Jerusalem Special Visitors

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.

image Canada and Israel together

Foreign Minister John Baird of Canada signed the official guest book

at Beit HaNasi, the Israeli President’s residence, while Reuven Rivlin watched.

image US senators visit Jerusalem, israel

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.

kossel on Friday am

Extended families gathered to celebrate,

Kossle plaza

and thousands have come daily to the Kotel, the Western Wall.

Kossel plaza

Birthright tour groups

Kosel plaza photo

from around the world posed for group photos.

Mount of Olives cemetery view

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,

Palestinian kids

these Muslim boys were walking through the Jewish Quarter

in the Old City to go to Friday prayers.

Muslim going to prayer

Any doubts? Notice the prayer rug in hand,

so much for apartheid and oppression.

Muslim family going to prayers on Friday

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,

tour group from Turkey

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.

Israeli Presidential Conference Tomorrow 2013

The Israeli Presidential Conference, Facing Tomorrow

was attended by 5000 people this year,

many coming from around the world to Jerusalem, Israel.

This year started with a special 90th birthday celebration

for President Shimon Peres serranaded by Barbra Streisand.

Opening night tickets were harder to get then to the Obama speech.

But the long program was available on-line to watch.

As the motorcades were finally going by after it ended,

and I was already getting into bed, 

I was sure I had had a great seat.

image Tony Blair

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair followed Shimon Peres,

photo President Bill Clinton in Jerusalem

and then former US President Bill Clinton entered the opening plenary.

cell phones as cameras image

Phones and cameras were out to catch 

photo Shimon Peres and Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton get the Israeli President’s special medal and award.

Over two days there were too many speakers and dignitaries to list.

I was disappointed that somehow I kept missing

Prince Albert of Monaco, but maybe I just did not recognize him?

A few of the most popular presenters included:

Dr David Augus image

Dr David Augus from California,

Dan Arielly image

Prof. Dan Arielly,

Image Ayaan Hirsi-Ali

and once again Ayaan Hirsh-Ali.

Image Yair Lapid

New to Israeli politics and this program was MK Yair Lapid. 

image cameras ready for Sharon Stone

But the serious press attendance and cameras came out

photo Sharon Stone

for Hollywood actress Sharon Stone,

photo Shimon Peres and Sharon Stone

Shimon Peres and Sharon Stone.

photo Robert DeNiro

And also from Hollywood Robert DeNiro.

Image Rav David Stav

Rav David Stav got a little attention in the halls.

John Baird image

At least Arutz 7 noticed John Baird, the Foreign Minister from Canada.

photo Manfred Gerstenfeld

 But how many paid attention to Manfred Gerstenfeld?

image Irwin Cotler

At least my friend was also excited to see Canadian Irwin Cotler.

Image Dr Ruth

And as always everyone was excited to be seen with Dr Ruth!

If you do not know all these names, take time to look them up,

 I decided not to link to poor Wiki information.

But what about this conference called Tomorrow,

when most of these names are so yesterday?

photo Tim Armstrong and Yussi VArdi

Tim Armstrong and Yossi Vardi may have come up with a new plan.

But, there were two things that really do stand out for tomorrow.

As at past conferences the Hebrew University exhibit,

image MRI exhibit

   was bigger and better, their brain research simply mind boggling.

But I would like to end with my favorite scene of Facing Tomorrow.

Image young men working on tech projects

These five young men, ages 15 to 19,

are already involved in tech and start-ups.

This time of year the real streets are so busy and full

of end of year graduations, from gan to University,

they are the real tomorrow.