Cease-Fire #12: Now What Next

After 11 cease-fire attempts this summer,

where Israel ceased and Hamas kept firing,

this last one seems to be holding.

Almost a full day without red alerts and sirens,

after 50 days Israel is quiet.

People in south can go more than 15 seconds from shelter.

But before Hamas stopped aiming at Israeli civilians,

sadly two men were murdered and

a four-year old boy was killed on his kibbutz,

near the end of this summer barrage of Hamas mortars and missiles.

image Yemin Moshe

Though Jerusalem, Israel was not hit

and “only” aimed at a few times,

the streets were eerie quiet this summer.

image street old stones

This summer tourism was way down,

but those tourists who did not cancel had a great time.

image happy tourist

One US friend shared photos of her family

image boys in water

enjoying themselves at tourist locations.

Quiet night time on Nasi Street with colored lights on

On Nasi Street the patriotic flags are gone,

but light poles are covered with blue and white lights.

“Did you know that if you post photos of cute little kittens,

the world will become safe?” a friend posted on Facebook.

 I had never heard such a thing,

image street cat

but it was good to see our neighborhood bully cat was back.

As “normal” returns to Jerusalem, Israel streets,

school starts next week.

image welcome to first grade sign in Hebrew

I love the “Welcome to First Grade” signs.

Only in Israel is starting first grade a bigger deal

than some university graduations in other parts of the world.

Finally a slow news day.

With the southern border quieter now,

the northern one is warming up with

 “spill over” from Syrian fighting.

Cannot help but wonder,

what will happen next on Jerusalem, Israel streets

Beautiful Jerusalem Scenes then Rocket Siren

Last night as the sun was setting,

traffic around the Old City was heavy and slow.

image of crowd at Mamilla Mall

Mamilla Mall was crowded with people.

image Jerusalem toursists

The usually deserted Artists’ Colony was alive for

   Hutzot Hayotzer, the annual international arts festival.

016b Teddy Park

Security was tight for this mega rip-off, but hugely popular

image International arts fair

international fair of merchandise and food.

020b fund raising by sitting on street

This man was taking advantage of the crowds,

hoping to raise money for sick people.

 I walked through Teddy Park,

image Teddy Park Jerusalem

across from the Walls of the Old City, this former No Man’s Land,

image Jerusalem Park

 packed with people.

I imagine the designer of the special water fountain

036b  Water fountain at Teddy Park

thought of it as  a place where people would come together,

image mincha outside

but this corner as a place for afternoon prayer services?

image Jaffa GAte

Jaffa Gate was unusually quiet, the Arab vendors were not around,

image Arab market

and one of the major gifts shops was closed.

Israelis were out to enjoy the last of summer evenings,

but tourists have been scared away this summer.

Too bad they are missing the sights,

image Dome of Hurva Synagogue

like the beauty of  Hurva Synagogue as the sun sets,

Jerusalem at sunset

the Old City views,

image Kosel, photo Western WAll, picture Kossel

and seeing the majesty of the Kotel, the Western Wall, up close.

But my favorite scene was nearby on the Kotel plaza.

image Israeli soldier at western wall

A soldier just back from reserve duty, still wearing his gun,

had come to the Kotel with his young family.

He was surrounded by young admirers.

Perfect weather.

All was calm.

But,

Hamas broke a cease-fire for the 11th time,

and for the second day in a row southern Israel

was pounded by rockets and mortars from Gaza.

Then,

last night the warning siren went off

as we were on way home from the Old City.

We had to get out of  the car

and run to stand near a wall with no glass windows.

We then heard a boom in the distance.

It was a quiet street, with nothing special to photograph.

But the family members who were at the Kotel,

had to first go up against the wall,

then were sent into the tunnels to wait out the ten minutes.

Hamas was trying to hit Jerusalem, Israel,

with their rockets…again.

100 rockets launched at southern Israel since midnight

and 30 targets attacked in Strip overnight,

for way too many sleepless nights.

Rocket sirens now in Beer Sheva,

too many places to list.

How did so many thousands of rockets get into Gaza?

How did so little else get accomplished by Hamas?

Jerusalem Getting Back to Normal

This summer was not normal.

Rockets were falling and tourism was way down

But those tourists who did come had a great time.

The Tourism Ministry recorded 218,000 visitor entries in Israel in July 2014.

Groups from southern Israel were brought to Jerusalem for fun days.

President Reuven Rivlin and his wife hosted more children this week.

Slowly we are returning to “normal.”

The last two weeks in August there is no regular child day care,

which makes some workplaces look like day care centers.

 Grandparents, cousins,

 or any family member or friend can be called to help out.

