Anwar Sadat Historic Visit to Jerusalem 40 Years Ago Remembered

Anwar Sadat Historic Visit to Jerusalem 40 Years Ago Remembered

There is a joke that they tell

that really has much truth to it:

Israelis endure stresses and wars

and still carry on, but when it rains,

that’s a whole other story.

Finally,

Knesset building on cloudy rainy day

the first much-needed winter rain came down yesterday.

  The Jerusalem skies were grey and streets were wet.

I was happy to be dry and inside the Knesset.

There have been ‘100-years’ celebrations,

50-year’ celebrations,

and this week a ’40-year’ celebration.

Photo of Begin, Sadat and Shamir in Knesset for 40 events

Forty years ago Egyptian President Anwar Sadat

made his historic trip to Jerusalem and spoke in the Knesset.

Panel Moshe Arens and Eil Rubenstein in Knesset auditorium

Panels with distinguished Israelis,

like former Defense Minister Moshe Arens and

recently-retired Deputy President of  the Supreme Court Elyakim Rubenstein,

talked about events and memories of forty years ago.

Knesset Auditorium stage for panel on Sadat 40 year

This event took place in the Knesset Auditorium

and was open to the public.

Panel on durability of peace agreement with Efraim INbar and Zvi Mazel

At another panel former Israeli Ambassador to Egypt

Zvi Mazel talked about the peace agreement.

Following the next panel, on looking forward,

with MK Yisrael Katz and Dore Gold,

former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

the Prime Minister spoke at a special Knesset session.

The turnout was disappointing;

Knesset plenary for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech

I think there were more photographers present

in the plenum than members of Knesset.

As Benjamin Netenyahu gave his address,

MK Yisrael Katz sat alone in the center of the room.

Night view of Knesset flags and lights.

It was dark and wet when I left,

but at least this weather is good for photos of the flags.

Then in the morning,

 more rain and another event,

Beit Hanasi in the rain, outside wet

this time at at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence.

Umbrellas were piled up high and

 the newly renovated floors were hard to keep clean

as international diplomats gathered.

Historic photos were again on display,

Photo of first ladies.

like this one of the First Ladies, Aliza Begin and Jihan Sadat.

German Ambassador shaking hands with African representative

Ambassadors exchanged greetings,

Ceremony at Israeli President's Residence for 40 years Sadat visit to Jerusalem

before sitting down to see a slide presentation

and speeches highlighting moments from 40 years ago.

Hazem Khairat at Beit Hanasi for Sadat 40 year event

Cordial and friendly smiles today

contrast with situation over 40 years ago.

Hazem Khairat speaking at Beit Hanasi for 40 years Sadat visit to Jerusalem

Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Hazem Khairat

was the last speaker of the day.

Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin in photo at Beit Hanasi for 40 ceremony

Sadat and Begin did the unimaginable

forty years ago.

It was said at the time

that the peace treaty would be worthwhile

if there would be no wars for even 15 years.

Flags of Egypt and Israel at Beit Hanasi

So today,

Egypt and Israel

came together again to celebrate,

and hope for continued peace in the future.

Sigd and Shabbat Shalom

Sigd and Shabbat Shalom

Sigd, a holiday which is set on

the 29th of Hebrew month of Heshvan,

 falls out on Shabbat this year.

A national holiday in Israel since 2008,

thousands of Ethiopian-Israelis celebrate

by coming to Jerusalem, Israel,

to the tayelet in Armon Hanetziv.

Ethiopian religious leaders in Jerusalem Israel Sigd

Kessim, religious elders, sit under umbrellas,

perhaps remembering the days in Ethiopia

when they went to the highest mountain to fast,

praying to one day return to Yerushalayim, to Zion.

Woman praying at Sigd event in Jerusalem Israel

Women can be seen praying,

and perhaps remembering life in Ethiopia,

and their arduous journey to Sudan and challenges in Israel.

Each year,

Young male IDF soldiers in uniform for Sigd in Jerusalem Israel on Tayelet

more and more of the young people

Young female IDF soldiers on Tayelet for Sigd celebration

 young women as well as men,

are serving in the Israeli Defense Forces.

Sigd was observed on Thursday this year,

so as not to have the celebrations interfere with Shabbat.

The reason the main celebration is on the tayelet

Shabbat Shalom from the Tayelet view of Old City Temple Mount

 is that its elevation provides this, one of the best views

of the Old City and the Temple Mount.

שבת שלום

Jerusalem: Looking Back and Forward

Jerusalem: Looking Back and Forward

Jerusalem, Israel:

the autumn clouds are white,

and look like puffs of cotton in the blue sky.

Jerusalem, Israel blue sky, white clouds over the Western Wall in Old City Jerusalem Israel

It’s after the busy fall holiday season,

and the record crowds of visitors have returned home.

On a weekday afternoon,

Lone man praying in afternoon at Kossel Yerushalayim

it is possible to find a time at

 the Kotel, Western Wall, to pray in solitude.

This is in contrast to the main lightrail route,

along Jaffa Road.

At the start people complained.

Rechov Jafo in Yerushalayim people waiting for light rail

Who remembers the Saga of Light Rail?

Today crowds can be found along the route day and night.

Remember when George Mitchell was going to

work out a peace deal in the Middle East?

It did not go as Mitchell planned.

However, remember when the

Nature Museum was to be closed?

work and music in garden museum in Jerusalem Israel

Well, the protesters prevailed over the developers,

and today new signs tell of new projects

that are happening on those Jerusalem grounds.

children in fountain

In Jerusalem new parks have been developed

and old playgrounds are being leveled and upgraded.

Looking back just a few years

we can see and feel the difference,

but there are too many examples to list now.

This week I was on the helicopter landing pad

at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem,

to take photos – not as a patient – thanks.

You will hear about their plans soon,

View of Jerusalem Israel from top of helicopter landing at Hadassah Ein Kerem

but what a view there is from up there.

As we commented on all the new building going on,

Cab driver asked to take his picture

my taxi driver on the way home wanted me to take his photo.

All around there are new Jerusalem roads

 which are too often overloaded with traffic.

Wait until the next holiday season,

the suffganiot have been out for weeks,

Suffganiot in window of bakery in Jerusalem

and soon it will be Hanukkah.

With all the centennial events,

yet another big one is ahead.

Allenby 100 years entering Jerusalem

General Allenby made his way into the Old City

of Jerusalem on foot on December 11, 1917,

one hundred years ago.

It was also Hanukkah then,

but I would bet the window displays were not filled

with suffganiot weeks before the holiday.

Oh, Yerushalayim, 

Jerusalem looking back and to the future.