March Madness

In the United States “March Madness”

is the spring college basketball tournament,

 in Israel “March Madness” takes on a different meaning. 

With the new threat of millions of outsiders

on a  Global March to Jerusalem – the “GMJ,”

Israel is again cast as the aggressor in the Middle East.

Looking through March photos, I found this picture

"Palestinian men", 'Muslim prayers", "Israeli apartheid"

taken last year as Muslim worshipers were going to pray.

These men were entering through the Jaffa Gate to the Old City.

There were threats of violence on that Friday,

but Muslim worshipers still had access to their mosque.

This is not the picture GMJ paints for the world.

Please let us not forget, in March of last year

the Fogel family were brutally murdered

and a Jerusalem bus bomber killed a woman.

In March ten years ago, the Park Hotel in Netanya was blown up,

30 people were kiled.

 The Global March to Jerusalem

joins BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions)

and Israel Apartheid Week  

as the newest anti-Israel publicity exploit.

 The GMJ organizers must have not have seen what

was really happening in Jerusalem, 

so I am sharing again:

        This is Apartheid?

 Israeli Apartheid?   and  More Israeli Apartheid?

It is time to stop the madness.


Malha Mall Rioters Drown out the Music

Malha Mall in Jerusalem is a large shopping center, busy day and night.

"Palestinian women' , "Arab women in Israel picture", "photo Arab women"

  Typical scenes like this one show no hint of apartheid.

Last week a group of Beitar football (soccer) fans made quite a scene

 in Malha Mall that caught international attention.

In no way do I condone their rowdy and obnoxious behavior, 

but sports fans have rioted in Canadian and  US cities also.

 Was the entire country condemned for their miserable behavior?

An Israeli diplomat in Rabat, Morocco had to be rescued from a mob

of tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

I did not hear of human rights activists writing essays against these events.

Once again, an isolated, repulsive incident has been blown out of proportion

 and has drowned out the other sounds coming from Jerusalem:

"J Street', Image "Wall of Old City", "photo of Jerusalem"

the sounds of a three-night music festival called “Sounds of the Old City.”

The city of Jerusalem offered free musical entertainment

"picture of Jaffa Gate", "lights" , "sundown photo"

 to bring more visitors to enjoy the beauty of the Old City at night.

Throughout the Old City and Mamilla Mall, 

"light on wall"  , "photo stone walls"

there were also video art displays…

 much better for a photo blog than music played in the dark.

"narrow streets picture", "sundown photo"

It was easy to follow the lights and art

"lights above narrow street" , "J Street"

through the narrow alleyways of the Old City.

"photo Hurva Synagogue"

The Hurva Synagogue in the Rova, the Jewish Quarter, was lit up.

"stage picture", "photo of a stage"

Musical performances were scheduled from 6-11:00pm;

sorry, I only got a program on the way out and missed the shows in the Rova.  

"picture of Cardo", "photo of Cardo at night"

Musicians performed inside the Cardo 

"musicians playing photo", "picture of Cardo at night"

and out, two of many dramatic backdrop locations.

Shows were also performed in the Christian and Muslim Quarters

"sound in the night" , "Arab men photo"

   and along many of the Old City streets.

"music fans" , "photo of stage", "Jerusalem photo"

Comfortable seats were impossible to find,

"Arab food photo", "picture of Fava beans",

but the food for sale near Jaffa Gate was hard to miss.

"Palestinian photo", "apartheid image" , "video art picture"

The crowds grew larger as the night went on.

"photo drum circle", "picture of drums", "Arab boys", "Jerusalem photos"

On the way home, this drum circle near Jaffa Gate caught my attention.

"picture boy dancing", "Arab boys in Jerusalem photo", "image Arabs"

One boy got up and started to dance

 to an audience which gathered to watch and included smiling Arab families.

The sounds of music from the Old City went unnoticed by the media,

drowned out by the noise of a few trouble makers.

There was no violence during the festival…so it is not news.

 The “Sounds of the Old City” was happening in Jerusalem last week.

What did you hear?