Where to be End of August in Jerusalem

Where to be End of August in Jerusalem

Amazing how morning rush hour traffic seems to have disappeared from many Jerusalem streets. Many families are away on holiday until the end of August.

First day of school for little girls in Mea Shearim Jerusalem Israel

These little girls in Mea Shearim were so cute lined up on their first day of school, which began the beginning of Jewish month of Elul for many religious schools.

I heart Jerusalem Israel in flowers near King David Hotel

“I love Jerusalem” was spelled out in flowers near the Montefiore Windmill.

Pomegranate almost ripe on Jerusalem Israel tree

Pomegranates are almost ready to pick from the trees lining Jerusalem’s streets.

No signs along Jerusalem road in August

No event signs were posted here near the Knesset.

Is there nothing new happening or are the workers away?

For those of us who did not go away, there are things to do beside hang out in the malls.

JBLM near Israel Museum has free entrance for children

The Jerusalem Bible Land Museum has free entrance for children.

The Tower of David does as well, and so does the Israel Museum.

Jerusalem Israel Museum children's wing

At the Israel Museum, the special summer exhibit  “I to Eye” includes a craft area set up outside the Children’s Wing.

Jerusalem Israel Museum

The Israel Museum is a popular summer day activity for families.

Jerusalem Israel Museum virtual reality exhibit

Inside are multi-sensory exhibits, including one with virtual reality googles.

Jerusalem Israel Museum fashion exhibit

The Israeli Fashion exhibit is still on, attracting mostly adults.

Exhibit on Israeli fashion at Israel Museum

Years of Israeli fashion design are displayed with 150 outfits.

Jerusalem Israel Museum App for tours

How cool? I downloaded the Israel Museum App. Now, using the app at home, I can listen again to the descriptions of both what I saw and did not see today in the various exhibits.

Wedding gown and carriage at Israel Museum

Across from the fashion exhibit is art of the Jewish life cycle, from this Moroccan bridal dress to a Hungarian funeral carriage.

In the background, you can see three of the dozens of Israeli soldiers who were in the museum on a tour.

Museums and malls are especially popular on extra hot summer days.

Jerusalem Israel park with wedding party taking photos

As evening approaches, a modern bride and her wedding party were taking photos.

This Jerusalem city park, Bloomfield Gardens, is in back of the King David Hotel.

On Jerusalem Photo Walks, I like to show the beautiful part of this hidden area to visitors.

Hamlet in Jerusalem Israel park

But in August for a number of evenings, I take thee there for ‘Hamlet, in Motion.’

Shakespeare is not studied in Israeli schools.

Audience for Hamlet in Jerusalem Israel park

So while the production of the Jerusalem Theater in the Rough is not quite Shakespeare in Central Park, “to be or not to be” is no longer their question.

Jerusalem Israel performance in park of Hamlet

This troupe of actors have been sharing the Bard with whomever comes to the park.

To watch Arab families sit and watch along with religious Jewish family groups is part of the unique Jerusalem experience.

Hutzot Hayatzor entrance

Minutes away is the entrance to the 42nd annual International Arts and Crafts Festival.

View of international booths at Jerusalem Arts and Crafts fair

The entrance next to the Artist Colony has the walls of the Old City in the background.

Hutsot Hayoetzer

There is food, music, and 150 artists showing their work.  Dozens of local and international artists have booths.

Yemin Moshe house with flowers in evening Jerusalem Israel

As night falls, the lights go on and people come out as the summer ebbs.

Hebrew sign for Jerusalem summer late night bus

Special bus lines aim to get late-night party animals home safely.

Even with so many residents away, tourism is high, and there is plenty happening on the Jerusalem streets.

Plus, Wednesday morning, as the sun rose, 239 new olim arrived in Israel.

New olim 2018 NBN Terminal 4

If mainstream media news and summer heat gets you down, check out the smiles and excitement.

She said tell the world I am coming home

Her shirt says, “Tell the world   WE’RE COMING HOME!”

Facebook Photo album on NBN Charter Flight is  HERE

 

Barkan, What’s Happening over Green Line

Barkan, What’s Happening over Green Line

Summer time. Israelis travel.  It is reported that half the population goes overseas.

