Did you hear about Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem, Israel?
By now you must have heard that Mitt Romney was in Jerusalem
on the fast day of Tisha B’Av.
I had no details on the Romney press conference when I posted last week,
but an hour later I had all the information I wanted.
What a wonder, the internet!
Even no food or water for 24 hours could not keep me away.
The Old City Walls were in the background as
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat waited to welcome Romney to the stage.
Flags and a line of security lined the entrance route.
Already there have been hundreds of reports
and millions of words written about the speech,
which was given in the plaza near the Montefiore Windmill.
Only a small select crowd attended the Romney events.
However, what else did you hear about Tisha B’Av?
Did you hear that the night before, hundreds of people
were out on the Jerusalem streets walking around the walls of
The Old City, passing first by the New Gate, new from 1887?
The new addition this year were the active Jerusalem light rail trains.
As last year, Tisha B’av and Ramadan coincided,
so Damascus Gate at midnight was still celebrating.
I only got one chance to take a photo, as security moved me away.
Cameras and security were ready for trouble.
But the most shocking scene I could find was of all the garbage on the street.
The Women in Green had to petition the court to be allowed to walk,
though this was the 18th year for this event.
Like last year, I was impressed with the number of people
and the variety of the crowd that stayed
so late at night for the closing speeches at the Lion’s Gate.
At 1:00am some marchers headed home while the buses were still running.
Others walked to the Dung Gate entrance to The Kotel, The Western Wall,
where many people stayed all night.
Tens of thousands of people,
peacefully celebrated Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem.
There was no violence, therefore it was not news.
This one minute video may help you feel the mood of the night.
As I walked home at 2:00 am, the closed Mamilla Mall was full of people.
I noticed that it was decorated with strings of colorful lights
for the Muslim holy time of Ramadan.
Another sign of Israeli oppression?
For more on Romney visit click here.
More photos from the Walk around the Walls.