UN may close for a snow day, but
flames are on government buildings in Jerusalem, Israel,
and many remember every day.
The world seems upside down like Chelm these days,
and if it was not so serious, it would be funny.
This week saw a large delegation from Japan,
led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visiting Jerusalem, Israel.
Foreign Minister John Baird of Canada signed the official guest book
at Beit HaNasi, the Israeli President’s residence, while Reuven Rivlin watched.
Then in the afternoon a group of US Senators led by John McCain,
dropped by for a photo op and to chat with the President.
So much for isolation and BDS, all affirmed their support for Israel.
But government officials and their noisy motorcades
were not the only ones who filled the streets this week.
Extended families gathered to celebrate,
and thousands have come daily to the Kotel, the Western Wall.
Birthright tour groups
from around the world posed for group photos.
Tour buses lined up along the road to Har Hazaytim,
the Mount of Olives cemetery.
And at the same time as rabbis in Belgium
were being notified that their synagogues should be closed on Shabbat
for the first time since World War II,
because their safety could not be guaranteed by the police,
these Muslim boys were walking through the Jewish Quarter
in the Old City to go to Friday prayers.
Any doubts? Notice the prayer rug in hand,
so much for apartheid and oppression.
These boys may have taken a second look,
but the man was wearing a long skirt,
as this Muslim family proceeded to prayers on Temple Mount.
And while Muslims of all ages attend regularly on Friday,
(as long as there are no calls for violence)
this group we passed did stand out,
their bags had the name of a Turkish tour company.
Seems not everyone in Turkey is boycotting Israel.
Hope they get to see the real Jerusalem streets,
and take back the truth,
what is really happening.
Today the large French and Israeli flags were coming down.
They had been hung for a show of unity with France,
as Israeli leaders,
along with French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal,
joined thousands of mourners in attending the funeral yesterday
at Givat Shaul Cemetery in Jerusalem, Israel.
The road leading to the cemetery was closed
and traffic was backing up with unhappy drivers.
But the special free shuttle buses had a police escort
and went around the stopped vehicles.
Security lined the roads
and much of the cemetery.
Free water bottles were piled high in several locations.
International media and TV cameras were set.
Crowds tried to get past guards to enter,
but only those with invitations were allowed to pass.
Here a family member was carrying a talit,
which is used to cover the body before burial.
There were a few signs
in the crowd,
one with the faces and names of four men murdered,
because they were Jews,
and Israeli flags.
Immediate mourners and dignitaries were behind barriers,
inside other barriers.
Everyone rose when the Chief Rabbi entered,
and many stopped him to kiss his hand.
One by one Zaka members carried in the men,
murdered in terror attack in Paris, France on erev Shabbat.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat escorted a family member,
who lit a flame and spoke.
The Chief Rabbis,
Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin,
French Minister Segolene Royal,
and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
spoke in a protected area where only a special photographer
could get a photo without distorted reflections.
It was a sad day,
for all involved.
Inside the main area it did not seem like so many people came,
but upon leaving it was obvious that thousands could not get in.
They filled the streets as they filed out slowly.
Waiting shuttle buses returned us to town,
where more signs lined the Jerusalem, Israel streets.
Sadly, Jerusalem has had large funerals before
and has learned how to prepare for the huge crowds.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this was the last one
for innocent people murdered by terrorists?
They were calling it #IsraelBlizzard.
Jerusalem, Israel, was prepared for #WhiteJerusalem.
Schools were closed, meetings cancelled,
everyone was ready.
We were braced for power to go out,
just hoping for less time than the full week last year.
First, there were hail and fog, with very strong winds.
Hail stones fell after loud thunder and lightning.
Snow covered roof tops quickly,
and was sticking to cars and roads.
after ten minutes,
it stopped and a slight powder of snow
that could be seen on the Knesset grounds.
All day we waited for more,
by night fall the streets were quiet.
at bed time this was the best snow photo of the day.
It felt like those old days in the DC area,
where the government and schools shut for snowy weather
that made every Northerner and Canadian laugh
and go into the details of their memories of a real blizzard.
In the morning the Knesset had a thin cover of white,
and no serious accumulation of snow.
#WhiteJerusalem still might come over the weekend.
It is cold though, this indoor thermometer,
read 50 degrees first thing this morning,
so the temperature has been rising.
it is another grey, wet, sleet and slippery day.
After a late school opening,
the kids are out of the house,
making the parents very happy.
#WhiteJerusalem was not an #IsraelBlizzard,
even with that loud thunder all day.
Hard to believe that only four days ago,
there were those rainbow colored flowers,