Having traveled plenty, especially when we lived in Australia and circled the globe numerous times, I am staying closer to home.

However, I gladly accepted another chance to go see more of the Shomron.

View of Shomron from bus

There are vast expanses of land, with magnificent views as seen from the bus.

Arab building in YESHA construction

This is all new Arab construction, and many are empty summer homes for people living overseas.

Leshem new houses

Leshem, the future home of hundreds of young Israeli families, is growing.

Near Ariel, only an hour drive from Jerusalem, our destination was the Twitoplast factory in the Barkan Industrial Park.

Barkan Industrial park Israeli business hiring Arab workers

In the Ariel and Barkan Industrial Parks, Israelis and Arabs come together and work together.

Arab workers in Israeli factory in Barkan Industrial Park

I was in the factory on a previous visit and saw some of the plastic pieces being made,

Palestinian workers in Barkan Industrial Parl

plastic components which are sent around the world.

Palestinian workers in Israel

This is where Arab workers, many second generation, get a decent wage and benefits.

Cars in Shomron industrial area with Palestinian license plates

Last time I noticed their cars parked outside.

Barkan Industrial Park near Ariel Israeli business new green house for education of Arab workers' children

This visit, however, the green house constructed in the parking lot was our point of interest.

Moshe Lev Ran, VP of International Sales, spoke for the owner, Yisrael Twito.

Twito has built and maintained a successful business, in spite of BDS activists trying to shut him and other businesses down.

I decided to let you hear Moshe, an individual too hard to describe in one caption.

Twito not only employs and supports hundreds of families, but in this greenhouse he is teaching their children the importance of education. The children are learning about agriculture and animals, and more importantly, about innovation and motivation.

Israelis traveling in Europe have noted it is hard to find kosher food. European labeling laws and BDS initiatives have affected some “Over the Green Line” businesses.

Arab woman working in Israeli business

Twitoplast is only one business. There are dozens more. From over two years ago:

What the Main Stream Media is Not Reporting: The Arab Jobs at Risk 

West Bank view from bus

Ariel and Barkan Industrial Parks, carved out of hills, have been developed over the past 30 years.

BDS does not “help Palestinians,” rather they are ones hurt most if companies like TwitoPlast and SodaStream are forced to move.

West Bank Winery in Shomron

One small, growing business in the Shomron is the Kabir Winery in Elon Moreh.

Elon Moreh Kabir Winery

The Kabir Winery is one of several wineries with tastings and food options.

New vineyards are being planted. Listen to the wind on the mountain top looking down on Shehem, or Nablus.

If you miss the annual Wine Festival at the Israel Museum, take a trip and see these boutique wineries. The quality of the kosher wine and food options might surprise you.

View in YESHA, West Bank

While I marvel how much Israel has accomplished under difficult circumstances, in 70 years, in 50 years Israelis in Judea and Samaria have many accomplishments of which to be proud.

I only regret that it took me so long to go and see for myself what was really happening over the “Green Line.”

If you want to see for yourself, let me know and I will connect you.

Finally, if you missed my other recent trip to Shomron, those 7 stops: HERE.

Syrians Looking to Israel for Safety

Syrians Looking to Israel for Safety

When you were young, what did your parents tell you when you didn’t want to eat all your dinner?

Parents around the world told their children to finish all the food on their plate, “because children were starving in China” or “hungry in Africa.”

In Syria, a mother told her young son, “If you do not finish your dinner, “Big Zionists will come and drink your blood.”

Imagine this young man’s surprise to find himself taken to Israel by the IDF for life-saving medical treatment, waking up in a hospital where the signs were in Arabic and the staff spoke his language.

Arab couple walking outside Galilee Medical Center

One of the northern Israeli hospitals treating wounded Syrians is the Galilee Medical Center (GMC). It has taken over 1,500 of the 5-6,000 Syrians that Israel has treated.

What began with seven patients on February 16, 2013, has grown over the years. Word slowly traveled back over the border that if you want the best medical treatment, go to Israel.

