The list of events that took place in Jerusalem
on Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, is too long to print.
Thousands of people traveled by bus,
hundreds rode bikes in from Gush Eztion
and tens of thousands marched in the annual Flag Dance parade.
Jerusalem was a traffic nightmare with many sudden street closings.
A Segway was one way to get through the sidewalk traffic.
With so many lectures, tours and varied activities available now,
people tend to forget that from 1948-1967,
the Old City and the Kotel, the Western Wall, were under Jordanian rule.
Jerusalem was a small, sleepy town divided by a wall and barbed wire,
a place where some Jews could not even see their former homes.
Jordanian snipers no longer shoot down over No Man’s-Land,
now Israeli soldiers watch out from the walls of the Old City.
Distances are not so great,
and on a clear day Jordan is visible from the promenade of the Tayelet,
located in an area once mostly agricultural and under British control,
but now famous for its view of the Old City Walls.
On Yom Yerushalayim I went on a walking tour of the area.
We saw the United Nations headquarters
and a Monument of Tolerance.
How ironic that it was dedicated rather quietly,
around the time that 8 Mercaz Harav students were murdered.
To get to the center of Jerusalem,
where thousands of boys
and girls filled the streets singing and dancing,
I passed through the Liberty Bell Park.
Arab women and families who ignored PA-issued warnings
were there as usual enjoying the pleasant weather.
Tens of thousands of people filled the Jerusalem streets.
Not all were religious, not all were teens, not all had Israeli flags,
and not one fired a weapon.
While I do not condone their bad behavior,
a statistically insignificant number of trouble-makers at Damascus Gate
got the mainstream media attention.
I would like to share with you a few scenes you may not have seen.
Mamilla Mall was packed with crowds coming and going to Jaffa Gate.
Music and dancing filled the Rova, The Jewish Quarter plaza,
in front of the Hurva Synagogue, which in 1948
was completely destroyed by the Jordanians and recently rebuilt.
The Plaza near the Kotel, the Western Wall,
was full of people even before the Flag Parade arrived.
the plaza outside Jaffa Gate was not a safe place.
Families did not stroll in the Yemin Moshe neighborhood.
Walking around The Old City Walls was impossible.
Jordanian east Jerusalem was off-limits.
The sun was setting after a beautiful Jerusalem spring day.
Then the party moved to Gan Sacher, Sacher Park
where live music blared all night for a crowd of thousands,
oh…and what a Sleepless Night it was:
Jerusalem Day #45
More photos The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook page