From Maalot to Halamish: Jews and Druze Bound Together in Mourning

From Maalot to Halamish: Jews and Druze Bound Together in Mourning

On Friday, July 14, 2017, two Israeli policemen

were shot and killed while on duty at the Lion’s Gate entrance

to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel.

The international media already seems to have forgotten.

International headlines are blasting

about the fact that Israel installed metal detectors

while ignoring the reason for them.

The guns to shoot the policeman in the back

were hidden in their supposedly holy sanctuary.

On Wednesday, July 19, I joined a group

organized by OneFamily to visit the grieving families.

New roads outside Jerusalem Israel

We left the hills of Jerusalem,

Israel outside of Jerusalem, flat and green

went past green fields,Israeli countryside bales of hay

 many filled with bales of hay,

View from bus driving north in Israel

and row after row of banana trees.

Driving to northern Israel

Israeli supermarket named Texas

we passed a Texas supermarket and traveled

Galil road on way to Druze village

 on roads that reminded me of the hills of West Virginia.

Along the way we passed the town of Maalot-Tarshiha

Israel Monument Maalot

and this sign which made me think of the

 Maalot Massacre and terrorists killing Jews in their homes,

then murdering 22 more children on a school trip.

Finally,

Israel Memorl at entrance to Norfeish

we arrived at the entrance of Horfeish,

with its large Israeli and Druze flags.

Two black memorial ribbons on photos of two Druze policemen killed by terrorist at Lion's Gate Jerusalem

Next to them were posters with black memorial ribbons

around the faces of the two murdered policemen.

Men mourning Kamil Shnaan in Horfeish who was murdered by terrorist near Temple Mount

On the wall over the male mourners

was a photo of Kamil Shnaan,

Female members of Kamil Shnaan family mourning his murder in Jerusalem Temple Mount

while his mother in the women’s section

clutched her murdered son’s photo.

The Druze women were dressed in black with white scarves,

Family of Kamil Shnaan look at his photo during memorial visit by Jews and others in Horfeish

and received hundreds who came to pay their condolences.

Among the visitors were a group

Zion Riders come to pay respects to family of police officer Kamil Shnaan who was murdered

of senior bikers, the Zion Riders.

Zion Rider came to pay respects to family of Kamil Shnaan

Not sure what the young boys were thinking,

when one of them revved up his Harley-Davidson to leave.

Druze female mourners dressed in black with white scarves

Little was spoken, for what is there to say

to a woman who has just lost her youngest son?

Then back in the bus,

Kinneret view from bus on trip to Sitawe Family

as we drove down the winding road

there was a majestic view of the Kinneret.

Israel has so many beautiful spots,

but we were on our way to next grieving family.

Father of murdered policeman with white mourning scarf

The father of murdered policeman, Haiel Sitawe,

was upstairs with the men and stood to receive his visitors.

The women downstairs wanted no photos taken.

Large wedding portraits of Haiel were placed

along the wall behind the row of grieving women.

His widow was beautiful as any model, though so pale and sad.

Haiel will not get to see his baby son grow up,

Picture of Haiel Sitawe from women's mourning room, one of several located behind where they sat

who will only know his father’s smile from photos.

The world may have a short memory,

but Jewish people have a long memory and will not forget.

Before I could get this blog posted,

we have moved on to a new tragedy.

 Friday night in Halamish,

a terrorist knocked on the door of the Salomon family

who were expecting guests for their Shalom Zachor,

a special party to celebrate the birth of a new baby boy.

Instead the door was opened to a knife-wielding murderer.

No, it has nothing to do with metal detectors,

there were none for Muslims (or most of rest of us)

back in 1974, for Maalot Massacre,

or for the Fogel Family Massacre six years ago.

These are not clashes, but cold-blooded murderers,

mostly young men incited by the hateful, lying Arab media

and egged on in their echo-chamber of hate

to strike and kill innocents.

I hope to share “nice days” from now on,

but do not count on it,

Hamas and Abbas are counting on terror in order to

to distract from their problems,

and so far it is working for them.

The Jerusalem streets are quieter than usual,

it is summer and people are away,

hoping it stays that way. Quiet. but not too quiet.

10 Photos of this Week in Jerusalem

10 Photos of this Week in Jerusalem

I love a day when the weather is the top news.

Last night, as the sun set, cool winds came across the city.

