Anwar Sadat Historic Visit to Jerusalem 40 Years Ago Remembered

Anwar Sadat Historic Visit to Jerusalem 40 Years Ago Remembered

There is a joke that they tell

that really has much truth to it:

Israelis endure stresses and wars

and still carry on, but when it rains,

that’s a whole other story.

Finally,

Knesset building on cloudy rainy day

the first much-needed winter rain came down yesterday.

  The Jerusalem skies were grey and streets were wet.

I was happy to be dry and inside the Knesset.

There have been ‘100-years’ celebrations,

50-year’ celebrations,

and this week a ’40-year’ celebration.

Photo of Begin, Sadat and Shamir in Knesset for 40 events

Forty years ago Egyptian President Anwar Sadat

made his historic trip to Jerusalem and spoke in the Knesset.

Panel Moshe Arens and Eil Rubenstein in Knesset auditorium

Panels with distinguished Israelis,

like former Defense Minister Moshe Arens and

recently-retired Deputy President of  the Supreme Court Elyakim Rubenstein,

talked about events and memories of forty years ago.

Knesset Auditorium stage for panel on Sadat 40 year

This event took place in the Knesset Auditorium

and was open to the public.

Panel on durability of peace agreement with Efraim INbar and Zvi Mazel

At another panel former Israeli Ambassador to Egypt

Zvi Mazel talked about the peace agreement.

Following the next panel, on looking forward,

with MK Yisrael Katz and Dore Gold,

former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

the Prime Minister spoke at a special Knesset session.

The turnout was disappointing;

Knesset plenary for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech

I think there were more photographers present

in the plenum than members of Knesset.

As Benjamin Netenyahu gave his address,

MK Yisrael Katz sat alone in the center of the room.

Night view of Knesset flags and lights.

It was dark and wet when I left,

but at least this weather is good for photos of the flags.

Then in the morning,

 more rain and another event,

Beit Hanasi in the rain, outside wet

this time at at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence.

Umbrellas were piled up high and

 the newly renovated floors were hard to keep clean

as international diplomats gathered.

Historic photos were again on display,

Photo of first ladies.

like this one of the First Ladies, Aliza Begin and Jihan Sadat.

German Ambassador shaking hands with African representative

Ambassadors exchanged greetings,

Ceremony at Israeli President's Residence for 40 years Sadat visit to Jerusalem

before sitting down to see a slide presentation

and speeches highlighting moments from 40 years ago.

Hazem Khairat at Beit Hanasi for Sadat 40 year event

Cordial and friendly smiles today

contrast with situation over 40 years ago.

Hazem Khairat speaking at Beit Hanasi for 40 years Sadat visit to Jerusalem

Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Hazem Khairat

was the last speaker of the day.

Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin in photo at Beit Hanasi for 40 ceremony

Sadat and Begin did the unimaginable

forty years ago.

It was said at the time

that the peace treaty would be worthwhile

if there would be no wars for even 15 years.

Flags of Egypt and Israel at Beit Hanasi

So today,

Egypt and Israel

came together again to celebrate,

and hope for continued peace in the future.

Sukkot Surprise in Jerusalem

Sukkot Surprise in Jerusalem

The Bible Marathon was held October 6.

People raced from Rosh Ha’ayin to site of ancient Shilo,

a distance of 42 kilometers, a full marathon track.

I did not have time to go,

I was on a personal marathon,

racing through a packed holiday season.

So much happening in Jerusalem,

it is really hard to keep up.

For the first day of Sukkot lunch, we were 22 people,

from US, Mexico, USSR, Australia, France, South Africa

Table ready in sukkah for meal

and more, all gathered in our sukkah for a meal.

Amazing if you take time stop and think about it.

President Rivlin honored a long-time tradition

Beit Hanasi on sukkot ready for public

and opened the gates of Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s official residence, to the public.

As usual the Presidential sukkah featured

Israeli grown agricultural products,

Sukka Beit hanasi on Sukkot 5778 map with flowers and fruit of Israel

this year a map of world was unusual and special.

From Beit Hanasi in the morning,

I had planned on walking into town to attend a bar mitzvah.

But also special on that day, was the weather.

Sure they had called for rain in the morning.

But first rain usually is a few drops of wet dirt.

But, surprise!

Thankfully, I made it to a bus stop,

before the heavens opened up.

Below is one of several videos,

in case you think I am overstating.

I made it to the bar mitzvah.

It had moved inside from the sukkah,

but cleared enough to come out again for dessert.

So much more, but for now here is

Happy Holiday sign at Israeli President's house on Sukkot 5778 - 70 years.

one special photo from Beit Hanasi Sukkah Open House

“Happy Holiday”

Check back next week for holiday highlights,

Jerusalem March, Kites at Israel Museum, sukkot, etc.

Now back to kitchen to prepare for end of holiday week.

חג שמח

Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Raise Your Glass

Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Raise Your Glass

In Jerusalem, Israel, it seems everyone is

is getting into the holiday mood,

as Rosh Hashanah,

the Jewish New Year, approaches.

Finally on Sunday, it felt cooler, as

Beit Hanasi symbol

  I was at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence

and noticed this new arrangement in the front garden.

Major renovations have been underway for months,

Beit Hanasi renovations

both outside and inside the building.

But the mess of construction has not interrupted

Beit Hanasi getting cleaned by power-wash

holiday preparations or official receptions.

Flowers with pomegrante

The flower arrangements included a fake pomegranate,

as the First Lady and the wife of Chief of Staff of the IDF

hosted 30 lone soldiers.

It was a rather modest event,

Walter Bingham ai Beit Hasnasi

with the highlights of the day being Walter’s outfit

Box for phones

and this box for soldiers’ cell phones to be deposited during the program.

New Year reception at Beit Hanasi for lone soldiers

The program was held in the formal meeting room,

Fist Lady Nechama Rivlin with lone solders at Beit Hanasi

with a group photo at its conclusion.

Then on Monday, it was back to Beit Hanasi again

Beit Hanasi new emblem

 where glass pieces had completed this design.

Ambassadors at Beit Hanasi

At the President’s reception for foreign Ambassadors

business cards were exchanged and

newly arrived diplomats from around the world met.

Beit Hanasi food

There was no comparison to the simple food served the day before.

It was disappointing that the US Ambassador was back in the US,

Ambassadors at Beit Hanasi

but Egyptian Ambassador Hazem Khairat

and Jordanian Ambassador Walid Obeidat

were seated in the front row

and greeted me later with “Shanah tovah.”

Rosh Hashana table at Beit Hanasi

The holiday treats were impressive

Tzipi Hotovely taking a photo of the food at Beit Hanasi

enough for Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely

to take a photo of them on her cell phone.

Rosh Hashana at Beit Hanasi reception for Ambassadors

Israelis do take “raising a glass’ seriously,

from lone soldiers to diplomats,

businesses and organizations,

reception after reception,

l’Chaim,

to celebrate Jewish New Year.

I finally got used to year 5777,

5778 Shana tova on Jerusalem Israel bus

and now it’s changing to 5778

Shanah tovah

Good New Year to all.