Global Forum For Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem: Inside and Outside

Global Forum For Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem: Inside and Outside

Antisemitism is not a thing of the past.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, here in Jerusalem,  said “I would really like to make it clear that the struggle against racism and anti-Semitism is important to me.”

Also this week French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian while in Jerusalem said, “There is a friendship between France and Israel that is deep and enduring, and expresses itself in many, many ways. I wish to send through you my best regards to President Macron.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Affairs hosted The 6th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem, Israel, from March 19-21.

Global Forum against antisemitism in Jerusalem opening plenary

Together we can fight online hate speech was the opening plenary of the first day. The night before a large gathering listened to US Ambassador David Friedman.

Man from Australia wearing kippa with Aboriginal designs

People came from around the world, with 87 countries represented. This friend as you might guess came from Australia, but I also met a man from Trinidad, and several people from South African countries.

Global Forum Justice Ministers Israel, Germany, Greece and Italy

Ministers of Justice from Germany, Greece, and Italy joined Israel Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked in signing a joint statement confronting online hate.

Facebook regional director of policy at Global Forum in Jerusalem, Israel

Delphine Reyre, Facebook regional director of policy in southern Europe, told of Facebook efforts to curb terror sites.

This week it was reported that Facebook closed down a Hamas page.

However, Twitter has not closed even one hate site.

Former Prime Minister of France Manuel Valls speaking at Global Forum in Jerusalem Israel for Combating Antisemitism

Near the end of the Global Forum, the former Prime Minister of France, Manuel Valls, speaking in French, received applause for stating anti-Zionism is antisemitism.

Bulgarians with Presidential visit to Jerusalem Israel

The Israeli Foreign Ministry spent plenty of shekels on this event. Here the delegation with the President of Bulgaria arrived and waited politely to be seated at lunch.

Abe Foxman introducing President of Bulgaria at Global Forum in Jerusalem Israel

Abe Foxman was given the honor of introducing Bulgarian President Rumen Radev.

Radev remarks were in English. Not only is his English excellent, he showed amazing patience while being stopped for selfies during his visit.

Bulgarian Ambassador, President Rumen Radev, and Ron Yaakoby

Here Radev (center) posed with the Bulgarian Ambassador to Israel on the left and Ran Yaakoby,  Chairman of the Global Forum (right) of MFA.

Dessert tray at Global Forum in Jerusalem Israel

With lavish food and desserts, oh how very sweet the Global Forum was. Facebook photos HERE

But will it make a global difference to curb antisemitism?

Celebrity guests like Mayim Bialik got media coverage. Anti-Zionism, manifested in Israel Apartheid Week, has spread to India for the first time this year.

Meanwhile, for most locals what was happening to the streets was of more immediate concern.

Jerusalem new center under construction

Outside the International Convention Center where the Global Forum was held the streets change daily due to construction.

New roads in Jerusalem, Israel

This road expansion was open after weeks, or months, of work.

Jerusalem street construction fixing crossings.

I had to wait to cross until this small earth mover moved out of my way.

Jerusalem Israel new housing near future fast train to Tel Aviv

This is one of the new neighborhoods near those streets reaching completion.

Bridge for Tel Aviv to Jerusalem fast train outside of Jerusalem as seen from highway

The fast train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv will not open this month.

Train station in Jerusalem for fast train to Tell Aviv

But when it does, those apartment dwellers are near the fast train station, and can be in Tel Aviv in half an hour.

Coming soon Gan Sacher

Coming soon?

Whatever they are doing in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, is to be completed soon.

Gan Sacher trees in bloom on spring day with blue sky

Meanwhile, as I walked along Gan Sacher on my way home from the Global Forum, I saw something which all can appreciate now.

With spring weather and trees in bloom, we can appreciate what we have today and hope for a better future.

Spring is in the air. This year all Easter celebrations coincide with Passover, so tens of thousands of visitors are arriving daily.

Street sign Happy spring holiday

Happy Holiday of Spring in Jerusalem.

חג שמח

Chag Sameach.

 

Purim Colors in Jerusalem

It seems like ages ago, but Purim in Jerusalem, Israel, was celebrated this year on Thursday night and Friday.

Purim in Jerusalem family dressed in costumes

Families dressed up in costumes. In many neighborhoods they filled the streets as they went to synagogues, community centers, and hundreds of other locations for readings of Megillat Esther.

Purim for megila reading men in costumes

Not all participants dressed up, but many parents and children did, including the reader in this synagogue.

Pirate costume for Purim in synagogue

There were pirates below,

Purim costumes in Jerusalem Israel for megila reading

and fair damsels above. All quietly listened to the story of Esther and Mordechai and made noise when name of wicked Haman was read.

Jerusalem Purim costumes

Purim is a colorful time,

Rabbi Benny Lau poses in Purim costume with Yonks

with smiles a plenty.

Jerusalem Purim costume poop emoji

One never knows what costume you will find in Jerusalem on Purim,

Man dressed in costume pushing baby carriage.. Purim in Jerusalem

however, this man’s outfit stood out–and up–as he pushed the baby carriage up the street.

Tens of thousands were out on the Jerusalem streets on Friday. Some streets were filled with cars, and others were filled with celebrants, not all sober.

Purim costume little fireman Jerusalem Israel

Purim in Jerusalem is exciting enough to tire out even a fearless firefighter. The Purim marathon is finally over.

Jerusalem Marathon Finish line 2018

Now it is time to finish preparing for the Jerusalem Marathon on Friday, March 9, 2018.

Streets will be closed again and filled with colorful costumes as tens of thousands of runners and their supporters fill the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Purim in Jerusalem More than Just a Day

Purim in Jerusalem More than Just a Day

It is Spring in Jerusalem, Israel, and the barren land turns green from the winter rain.

Valley of Cross Jerusalem Israel in spring.

The flowers pop up from out of the ground.

Rafefet growing from old rocks in Valley of Cross Jerusalem Israel

Even from deep in ancient rocks, new life and color emerge, as the rafkefet, the cyclamen,  thrive with the cool winter temperatures.

Flowers planted near Jerusalem Windmill in Israeli park

Planted flower beds are ready for longer days and warm sunshine.

Sounds of the Night Jerusalem Festival in Old City

The special Ai WeWei art exhibit at the Israel Museum is ending, while the annual Sounds of Night Festival in the Old City is coming soon.

But, this is Purim week in Jerusalem, Israel.

In Israel, it goes on and on for more than one day.

Many museums are free for children both on Purim and Shushan Purim this year, on Thursday and Friday.

Purim costumes for children on Agrippas Street in Jerusalem, Israel Arab woman looking at dresses

However, costumes have been displayed for sale for weeks.

Purim in Jerusalem, Israel parents taking photo of girl dressed as bride

Wedding photos are often taken near sunset in Jerusalem parks, but this miniature bride was getting her Purim photographs taken a week before Purim in the Rose Garden near the Knesset.

Purim costume Lego Man in Jerusalem Israel

After days of younger children going to school dressed in pajamas, upside-down and whatever clever theme teachers could think of next, high school students joined in the holiday fun. On King George Street, LegoMan was a colorful and clever idea.

Purim costume giant marionette in Jerusalem Israel before Purim

Marionette guy took a second to turn and pose on his way to school.

Purim in Jerusalem Israel costumes for school before holiday

These girls were on their way dressed in a theme, but went past too quickly for me first thing in morning. I will spare you all the family photos posted on WhatsApp as they headed out to school. We even had a poop emoji in the bunch.

Children behind school gate dressed in Purim costumes Israel

Activities, and especially dress-up, were the rage in schools for nursery age children throughout Israel.  These cuties, policemen, brides, princesses and more in the south were singing Purim songs for us as we passed by their playground.

Purim in Israel carnival for community by AMIT girls' school

Purim carnivals and other activities have been held since the beginning of the Hebrew month of Adar, with schools involving communities to celebrate in the fun.

Hamentaschen piled up in Machane Yehuda Market for Purim

Oh and the food. Hamentashen galore in a list of flavors growing annually. The days of only poppy-seed and prune are long gone, only memories.

The Purim seuda, the festive holiday meal, is enjoyed by Jerusalemites on Friday, and should begin early enough so as not to interfere with the onset of Shabbat. We are planning to start at 11:00 after reading Megillat Esther. Others are starting later and going into the Sabbath.

Meanwhile, it is time to get cooking. I used to think it was be good to have extra time to prepare for Purim, a one-day holiday that went by so quickly. Now I’m not so sure. Creating multiple costumes, sending treats to school classrooms, beside the usual preparing food gifts to send, it seems endless.

Purim in Jerusalem megila ready every hour AZZA ZAZA

For the 8th year, AZZA ZAZA, continuous readings of Megillat Esther are being offered by Chabad in the Rechavia neighborhood. They offer over 20 readings, every hour in various public locations near Azza Street.

There are more Purim celebrations and events in Jerusalem than we can list, but the municipality website has a few of dozens, in English listed HERE

Happy Purim Jerusalem street posters

Happy Purim!