In Jerusalem 10 Signs of Purim Season

You can never tell what you will find on the streets of Jerusalem, Israel,

and that is especially true at this time of year.

The month of Adar has arrived,

and though the Purim holiday is still two weeks away,

Purim mask on Jerusalem street photo

here is a sign of the season, a great mask I passed on the street.

balloons, Jerusalem photo walk

Across the street from the Prime Minister’s residence

blue balloons were hanging and blowing in the wind.

At first I thought they were some sort of reminder of a terrorist attack

Jerusalem photo memorial

 that had killed 10 people at this spot in Adar of 2003.

But, the number 18 was not about years or the number of victims of terror,

when I looked more closely, they said:

Balloon 18 ministers is enough

 18 ministers in the new government is enough!

Jerusalem photo tour, sale sign

End of season sale signs are up in Mamilla Mall, where

Jerusalem street picture

 the humor themed art is perfect for this time of year.

Marathon sign at Jaffa Gate

The giant sign for February sport events and the Jerusalem Marathon

at Jaffa Gate cannot be missed

Jerusalem construction sign

Even with signs, the construction of new sidewalks

can be hard to figure out, and it took awhile to get around this mess.

Jerusalem protest sign photo

For months on this corner, there was a protest against racism,

in the same spot where Gilad Shalit’s family spent so many years. 

Jerusalem street photo

Today it was cleaned up and clear of all tents and banners.

Jerusalem street sign picture

You can now see the sign that says that it is prohibited to hang signs.

However, there are new signs being hung

Free Jonathan Pollard sign

across from Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence,

“Honored President, Save Pollard.”

There are  many more signs of the Purim season,

but two of my favorites 

Mordehai street sign in Jerusalem

are the street signs named for Mordechai the Jew,

and of course,

Hamentaschen photo

 those full plates  of hamentaschen being served where ever you go.

A Protest for all Seasons

Looking back at last July’s protest season,

I was surprised to see how much of this year’s is similar and yet is so different.

Then I realized that protests are not only held in the hot summer season 

but there were also protests in the winter.

The list of protests on the streets of Jerusalem, Israel is a long one.

"photo Free Pollard" ,"J Street" , "image protest sign"

The ‘Free Jonathan Pollard’ protest banners across from Bet Ha’Nasi,

the President’s Residence, were removed before President Putin’s visit,

so they were long gone when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came to town.

"photo protest' , "picture protest sign", "Image protest"

Not long ago, even the social workers were protesting on the sidewalk

outside the National Labor Court for a decent salary.

This year’s social protest demonstration drew a fraction of last year’s crowds

 as it marched to protest the lack of public housing on July 14 in Jerusalem .

"protest sign", "image protest",  "J street'

When protesters blocked a major street and made loud noise late at night,

 some people were so unhappy that they came out to complain.

Sadly, the way to get media attention has become more drastic

and the copy-cat aspect is even harder to comprehend.

The media loved the ultra-Orthodox rally against an army draft proposal,

but did you hear about a protest against racism?

Image Israeli flag", "photo Israeli flag", "Israeli flag"

In February, a lone man with an Israeli flag and a sign reading,

“no separation in nursery schools” for Ethiopian children

took over the same corner near the Prime Minister’s Residence

that  Gilad Shalit’s family occupied for so long.

"photo tent" , "image protest tent", "picture tent"

A tent was set up to protest against racism in Israeli society.

I even saw Gilad Shalit’s brother there once,

as one of the thousands of people who have come by,

"image protest tent", "image deputy mayor", "photo tent"

 including Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Pepe Alalu.

"photo tent" , 'image protest tent" , "picture Jerusalem street"

The tent structure grew to this before it was removed by court order.

"photo sign", 'protest image"

Holidays have been noted and observed.

"image protest:, "photo protest"

Groups are learning ways to be more inclusive and tolerant.

As we observe this week before the Tisha B’Av,

it is a perfect time for everyone to try harder to get along.

There will be more protests, but it is time to end discrimination.


A Different Gilad

Jerusalem is often the scene for protests, some of which make the news,

such as the protest about Egged bus routes in Mea Shearim.

Another protest are these photos of several famous Israeli women,

including Golda Meir, without their faces showing.

A lone protester with a sign

and a cause is a common sight and usually ignored by the media.

 Ramat Gilad is far from the center of  Jerusalem,

but last week a new protest tent was set up where Gilad Shalit’s family had been.

Gilad Zar was killed by terrorists in 2001.

His family started a new neighborhood, Ramat Gilad,

over looking Karnei Shomron, in his memory.

Plans were approved by the Housing Ministry for 185 units in 2003,

 today there are 10 families, about 30 people living on the hilltop.

The organization Peace Now petitioned the court to destroy Ramat Gilad.

The Zar family did not stay in Jerusalem for long.

The media did not report their cause or their search for a compromise.

Now each night they are afraid the army will come to destroy their homes.

A “settlement” home… no this is in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

In the center of Jerusalem there are illegal buildings,

 in the southern Israel there were more rockets from Gaza today,

but Peace Now is worried about Gilad.