Prime Minister Stephen Harper from Where?

Timing and location are everything.

I was feeling badly for Romanian President Basescu who is here for an official state visit.

flag of Romania image, picture of Romanian flag, photo Jerusalem Romania visit

Though the Romanian flag was flying over some main Jerusalem, Israel streets,

his visit seemed so overshadowed by

photo PM Canada, image Steven Harper, picture Steven Harper and wife

the visit of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen.

image red carpet welcome, photo red carpet for PM Harper, picture Bibi Netanyahu

PM Harper received a red carpet welcome,

picture visit Harper to Israel, photo Steve Harper and Netanyahu, picture honor guard review

and a full honor guard review.

image Israeli leaders, photo Israeli government leaders, Picture Israel politicians

Israeli political leaders lined up to shake his hand,

image official receiving line. photo dignitaries to greet prime minister, t

along with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and many religious leaders,

photo Canadian Jewish delegation, image Jewish leaders with Harper, picture group with Harper

and Jewish leaders from Canada.

image Harper and Netanyahhus, photo Steven Harper, picture Sara and Bibi Netanyahu

It was as close to a royal reception as you will find in Israel.

But then I talked with an Israeli receptionist,

she was much more interested in my camera than these photos.

She had no idea who Harper was and seemed to care less.

image cat, photo cat in Jerusalem, Israel cat picture

One of those famous Jerusalem chutzpah cats

came through to check out the flowers and red carpet.

But unless you were stuck in traffic with all the various motorcades,

 it seems possible not to have even noticed.

As a new snow storm is hitting North America,

the weather here has been perfect.

image trees cut back, photo trees in SAcher park, picture park

The trees damaged in the Jerusalem December snow in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park

 look stark against the blue sky,

image spring flowers, first flowers of spring photo, picture wild flowers

but the first wild flowers of spring are popping out.

The overseas visitors are heading home,

and the Israeli President and Prime Minister are leaving

for the World Economic Conference in Davos,

so the Jerusalem streets should be a bit quieter for a few days.

Perfect time to head out for lunch in an out-door cafe,

and enjoy the warm sunny weather,

another good reason to be living in Jerusalem, Israel.

Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem

 Did you hear about Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem, Israel?

By now you must have heard that Mitt Romney was in Jerusalem

on the fast day of Tisha B’Av. 

 I had no details on the Romney press conference when I posted last week,

 but an hour later I had all the information I wanted.

What a wonder, the internet!

Even no food or water for 24 hours could not keep me away.

The Old City Walls were in the background as

"photo The Old City Walls'  "image mayor Jerusalem"

 Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat waited to welcome Romney to the stage.

"photo Romney", "image Romney"

Flags and a line of security lined the entrance route.

Already there have been hundreds of reports 

and millions of words written about the speech,

"Photo Romney Jerusalem", "image windmill", Picture Romney

which was given in the plaza near the Montefiore Windmill.

Only a small select crowd attended the Romney events.

However, what else did you hear about Tisha B’Av?

Did you hear that the night before, hundreds of people

"photo Tisha B'Av" , "image J street", "J Street photo"

   were out on the Jerusalem streets walking around the walls of

"photo  Jerusalem gate" . "picture Jerusalem",

 The Old City, passing first by the New Gate, new from 1887?

"photo light rail", "Jerusalem light rail image", Jerusalem photo

The new addition this year were the active Jerusalem light rail trains.

"picture east jerusalem", "photo J Street', Image crowd

As last year, Tisha B’av and Ramadan coincided,

"Damascus Gate photo", Image Damascus gate,. "Picture Shear Shcem.

so Damascus Gate at midnight was still celebrating.

"photo Damascus Gate"., "image horse", "security Jerusalem"

I only got one chance to take a photo, as security moved me away.

"Photo Jerusalem" Image jerusalem

Cameras and security were ready for trouble.

"dirty street" , "photo east  Jerusalem"

But the most shocking scene I could find was of all the garbage on the street.

The Women in Green had to petition the court to be allowed to walk,

though this was the 18th year for this event.

Like last year, I was impressed with the number of people

and the variety of the crowd that stayed 

so late at night for the closing speeches at the Lion’s Gate.

At 1:00am some marchers headed home while the buses were still running.

Others walked to the Dung Gate entrance to The Kotel, The Western Wall,

where many people stayed all night.

Tens of thousands of people,

peacefully celebrated Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem.

There was no violence, therefore it was not news.

This one minute video may help you feel the mood of the night.

"ramadan photos", "image Ramadan" , "picture Mamilla Mall

As I walked home at 2:00 am, the closed Mamilla Mall was full of people.

I noticed that it was decorated with strings of colorful lights

for the Muslim holy time of Ramadan.

Another sign of Israeli oppression?

For more on Romney visit click here.

 More photos from the Walk around the Walls.

Jerusalem Night Run

 December 12, 2011 was the first run of the Jerusalem Night Run.

A sign in Mamilla Mall showed the way to the race starting point.

Maps of the route were posted,

as the run was not around the walls of the Old City, but on city streets.

Runners signed up and received an official yellow race shirt

in a special tent in the plaza outside Jaffa Gate.

A dry, but cold night, cups of complimentary hot tea were really appreciated.

An aerobic warm up to loud music for runners before the race,

got even more attention from the press when a Santa decided to loosen up.

As the last taxi left the Old City and the road was closed to traffic,

a blue carpet was laid to the official starting line.

Mayor Nir Barkat and his wife Beverly were front and center,

 but he was not smiling as he looked at his watch.

The 10 kilometer race was to start at 8:00pm “sharp”.

The runners were ready at the starting line on time,

but had to wait another ten minutes for the race to begin.

Over a 1000 runners ran to the starting line

and down the road on the Jerusalem Night Run.

The plaza area was mostly empty during the run,

 the tent with runners’  backpacks was full.

Most spectators did not hang around in the dark and cold

to watch for the runners to return.

The Jerusalem Night Run was advertised to be a warm up

to the Jerusalem Marathon in March.

Warm up…  now that sounds really nice.

More pictures from the Night Run can be found at this Facebook link:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.288863494489796.67021.152997821409698&type=1