Terror Triumphs

Mea Shearim, an ultra-religious Jewish neighborhood over a hundred years old,

is a popular tourist stop and shopping center.

When you turn the corner

from Strauss Street,

you enter another world,

where Pashkavillim, not the internet provide the latest news.

On Mea Shearim Street discounted books can cause an instant crowd to gather.

For over a year the Or Chaim Bookstore on Mea Shearim Street

has been the target of repeated and increasing terror attacks.

This English modesty sign now hangs outside as a result of  those  assaults.

Metal doors, security, and police did not protect the owners from the thugs,

who vandalized the store and threatened the owners for over a year.

A group called Sikrikim,  extremists who want to control women’s dress and

 to decide which books are appropriate to sell and to read.

However, in store

after store,

after store,

after store,

after renovated store on Mea Shearim Street,

  no such modesty signs were posted today.

 Feldheim bookstore had the sign in Hebrew only.

Despite unending major building and renovation,

 and unwelcoming signs

 posted at the entrance to the neighborhood, the tourists still keep coming.

A few violent people caused The Or Chaim Bookstore’s shades to be closed,

so from the street no one can see they sell English books.

The damage caused by the Sikrikim was NIS 250.000 (over $65,000) ,

forcing them to give in.

Now they have the signs up.

They will not sell books the Sikrikim disapprove of.

Terror has triumphed in Mea Shearim…

Mughrabi Bridge

 The Mughrabi Bridge ascent to the Temple Mount

was destroyed by severe weather in 2004.

This temporary bridge was constructed

and is still in use.

It is the only way for non-Muslims to enter the Temple Mount

and is used by tourists from around the world.

For a while the lower part of the structure was covered with white fabric.

The women’s area near the Kotel, the Western Wall was made much smaller.

For some time now, engineers have said that the structure is no longer safe.

Yesterday the Prime Minister Netanyahu stopped a project, approved in March,

  to replace the Mughrabi Bridge with a permanent structure.

With the dark sky as background…

this is what the fuss is about,

this simple wooden ramp.

Jordan and Egypt have warned against proceeding with repair work.

There were rockets fired overnight from Lebanon into the North.

  Rocket fire from Gaza continues to threaten Israeli citizens in the South.

What is the greater threat to peace?

Not Tahrir Square

World media attention is focused on Tahrir Square with its exciting photos,

 by comparison Jerusalem’s Safra Square is downright boring.

A public meeting held in the City Council Meeting room on November 23, 2011,

chaired by Deputy Jerusalem Mayor Naomi Tsur was ignored by the press.

After her hour-long report on waste management, physical accessibility,

affordable housing and parks, transportation and a green Jerusalem,

there was a discussion group for each topic where the public could speak.

Each group then reported back to the full assembly during the last hour,

with an attentive Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat present.

He listened to each presentation,

took extensive notes,

and then responded.

The event was more civil, orderly and democratic than many US town meetings.

Near the end a man came close to photograph the mayor,

followed by a second photographer, otherwise the crowd sat politely and quietly.

Though a short power outage occurred during the mayor’s remarks,

 Naomi Tsur had good reason to smile at the close of the meeting.

After a resident of an Arab neighborhood gave an impassioned speech

 wanting good schools for his children at the housing session, he received applause.

The only noticeable  group missing were the Ethiopian olim,

possibly because of the Sigd holiday that is being celebrated this week .

The mayor used the word “savlanut”, patience more than once in this remarks.

Savlanut is usually needed in Jerusalem,

 a meeting like this one could be one small step in a positive direction.

Additional photos on The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook Page.

Rain, rain

At first it was hard to decide what to write about his week,

since threats seem to be coming from all directions.

The death toll is rising in Syria as violent protests continue.

In Cairo there are more casualties and democratic elections seem elusive.

New demonstrations are taking place in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Reports are coming in of CIA undercover agents being arrested in Iran and Lebanon.

And locally, the doctors’ struggle  continues

 and the light rail drivers still have not agreed on their wages.

In the meantime, a long list of political and celebrity visitors were in Jerusalem.

But the focus of the real streets has not been celebrity sightings,

political strife or the lack of Supreme Court Justices,

it has been rain, and lots of it.

 A break in the weather with the sun peeking through was a rare sight this week.

The rain is great for the lime tree at the end of its season,

but does not make for good photography.

The Knesset looks grey in the rain,

while the walls and smoke from the Israel Museum blend into the horizon.

Water filling the streets make it difficult to drive

and traffic often slows down.

Figuring out when and how hard it will rain, how to stay dry,

and how to avoid the puddles

 has been a challenge.

But not for everyone….there are those little people who love each new splash.