Syrian man in Jerusalem Israel who was treated in Israeli hospital

Treating patients from Arab countries, Gaza, or Syria, is not new.  A Syrian father who accompanied a son to Jerusalem for medical treatment, fell ill, and was treated in a hospital in Jerusalem in May of 2014. Here he is recuperating on a bed in the center of Jerusalem.

Then, as now, for their safety when they return to Syria, no names, no photos of faces are used to identity these patients. Having received life-saving treatment which is only available in Israel could be a death sentence for those patients when they return to Syria.

Farm land in Galil on way to Golan Israel

On a trip to the Golan from Jerusalem, Israel, one passes cultivated fields.

Israeli cemetery with new apartments being built near by

Rising apartment blocks for housing are seen, even on the outskirts of a municipal cemetery.

Galilee Medical Center map of northern Israel

This map of northern Israel shows the Nahariya area where the GMC is located.  More than 800 Katyushas were fired here during the Second Lebanon War, one hit and destroyed an entire department on the 4th floor of the hospital.

Pleasant scene in Golan guest houses Alonei Ha'Bashan

The northern border has been quiet for the last few years of the “Good Neighbor” policy.

Galilee Medical Center underground surgery area

But the GMC Underground Hospital unit is ready if the need arises to evacuate patients again.

Syrian man being treated in Israel hospital

This Syrian patient, Hani from Ghutta, near Damascus, has been receiving treatment for two years. Currently there are 40 Syrians at GMC and more at other northern Israeli hospitals.

Jeeps for ride to Golan Heights

Jeeps are necessary to get to the Golan Heights vantage point, as a bus could not safely navigate the narrow and winding roads up the mountain.

Syrian border from Israeli Golan Heights

This is the view from the Bashan Hazaka observation point,

Syrians near border of Israel for safety

and a close up view of the area in southern Syria, near the Israeli border.

View of Syria from Golan Heights

This is the view to the left, and  at the bottom of the photo, there is a yellow sign warning of land mines.

Southern Syria mountain top close up

Here is a close up of the top of the hill that appears in the distance in the previous picture.

Golan Heights view of Syria

Look to the right, from the observation point and one sees a cluster of trees.

From Israel Golan Heights Syrian refugees near border

However, in a close up of the area, one sees the tents more clearly.  These green IDF tents were supplied to homeless Syrians.

Syrian refugee camp as seen from Golan Heights

Displaced Syrian refugees have come to the border of Israel for their own safety.

From Golan Heights tent in Syria for refugees

Bringing their families and whatever they can schlep, they are getting away from the Russians bombing from above and Assad’s forces, aided by Iran and Hezbollah, shooting to kill on the ground.

Syrian Israeli border rusty tank

Reminders of the previous Israeli-Syrian wars are still around, as evidenced by the rusty tank in the bottom of this photo.

Abandoned Syrian bunkers on Golan Heights

At the observation point on top of Bashan are remains of Syrian bunkers and old army vehicle.

Abandoned Syrian bunkers on top of Golan Heights

In the past the Syrians were here shooting down at Israelis over the Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee.

Head of IDF medical unit in Golan Heights pointing to Syria

Lt. Colonel Dr. Tomer Koller, the medical officer of the Bashan Division in the Golan Heights, showed us the area where tens of thousands of Syrians are encamped. Those in need of medical treatment come there to find assistance.

How could anyone think it is a good idea to “give back” the Golan Heights to Syria?

view of Kinneret at sunset

After many years, the Kinneret  is again under threat from the intensified Syrian civil war.

The IDF Good Neighbor Operation has been helping.

Israeli residents in the north have gathered aid to send.

Mendi Safadi of the Safadi Center is working to open schools for the children displaced in Syria.

Frontier Alliance International (FAI) is working with IDF to get international doctors into Syria to help with the medical crisis.

Arab countries have shut their borders to Syria.

Where have the UN, EU, and human rights organizations been all these years?

Because of the growing humanitarian crisis, fleeing Syrians are flocking to the Israeli border.

Perhaps the next generation in Syria will not be taught to fear “blood thirsty Zionists.”