Jerusalem: Aventures to the Moon and Back to Earth

Jerusalem: Aventures to the Moon and Back to Earth

The Israeli Prime Minister is on his way to Moscow.

The Israeli President hosts visitors from Greece and Cyprus.

The Israeli spacecraft Beresheet is on its seven-week journey to the moon.

Beresheet capsule ready for launch to moon
SpaceIL

The privately-funded Israeli space capsule was launched from Florida.

If successful, Israel will be the fourth country to land on moon.

Mamilla mall art blue man on ball

Back here on earth, in Jerusalem, in Israel, life is a balancing act.

Highway in Israel

On the one hand, new modern roads stretch for miles over former donkey paths and barren sand.

Jerusalem Israel new hostel

New lodgings in Jerusalem are too many to list now.

Near Jerusalem main bus station man sleeping in tunnel pass under street

But on the first really cold night in awhile, this homeless man was sleeping in the underground passageway to the new Navon fast train station and Jerusalem Central Bus Station.

Opening event at Jerusalem Urban Place cowork space

At the same time, on the fourth floor of the bus station, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion was speaking at the launch of Urban Place, a new co-sharing work space for nearly 100 businesses.

Jerusalem Council Hall at Kikar Safra

Also this week, Lion hosted mayors from around the world at a conference which opened in Kikar Safra, Jerusalem’s City Council Chambers.

Jerusalem Israel construction fence with graffiti

Around Jerusalem, construction fences surround building projects, which descend many stories down into the ground, and are covered with graffiti.

Construction site in Jerusalem Israel

It is always exciting to see when these projects finally reach street level.

Jerusalem street market

Nearby a market on Agrippas Street is busy when weather permits.

Muslim women walking in downtown Jerusalem

But rain or shine people come to the city center to shop.

I was on my way to hear about Arab voting patterns in the upcoming elections.

Israeli elections Arab vote

My only comment on elections, these two men from Abraham Initiatives were well prepared and extremely impressive in their presentation in English.

Elan Carr in Jerusalem Israel speaking at confernce

Also that afternoon, Elan Carr, gave his first major address after being appointed the US Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem.

Jewish Agency in Jerusalem

The Jewish Agency Board of Directors also met in Jerusalem this week.

Isaac Herzog speaking about anitsemitism

New head Isaac Herzog also spoke on countering antisemitism.

View near Hansen House in Jerusalem Israel

Meanwhile, a new synagogue building nearby is approaching completion.

When the sun came out after rain, so did the wild flowers in fields of green.

Rechavia view of green and trees Jerusalem Israel

Around Jerusalem, the nature areas are lovely.

Shabbat shalom poster with flowers

But I am not sure these petals will outlast the hard winds blowing up now.

Night view of art work in plaza in Jerusalem Israel across from Mamilla Hotel

At night for the Shaon Horef  I was not sure what this was.

Jerusalem Israel street art piece

The many new street art installations are better appreciated by day.

Art work in Mamilla Mall

Mamilla Mall has some new out-of-the-box, out of this world, art on display.

Mamilla Mall art work with figure reading

At least the sculpture figures are still reading books.

Jerusalem art work on Mamilla Mall at night young woman sitting on art piece

Real people seem to interact more with their phones these days.

The world, politics, and weather seem so uncertain one minute to next.

Jerusalem Israel view toward Jordan from a city office building

But, on a clear day from Jerusalem, you can see still Jordan not so far away.

Urban Place in Jerusalem where adventure begins..

I liked this poster at the end of hall of offices at Urban Place.

“Adventure begins at the end of the road you know.”

Beresheet may or not get to the moon.

But it is still a wonder.

With all the problems, from near and far, amazing what tiny Israel has been able accomplish.

Elan Carr gave such a powerful speech, I thought I would share a few minutes of it.

And to end on a high note, these young Israeli dancers with so much energy are hope for good things in the adventures ahead.

Hard to believe, but much more was happening on the Jerusalem streets this week.

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.