The week of many suffganiot, donuts in Israel.
First it was the pouring rain that kept people off the streets.
Then the headlines of stabbings and violence
kept the Jerusalem, Israel, streets quieter.
Yesterday there was a double stabbing in a supermarket,
one in which Arabs work and shop along with Jews every day.
But when the heavy rains stopped and skies cleared,
people were still going to Ben Yehudah Mall.
At the gated and guarded campus of the religious college Machon Lev,
young men went to study science and technical courses.
Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park,
was a vision of tranquility.
And after the rain, green covered the cleared plot of land
for the new National Library building,
with the Knesset in the background across the street.
And a little further down on the side of the busy road,
a man was getting ready to recite his morning prayers.
Traffic was light on the Begin Highway,
but clouds were heavy in sky above.
Not all was violent on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.
However, going back to biblical times,
there have been stories of abuse and violence,
even within the Jewish community.
This week over three very full days,
an International Conference was held dealing with those issues.
Hopefully this gathering of professionals and rabbis,
will be an important step on the way to reducing abuse and violence,
at least in some Jewish communities.
Meanwhile, a new music festival is planned on Gaza,
Azza Street that is.
It is called Go to Azza,
with music and arts for young people.
Now that should be something to see.
tonight is the start of Hamshushalayim,
hundreds of Jerusalem events and locations
over long weekends this month
at reduced prices.
Violence and politics, but much more too.
We moved to Jerusalem, Israel in August,
that hot time of year when the windows are open all night.
For weeks, when I heard noises in the night of firecrackers and gun shots,
I would run to the window to see what was happening:
another Arab wedding, another party, another random celebration.
It took awhile, but I eventually stopped listening and looking.
On Friday night there were noises again,
but this time I got up out of bed to look.
I saw nothing, all was quiet.
Around Israel 6 people have been killed in less than a month,
by the terrible “car intifada” and “knife intifada” attacks.
I try not to be political here at RJS,
but incitement has been fueled and fed for a long time.
most of Jerusalem is quiet
Yet everyone is watching carefully for what could be next.
This man dressed in white at Tzomet Hagush bus stop
got more than a second glance from a passing police car.
Last Friday Abu Mazen called for a “Day of Rage.”
But the music for Einstein on Azza played on,
as hundreds of people listened to university lectures
and gathered in restaurants,
including music at this location, 100 meters from the Prime Minister’s residence,
where 11 people were killed and 54 injured
by a suicide bomber in 2002.
In Mamilla Mall you could window shop and dream.
Jaffa Gate looked the same,
only the beigele sellers were missing.
Inside Jaffa Gate people were out,
with extra security entering the Arab shuk.
But huge protests and rage were hard to find,
as this security team was more interested in checking their cell hones.
Certainly police and lots of other security personnel were visible
around the Western Wall plaza.
Fewer visitors made it easier to get a place to pray by the Wall.
I heard noises coming from Silwan,
and found boys on the roof tops looking for the source:
firecrackers, tear gas shots or real bullets?
But there were no reports of serious incidents there.
Perfect weather in the fall is the time to be outside,
and not inside these old stone buildings that do not warm up.
The Liberty Bell Park was empty.
Usually on Fridays the park is filled with Arab families picnicking,
and the playground filled with Arab women and children.
They should be raging – that they are stuck inside on a glorious day,
leaving the playground for the birds.
In Jerusalem, there is a new cinema,
new walkway to cross from Malha Mall to Teddy Stadium,
and new park nearby under construction.
And now is the annual Oud Festival time celebrating Arab music.
Today I followed two young men speaking Arabic.
They went into same building I did, to their bank.
One was wearing an Israeli army backpack.
Signs celebrating “Aliyah for Everyone ” are up near the Jerusalem Theater.
New immigrants are arriving in November,
to add the the strange mix of old and new that is Jerusalem, Israel.