Prayers for rain have been answered.

After last year’s dry and mild winter, this has been a wet week,

 and it is getting colder, making it difficult to stay dry and warm.

While there is plenty of complaining about getting wet,

 no one is singing “rain, rain go away” yet.

It was cold enough for a winter jacket, hat and scarf today,

see Tourist of the Week…gotta love the Canadians!

Demon Israel

What a brilliant piece of work by the anti-Israel PR machine,

demonize Israel and the media loves it.

As I watched the AP (they used to be press associated with news, now views)

report on the “Palestinian Freedom Riders” tweeted around the world.

I could only think of the talk by Professor Robert Wistrich,

Head of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism

at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The claim that Israel is “stealing of indigenous people’s land

by the colonial whites” is becoming respectable.

The liberal center and moderate left in Britain find it

  “legitimate to be anti-Israel” using this narrative.

What could be better than a comparison to the Old South in the US

and the non-violent resistance of black public bus passengers.

One photo of the ‘orchestrated arrest’ was used by Newsday for an item,

“Gaza Militants fire rockets after Israeli threat,”

so much for a balanced report of

 a Gazan missile hit on an Israeli kindergarten building.

One of the best views of the Old City

and Jerusalem is from the Tayalet.

On the tayalet, by the Sherover Promenade, at the Haas Promenade

at the time “Freedom Riders” were starting out,

two Muslim men were praying,

facing to Mecca with their back sides to the Old City and Jerusalem.

So many photographers were occupied “capturing” the bus publicity stunt,

they once again missed seeing

what is really happening on the Jerusalem streets.

Winds of Change

The Arab League calls for Syria to stop the killing.

King Abdullah of Jordan says that Assad should step down.

A huge explosion in Iran gives the international media much to talk about

and new blasts are reported in Lebanon.

Once again Hamas and Fatah are to form a unity government

and rockets and missiles are fired at Israeli citizens in the south.

In the Middle East spring and summer are over,

but what are the ‘winds of change’ in the Arab world?

 On Monday the skies were clear and there was no wind as the flag of Uganda

was raised at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s official residence,

for an official visit of the Prime Minister of Uganda.

   Then the rain started in Jerusalem,

and it was time to cover the bike seat

and cover the hat.

With the change in weather, umbrellas were brought out for sale.

One lone, wet sign remained from the Jerusalem housing protest.

Mid-day the winds were still light, only one upside down umbrella was spotted.

The on again and off again rain and wind caught many people by surprise.

Some lucky folks were able to share an umbrella and stay dry.

Those trying to get their Rav-Kav fare card for the light rail train huddled under

the large Citi-Pass umbrella as they waited in line.

Cafes were crowded only under an umbrella.

The falafel shop off King George Street was dry, if you sat close to the wall.

After the nearly summer-like weather over the weekend,

the cold wind, heavy rains, thunder and flooding at night were indeed a change.

  Tuesday morning the sun was out and the sky was blue…but the winds were cold.

Time to dress the baby warmly for a bike ride.

Health care crisis, doctors’ protests, social justice, higher electric bills,

and protest posters of women’s faces…all reflect ‘winds of change’.

How good it was to see full racks of suffganiot,

 familiar and comforting on the Jerusalem streets.

Winter is coming, but that means that Chanukah is only a month away.

Incitement to Terror

Spending the day at the Jerusalem Citadel Hotel, one of the finest in Israel

is not the real streets…the rich and famous have stayed here.

On November 8, 2011, The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

along with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, sponsored a conference entitled

“Incitement to Terror and Violence-New Challenges, New Responses.”

It was held in the hotel ballroom.

I planned to just put the pictures on Facebook,

but with today’s IAEA report on Iran and the commemorations of Kristallnacht,

everyone should be aware of today’s incitement to hatred on the internet,

 illustrated in this Simon-Wiesenthal Center slide.

On the net, a talented but anti-Semitic Brazilian artist can reach around the world.

Speakers discussed growing anti-Israel feelings in western countries.

Prof. Robert Wistrich said demonizing Israel in Britain is becoming mainstream.

Illustrations provided by Itamar Marcus from the Palestinian Media Center

 show the PA publications as compared to the Nazi incitement drawings.

This is what the Arabic media is really saying about Israel

and these are the maps

they are showing.

Even a Red Crescent office displays an anti-Israel drawing.

U.S. Prof Gregory Gordon, a legal officer in the International Criminal Tribunal

 in Ruwanda, provided information on the media leading up to the genocide.

Read these steps of media incitement against the Tutsi,

think what the Palestinian Authority is doing today.

Iran,…incitement to terror or genocide?

Never again!?