Junior. 

In Jerusalem, Israel a street  has  been named for him.

Not a long street,

  but a new one  in one of the best neighborhoods,

off of Emek Refaim near the Liberty Bell Park.

           A few meters away is another sign,

    it is in memory of the eight people who were killed

there in a bus terrorist attack  in February 2004.

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr and those killed by acts of terror.

How Safe are We?

 

 Built between the hills of Judea, it seems that no part of Jerusalem is flat.

Israel sits on top of the Dead Sea Rift, a serious fault line.  In 1995,  a 7.1  offshore earthquake occurred  south of Eliat.  The most serious threat is to the northern part of the country, but after the tragic results of the serious earthquake in Haiti one has to wonder; how safe are we? What about those houses on the hilltops?

Certainly with stricter codes the new construction  should be safer.

  Many older building are supported by pillars.

The addition of elevators

to apartment buildings,

not only increases their value

and accessablity,

but also strengthens

the structure making them

much safer.

Started and abandoned construction sites can not be very safe.

This week a favorite structure came down on Aza Street.

The rain finally came down, with

plenty of thunder and occasional hail,

and the  entire city seemed

to disappear in the fog.

Children Beware

 

A couple of extreme cases of child abuse have exposed a glaring gap in communication between social service agencies and police. Only specially trained investigators are legally allowed to question minors in criminal cases, but there are not enough youth crime investigators, so sex offenders are often not prosecuted or monitored properly. 

However,  small children take public buses home from school, others use hasaot, private vans to  transport them to schools not in walking distance..

Young children in Jerusalem have much more freedom of movement than children of the same age in many major cities outside of Israel; many walk home from school alone.

 

 

      Schools and ganim, nursery schools, all have security.

 

 

 Crossing the street can be very dangerous. A new safety campaign  was displayed on city buses when the school year began, encouraging safe crossing.

With the onset of  summer-like weather this week,  the parks, outdoor malls and streets of Jerusalem were full of children of all ages.

 

 

 

Perfect weather for hundreds of children from all over Jerusalem who participated in school races in Gan Sacher.

 

 

A suspicious package was blown up in Gan Ha’atzmaut,  Independence Park, on Sunday afternoon just as children were getting out of school. The park was cleared, everyone stopped for a few minutes, there was an explosion and then movement resumed.

 

Bars on the window do little to keep thieves out, but do a good job of keeping children in…       and flowers.

 

Dangers are all around, yes…

but as this sign warns

Slow

Beware!

Children on the road.

The vast majority

are thriving.

One Picture Worth a Thousand Words

 

The tenants of Hutzot Hayotzer,

the artists colony

located near Jaffa Gate,

were nearly evicted this week,

at the last minute

they got a one year

extension on their leases.

This is how the street

looked one  beautiful

afternoon early in November.

One picture  worth a thousand words?

The following photos 

speak for themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 What you see is not always what is real… these boys are playing ball on a quiet street after school? No,  they were really in traffic dodging cars as they played.

Slum dwellings?

No,

in Jerusalem

these are

$1,ooo,ooo plus

properties…      

 

A few highlights and lowlights of the week…

A new tent protesting the building freeze was erected near the Prime Minister’s residence.

The only olympic size pool in Jerusalem closed for repairs, its fate uncertain.

There were more protest demonstrations against separate seating of men and women on regular bus lines.

New year celebrations were not wide spread, 

 this one had to move locations at the last minute.

With the high cost of housing, parties to pay the rent  

seem to been gaining in popularity.

More than 600 family and friends

came to the Gerard Behar Centre

to celebrate the 75th birthday of Benyamin Glickman.

Born in Jerusalem, lover of music and retired chazan,

cantor, he conducted two choirs to celebrate his

milestone birthday.

The buses of Taglit Birthright were zig-zagging the streets.

For some the biggest excitement…finally there is a kosher McDonalds in Jerusalem, one opened in the central bus station. Perhaps the  government ministers upset by the new low-fat options served at their meetings can get a burger and fries?