 A popular summer activity was the view from Big Bambu at the Israel Museum.

image Big Bambu

Some ‘seniors’ finding out they had to go up with their young children,

were not so thrilled about having to make the climb.

image children play ground

The new play area at the Israel Museum was much easier to experience.

 The Bloomfield Science Museum, an  old favorite, is always great for a day outing.

image science museum water

The water activities on a hot day are always a winner.

image sand play area

The new sand area is usually a busy place,

but not this early morning in July,

image children playing

though learning activities led by staff were well under way.

image hand meat grinder

I wonder how many of the children ever saw a meat grinder like this,

or would have any idea what it is?

It was seen on my way to a new building for a special exhibition:

The Machine Within: Bio-mechanics,

image science museum

the machine inside is built to survive.

image science museum

Using small screens

image science museum

and large ones,

image child and grandmother in museum

and animals to attract attention and teach.

image Jerusalem science museum

This shows the outside of a pouncing animal,

but walk around it,

image Jerusalem science museum

and the exhibit shows how it works inside.

image child in science museum

One of my favorite scenes was this boy,

image child at science museum

who figured out how to interact

image child in science meusm

with all the right moves.

image Arab girl Jerusalem,

During the month of July with all the troubles and tensions you heard about,

at places like the Science Museum, where this Muslim girl is on staff,

image Muslim men Jerusalem

and in the Israel Museum where Muslim men worked and rested on Ramadan,

life went on as “normal.”

That was the real Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Will the cease fire and quiet hold?

We will all have to see what happens next.

Shabbat Shalom

More rockets are being fired at southern Israel

this afternoon, after many this morning.

Hamas has broken cease fire again repeatedly.

However, we keep going,

so with this view of  the Kotel,  the Western Wall

Shabbat shalom poster, western wall, kossel, kotel

 wishing all a Shabbat Shalom.

18 Signs of our Times

The last week has been another roller coaster one,

with so much attention centered around Gaza,

which in Hebrew is Azza.

image street sign hebrew

There were even jokes about Azza,

Street that is, which is near where we live.

image Operation Protective Edge

No jokes, as 64 Israeli soldiers died,

and one went to this Jerusalem, Israel school.

The death notices posted and displayed inside are in his memory.

Many more soldiers were injured.

gifts outside room of injured Israeli soldier

You could spot the hospital rooms of injured soldiers

by the collection of gifts near the room and

the well-wishers in the hall waiting to enter.

hebrew sign

The banner reading

“Soldiers of Israel, we are with you the whole way, return in peace,”

was displayed on many Jerusalem buses this week.

image large Israeli flag

This synagogue had its flag flying at half mast.

image Israeli flags on cars

Small Israeli flags were flown from cars,

flags on building for Opertaion Protietive Ege

and the Jewish Agency Building brought out their large flags

and this special sign, all in support of Israeli Army.

image signs in Hebrew

Flags and signs were hung in Paris Square,

image signs Operation Protetive Edge

even hand painted ones were allowed to stay.

image Hebrew signs

Children’s summer activities were moved inside,

Tisha b av

while signs announced free admissions in August.

In spite of everything, there were signs of development,

032b dig for construction

 as construction continued deep into the ground.

Tisha B’Av with its signs of mourning,

image Israel Tisha Bav

  sitting on the ground

while reading Eicha, in Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park.

9 Av5774 050b  tisha b av in Jerusalem

Hundreds joined the 20th walk around the Walls of the Old City

on Tisha B’Av night, with many waving Israeli flags.

The route was changed this year.

A funeral was being held on Mount of Olives for a young father

who was killed by a terrorist driving an excavator on a Jerusalem street.

Security was high,

iamge Kossel

but the crowds were not as large as usual

near the Western Wall, the Kotel,

a sorry sign of these times.

poster #EyalgiladNaftali

And this sign,

 it was just  announced that Hussam Kawasma,

the Hamas terrorist who planned and commanded the terror cell

that kidnapped Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Sha’ar and Naftali Fraenkel

has been arrested.

image for support of Israeli army

“We Are Strong Together,” in bold letters on another sign.

What a time it has been.

Today the strange winter clouds have lifted,

the sky is again a clear summer blue.

From people passing on the street you hear the words

“shooting” and “ceasefire,”

but tension felt in the air seems to be lifting too.

image Hebrew sign

Next time we plan to share photos from the new exhibit

at the Bloomfield Science Museum,

as everyone gets back to ‘normal’

on the real Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Photos of happy, smiling  family reunions as soldiers return home

are filling Facebook pages.

 Oh well that was quick, red alerts are going in the South,

36 hours into 72  Gaza is firing rockets again!

Now saying false alarms.

What next?