100 Years – Israel Going & Growing

100 Years – Israel Going & Growing

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,

Australian soldiers in Beer Sheva 100 years

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.

Meanwhile,

outside the PM’s official residence in Jerusalem, Israel,

there was a protest tent and hunger strike.

Protest outside of Prime Minister's house in Jerusalem

Leaders from Judea and Samaria want

more services and better roads as promised.

Special programs around 100 years since Balfour

Israel Knesset building flags, no people

have been held at the Knesset.

Finally back in session after long break,

the Knesset is the scene of multiple sessions daily.

MK Avraham Neguise

One committee headed by MK Avraham Neguise

heard testimonies of recent growing antisemitism.

From left to right, wearing translation earphones, are

Knesset committee on antisemitism German, Austria and EU speak

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 at Beit Hanasi Jerusalem

new security covers were down.

Protesters from South Tel Aviv outside Beit Hanasi for Supreme Court new President

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

Two female Israeli Supreme Court Presidents kiss at Beit Hanasi ceremony

kissed and hugged incoming President Esther Hayut.

Israel Supreme Court Judges at Beit Hanasi

Israeli Supreme Court Judges sat on the side

Front row dignitaries at Supreme Court swearing in ceremony new President

as former Supreme Court Presidents sat with

with other government leaders.

After the loud Knesset opening,

Mew Israeli Supreme Court President

this dignified, hand shaking,

Herzog and Hayut kiss at Beit Hanasi ceremony

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.

Israeli head of police at Beit Hanasi

The Israeli Chief of Police did not seem

thrilled while he waited for the official photos of

Official pose of new and former Israel Supreme Court Presidents with President Rivlin and Justice Minister Shaked

the present and past Supreme Court Presidents

with President Rivlin and Justice Minister Shaked.

close up of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

But even the Prime Minister had to sit and wait

Official photo full court from new Israeli Supreme Court ceremony

for the expanded official Supreme Court photo.

One more of the many memorable scenes at Beit Hanasi

Salim Joubran at Beit Hanasi as he retires from Israel Supreme Court

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

Umbrella rain statute in Jerusalem Mamilla Mall

was on this art piece in Mamilla Mall.

And as always it seems,

Jerusalem Israel cultural festival

 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.

Back to "Normal" in Jerusalem

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,

Valley of Cross trees end of summer

the Valley of Cross will have green covering the ground,

Olives against blue sky and white clouds

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,

Protest signs near Knesset entrance

 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

Israeli Scouts building with wood

what the Israeli Scouts are building.

The winter session of Knesset began,

and on the second day,

Second day third session of 20th Israeli Knesset

you can see for yourself how many MKs were in the building.

Chagall Hall Israel Knesset PM speaking to international delegation Jewish Agency

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,

Israeli Knesset in rain

it had poured and was still raining.

Gan Sacher park empty on rainy day

Good for the grass at Gan Sacher, Sacher Park,

but not so great for people who want to play or picnic.

Butterfly shaped flower display on Rupin Road near Knesset and Gan Sacher

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,

3:00 pm and street lights are on

3:00 pm,

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.”

Tu B’Shevat Celebrate Hope and Life

Tu B’Shevat, the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat,

was not a big holiday outside of Israel.

Chewing on a piece of bokser, a hard, dried out, dark brown carob pod,

was the highlight of the international Jewish experience

of this holiday known as the New Year of trees.

In much of the northern hemisphere,

the months of January to February, when Tu B’Shevat falls,

is the dead of winter and spring buds seem far away.

But in Israel on Tu B’Shevat flowers are blooming.

In 1949, the Knesset held its first session on Tu B’Shevat.

Therefore, the 67th birthday of the Knesset,

and 50th year in present location, was celebrated

along with Tu B’Shevat, though it was a few days early.

plant for tu b'shvat

JNF had hundreds of small plants lined up on the sidewalk outside

ready for visitors to take home.

The day was overcast and sky was light grey,

outside Knesset

the wind was great for flags.

In spite of the cold,

KNesset for Tu B' Shevat

it was a great photo op for thousands who came all day long,

from young children to seniors.

There are regular public tours of the Knesset.

Knesset plenary

But this was not a regular day,

but a huge public birthday bash.

 To hear the tour guide in the main plenary.,

was only one of dozens of things happening.

Green Kenesset

Green Knesset display greeted visitors at the main door.

The main Chagall Hall is usually empty,

or set with rows of chairs for special events,

but for this special day

Mainn Chagall hall Knesset

 tables and chairs were set up like a cocktail party.

People could sit and enjoy the music

performed by professional musicians, and, for a special treat,

members of the Knesset showed their talents too.

piano at Knesset for Tu B'Shavat

MK Bezalel Smotrich played the piano,

piano Knesset Stav Shaffir

while MK Stav Shaffir played and sang.

At the other end of the hall

Knesset lego for Tu B'Shavat 67 birthday celebration

was a Knesset model made out of Lego,

and thousands of Lego pieces for anyone

Dr Lego Knesset for Tu B'shavat

to make their own masterpiece.

Members of Knesset read stories to children,

produced jam in the cafeteria,

KM Tibi at Knesset

and sat for interviews with media.

I did not stop long enough to hear what Arab MK Tibi was saying.

Down the hall this group was sitting around

Knesset birthday celebration 67

one of the games taking place around the building.

The sounds of music led us to

Music cafe in Knesset for birthday

 this dairy restaurant, turned into a Music Cafe for the day.

Talks and lectures were scheduled,

KNesset auditorium

one was to be held in the main auditorium.

In the Knesset Synagogue,

there was a special mincha, the afternoon service.

Chief rabbi at Knesset synagogue

Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern

joined Knesset members, staff and guests.

After the prayer service,

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef spoke.

Tu B'Shvat foods

Tu B’Shevat treats were enjoyed by everyone.

Lining one of the corridors were the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s

posters on the history of Jerusalem.

KNesset corridor with Weisenthal Cnet historical boards

People of Hope was the title of one poster.

On a day when the mood and weather outside were both ominous,

these young people from communities all over Israel,

including bus loads of Arab high school students,

joined to celebrate the birthday of the Knesset.

It was truly a sight to see.

Knesset on 67th bitrhfday tu b'shabar

Tu B’Shevat plants for all,

Knesset herbs to visitors

the scent of herbs to enjoy.

People of Hope,

praying for so many years to return to Jerusalem.

In the past,

Tu B’Shevat for many meant giving money to plant in Israel.

This year in Israel, JNF gave me a plant.

67 years Knesset,

50 years in present location,

Happy Birthday!

Tu B’Shevat celebrations have just begun,

much more next week.