When the rain stopped,
white clouds hovered over the Knesset,
this location has been home of Israeli government.
From Jerusalem, Australia, and New Zealand,
government leaders traveled to Beer Sheva
for the 100th-year reenactment of the charge
of the Light Horse Brigade,
when those brave Aussie horsemen defeated the Turks
and turned the tide in World War I for the Allies.
Then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
went to London for the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration,
which called for a Jewish Homeland to be established in Palestine.
For those who study the Bible,
these two events 100 years ago were of great significance.
Christian Zionists were in Jerusalem, Israel,
this week to commemorate with Israelis.
outside the PM’s official residence in Jerusalem, Israel,
there was a protest tent and hunger strike.
Leaders from Judea and Samaria want
more services and better roads as promised.
Special programs around 100 years since Balfour
have been held at the Knesset.
Finally back in session after long break,
the Knesset is the scene of multiple sessions daily.
One committee headed by MK Avraham Neguise
heard testimonies of recent growing antisemitism.
From left to right, wearing translation earphones, are
the Ambassadors of Germany, the European Union, and Austria.
Also on the road this week is
President Reuven Rivlin, who was in Spain
meeting with Jewish leaders, and was hosted
by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia at a state dinner.
100 years ago Jews were allowed to enter Spain
after being expelled in 1492.
Last week at Beit Hanasi, the President’s official residence,
new security covers were down.
Loud protesters from South Tel Aviv
took to the streets shouting,
in stark contrast to what was happening inside.
Outgoing Israeli Supreme Court President Miriam Naor
kissed and hugged incoming President Esther Hayut.
Israeli Supreme Court Judges sat on the side
as former Supreme Court Presidents sat with
with other government leaders.
After the loud Knesset opening,
this dignified, hand shaking,
kissing and hugging event did not make international news,
but Israel media had live coverage.
The room was as crowded as it was for President Trump’s visit.
The Israeli Chief of Police did not seem
thrilled while he waited for the official photos of
the present and past Supreme Court Presidents
with President Rivlin and Justice Minister Shaked.
But even the Prime Minister had to sit and wait
for the expanded official Supreme Court photo.
One more of the many memorable scenes at Beit Hanasi
was that of recently retired Supreme Court Judge Salim Joubran,
who was interviewed after the ceremony for Israeli TV.
He was the Arab Judge who oversaw the last Israeli election.
Who would have imagined any of these things 100 years ago?
Palestine was a barren desert under Ottoman rule.
Today as we still await the rainy season,
the only umbrella I saw out this week
was on this art piece in Mamilla Mall.
And as always it seems,
there is another new cultural festival ahead.
Who could have imagined any of this 100 years ago?
Who could have imagined it 70 years ago?
A short video, part of German Ambassador’s testimony in Knesset:
More on legislation here,
but this is getting way too long, as always.
The three millionth tourist for 2017,
entered Israel, receiving a royal welcome,
they will certainly see for themselves,
what is happening on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.
It is after the chagim,
the holidays are over.
Our prayers for rain were answered quickly.
“Don’t you love walking in the rain?”
asked an elegantly-dressed British woman
I passed walking Thursday night.
No, not really, since my umbrella was at home.
But we all know rain is good and needed.
After a few days of this wet weather,
the Valley of Cross will have green covering the ground,
and olives on those trees will be over-ripe to pick.
Winter comes and Jerusalem, Israel,
turns colors, mostly turns to green.
On my way to Knesset yesterday,
a small demonstration was going on,
in a regular protest location.
Today thousands of bus drivers were protesting.
I sure hope they work out a deal before November 7,
which is the date set for general bus drivers strike.
With the holidays over,
the universities, except for the Hebrew University,
are finally back in session.
Youth organizations are back to “normal”
and as always I love to see
what the Israeli Scouts are building.
The winter session of Knesset began,
and on the second day,
you can see for yourself how many MKs were in the building.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the Board of Governors
of the Jewish Agency on his usual topics, such as BDS.
“Israel is home to all Jews.”
“Jews never quarrel among themselves, ask Moses,”
quipped the Prime Minister who stressed patience and tolerance,
and woke up this morning to some of those same delegates protesting
at the Kotel, the Western Wall, carrying Torah scrolls.
When I walked to the Knesset,
it was hot,
but when I left a short time later,
it had poured and was still raining.
Good for the grass at Gan Sacher, Sacher Park,
but not so great for people who want to play or picnic.
These new butterfly shaped floral planters
appreciate the sudden downpours
much more than I do.
This time, however, I had my umbrella,
now to go find my boots also.
After perfect weather for holiday tourists,
it feels like winter has arrived in Jerusalem.
With changed clocks and clouds,
and street lights were on.
Cars are to have their headlights on, even during the day,
until end of February,
getting dark early, the new “normal.”