 I thought my camera lens was dirty,

old City walls at sunset

but those were clouds over the Old City.

As it got darker, more clouds blew in over

Jerusalem Israel summer clouds. over King David Hotel and Montefiore Windmill

the Montefiore Windmill and the King David Hotel.

By morning, the sky looked winter grey,

and certainly not like the first day of summer.

But by afternoon, most of the clouds were gone,

and it was back to sunny warm streets and a normal June day.

A great time to get out and appreciate the Judean  hillside.

Hills around Jerusalem, Israel near zoo

This view is just minutes from Malha Mall,

Yehudah Hotel garden Jerusalem Israel

and was taken from these lovely gardens.

This week’s exciting event (for some people) was a visit by

18 US football “Hall of Famers.”

US Football star Willie Lanier in Jerusalem Israel

Willie Lanier of the Kansas City Chiefs

was wearing Jerusalem on his hat at the end of his visit.

It goes well with his Canton, OH, Hall of Fame shirt.

Thousands tried to meet and

photograph their favorite sports stars.

 I was told that I missed Joe Montana by seconds.

Oh well.

It was better than standing in the heat outside

the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs waiting for security.

Simon Wiesenthal center at Israel Foreign Ministry

The Simon Wiesenthal Center and

the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Israel held a conference there

on digital terrorism and hate speech on the internet.

I am afraid you will be hearing lots more

on this EchoChamber in the future,

as cyber terrorists look for new ways to attack.

The next day was

Conference on Israeli economy in Jerusalem Israel IDI

the Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society,

of the Israel Democracy Institute,

where we heard that Israel, the ‘Start-Up Nation’,

is #52 in the world in the ease of opening a business.

Changes must be made in taxation, regulation and bureaucracy

in order to get Israel to the next level

to be known as the ‘Nation of Innovation’.

After two days inside, it was good to get out.

Pillbox in Rechavia painted Jerusalem Israel history

Our local pillbox got a much needed painting.

White Night Beit Avi Chai in July 2017

This new sign was posted for Beit Avi Chai.

Lists of children’s summer programs are planned,

but this informs us that July 6 will be Leila Lavan.

an all-night loud summer music party.

Mekudeshet, a festival working hard on integrating cultures,

is also planning a long list of events for this summer.

If you remember the photo I posted of the Mamilla Hotel,

Mamilla Hotel flag for Macabbiah in Jerusalem Israel 2017

there is now a fourth banner flag on the building.

The 2017 Macabbiah will be bringing tens of thousands

of international Jewish athletes to Jerusalem, Israel.

All of this is amazing.

Especially if you stop and reflect

that all of the above locations,

from the Pillbox to those hills,

were mostly empty and barren, except for rocks,

not so very many years ago.

And Mamilla Mall and Mishkanot-Shaananim,

were dangerous zones inhabited by the poorest of poor.

Holocaust Remembrance Day to Shabbat: Darkness to Light

Holocaust Remembrance Day to Shabbat: Darkness to Light

January 27, 1945,

 the Auschwitz Concentration Camp was liberated.

 In 2005, the UN set the day of January 27

to remember the victims of the Holocaust.

What better place to remember than Yad Vashem.

In the Vad Vashem Synagogue are remnants of the past.

Romania Lions supporting Ten Commandments

Displayed artifacts from Romania,

Romanian Aron Kodesh

including part of an Aron Kodesh, the Holy Ark

where the Torah scrolls were kept.

Torah from Transnistria and mantel from Greece in Yad Vashem

A Torah from Mantte, Transnistria,

covered by a mantle from Salonika, Greece,

stands on exhibit in the back of the synagogue.

Diary of Holocaust experience Yad Vashem

This tiny diary holds memories,

of those who so much wanted to live,

expressions of the human spirit.

Display Yad Vashem children exhibit

Stored in Yad Vashem are photos and memories

of those who survived and those who perished.

Not all have names.

Children, so many children murdered.

They left no diaries.

Child survivors are growing older and dying.

Dolls from Holocaust on exhibit at Yad Vashem

Soon a doll collection and memories

will be all that remains.

Holocaust Remembrance Day falls on a Friday this year.

But as the sun sets it will be Shabbat,

and Rosh Chodesh Shevat,

the new month that ushers in the spring.

From the darkness of the Holocaust,

it is time for a new season and renewal.

שבת שלום

image shabat shalom and love

חודש טוב

Chodesh tov.