Israel’s President

Today was sunny, clear and warm in Jerusalem, Israel.

image Knessest, sign in flowers

The flowers offered a colorful  ‘Welcome to the Knesset.”

The streets outside were unusually quiet.

But inside was a different story.

DSC_7212b Knessest building during voting for president

 With Israeli flags flying, there were three puffs of white clouds

over the Israeli Knesset building and Reuven Rivlin was elected  Israel’s 10th president.

image Peres,

This was our most recent close-up photo of outgoing President Shimon Peres.

Before his trip to Rome to see the Pope,

Pau Gasol and Shimon Peres meet.

Peres hosted basketball player Pau Gasol at Beit Hanasi,

the official Israeli President’s residence.

image Pau Gasol, photo Shimon Peres

The seven-foot tall Gasol plays for the LA Lakers,

but also was on the Spanish Olympic team,

and presented Peres with a team shirt.

image Pau Gasol, photo Shimon Peres

Gasol signed the shirt as requested.

Though looking serious in this photo,

Shimon Peres made a few age and height jokes

image Pau Gasol, photo Shimon Peres

and posed for an official photo with a mixed Arab-Jewish teen basketball team.

One thing for sure, Peres’ staff had schedules that ran like clockwork,

with the diplomats leaving as the basketball players arrived,

and when we left another event was being set up.

image Peres

 RJS’ first close-up photo of Shimon Peres is from October 2009,

no age jokes now.

Israeli Knesset – Hadassah Outside and What’s Inside

The Israeli Knesset is open to the public.

But getting a chance to join a tour

with the Jerusalem Press Club and get a behind the scenes look

 is hard to turn down,

especially when I can take my camera.

People behind bars?

image Hadassah strikers, photo people near fence, image hospital workers on strike

Yes-striking workers from Hadassah Hospital,

image protest, photo peaceful protest, picture Hadassah workers on strike

hundreds of them in the Wohl Rose Garden,

image Hadassah workers on strike, photo striking staff from Hadassah, picture workers in uniform on strike

demonstrating across from the Knesset.

Too bad PA leaders were not around

to see what a peaceful protest really looks like.

Image protest sign, Hadassah worker on strike photo, picture of striker holding sign

Problems have built up for years in the medical center,

and the complicated situation affects everyone.

The latest news – 90 day delay and staff is to get 90% of their salary.

image protest in Rose GArden, picture demonstration across from Knesset, photo Hadassah strikers.

Hadassah medical specialists are experts at saving lives,

not for organizing protest rallies that offer dramatic photo ops.

image Hadassah protest, photo Knesset, picture with Knesset symbol

The demonstration could easily be seen from the Knesset.

Hopefully a resolution will be worked out soon.

Hadassah is essential to everyone in the Jerusalem, Israel area and beyond.

With security it always takes awhile to get inside the building.

A year ago after elections, a paper poster with the members of the Knesset

with their photos was posted by the entrance doors.

There were so many new faces,

that the guards needed photos to show who should be allowed in.

image Knesset members, photo sign in Knesset with who is there, picture Knesset attendance

Now there is a screen which shows which of the 120 members

are present in the building and which are not.

The modern-day legislature has 120 members,

similar to the number of members of the Knesset Gedolah of ancient times.

image small meeting room, photo Knesset , picutre Knesset room

We got to walk around and

see some of the small meeting rooms and many works of art.

iamge Israeli prime ministers., picture Rabin , Begin

In one of many photo galleries, this one of deceased Prime Ministers of Israel,

a spot is ready for Ariel Sharon’s photo.

image Knesset, photo inside Knesset, picture Israeli Knesset

The view inside the main plenary is familiar to all.

image Israeli flag, photos Israeli flag in Knesset, picture Israeli flag

The room was packed when Stephen Harper,

the Prime Minister of Canada, spoke here recently.

But European Parliament President Martin Schulz and

 David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain,

are to speak also, but with much less hoopla.

UPDATE: Seems Schulz’s remarks did get noticed after all!

And Cameron had to cancel due to floods in England.

Every Knesset member had a copy of the State Comptroller’s report at their place.

image Knesset seat, photo Knesset, picture inside Knesset

But a few had other reading material on their desk.

image Knesset seat, photo desk in Knesset, picture Israeli Knesset

I was glad to find at least one person is interested in the laws of shemita.

 There was Rav Rimon’s book on the laws of planting in the seventh year,

 but I could not clearly read whose name was on that screen.

The year is coming soon, last time in the cycle was a challenge.

image special synagogue, picture of shul in Knesset building, photo Kensset beit Knesset

The Knesset synagogue was on our tour,

but next time I really want to get a photo of the Muslim prayer room too.

image MK i

 MK Nachman Shai of Labor Party shared some of his views.

He had to leave to prepare his remarks,

as is the custom,

every Monday afternoon at 4:00 pm,

the opposition tries to “bring down the government.”

image symbol of israel, photo Israel image, picture of official symbol Israel

I guess he did not get a majority vote.

The present coalition government stands.

We are still here.

But Opposition is waiting to “ambush” at the right time of course.”

What a country!