Jerusalem: Roses, Riots, Politics and What Next

I am always concerned about what to share

on the weeks between holidays and special events.

roses and fountain

The Jerusalem roses are in bloom.

road construction outside Jerusalem

Construction on the new main road to Jerusalem, Israel,

is a massive on-going project.

Would anyone outside of Jerusalem care

inactive mail boxes

that the regular mailboxes are no longer going to be used?

mail box in Yemin Moshe from British

Tourists trying to mail a letter tried these

British Mandate post boxes in Yemin Moshe.

They gave up and went to find a Post Office.

Old and new, progress?

Restaurants open and close so often

I could fill a book with those photos.

mall Ben Yehuda

But Cofizz, the 5 shekel coffee and food place on Ben Yehuda,

has changed the center of town.

Cofizz is always busy, while the place next door has empty seats.

Copy cat places have mushroomed,

from King George Street to Yaffo Street.

It is easy to get a 5 shekel ice coffee now.

There were riots and plenty of press on that.

But, did you hear that there were thousands out Friday morning

for a biking event that went around the Walls of the Old City,

up to and through the Zoo in Malcha

from Jerusalem ibking evern

and back to First Station?

Israelis are far away in Nepal.

But at home did you hear about

Intel and EU science prize winner

the 12 teenagers who met with President Reuven Rivlin in

Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence?

5 high school students are to go to US to an Intel Science Competition,

and another 6 are to represent Israel in an EU science program,

and 1 is to attend a special science camp in Germany over the summer.

Israel ranked 11th for the happiest nation.

It seems hard to imagine if all you see are media reports of “the conflict.”

Karen Bass and Alcee L Hatings

Karen Bass and Alcee Hastings are two of many US Congressmen on tour

in Israel this week to see for themselves

what is happening.

SAcher Park Arab family eating

Everyday is not a picnic in the park,

Arab woman driving a man in her car

A Muslim woman driving a man is unusual,

Muslim man praying

but a Muslim man praying on the streets is not.

For the past few weeks,

wood for Lag Bomer bon fires

all pieces of wood on the streets, large or  small,

have been collected for

Lag B’Omer bonfires.


we wait to hear if there is a new government.

Old and new, always something on these streets.

Protesting the Histadrut Protest

It is Israeli election season.


And way too soon for most of the people that I know.

Anglo Voters  are not being ignored for a change.

Among the numerous election banners,

political sign in Hebrew

 was this sign, “Us or Him”

opposing Bibi for Prime Minister

posted across from his house in Jerusalem, Israel.

Mostly I have tried to avoid sharing the unpleasantness.

street closed near PM house protest

But today a large Histadrut rally was taking place,

protest Jerusalem

in front of the Prime Minister’s official residence,

and streets were closed off for more than two hours.

protest near Israeli Prime Minister house

These men were blowing loudly on their whistles.

Pepe Alau

Jerusalem Council member Pepe Alalu

of Meretz political party

Histardut rally

was on his way to join the bus loads of protesters.

I was on my way back home from a meeting

after the protest rally ended,

protest sign by garbage

and I saw this sign by a trash can,

people leaving rally

as bus loads of people wearing white Histadrut hats left.

Freedom of speech.

Protest away, as loud as you want,

block traffic and inconvenience others,

garbage left after Histadrut rally

but how dare they leave our streets lined with liter!

At least one person got employment from today’s event.

Look who was cleaning up afterwards,

histadrut rally 016b

a Jewish man wearing zizit under his yellow safety vest.

Bibi was not even around for the event,

as he was on his way to the airport and his flight to the US.

His parting remarks:

“A few days before the Fast of Esther,

I am leaving for Washington on a fateful, even historic, mission.

I feel that I am the emissary of all Israelis,

even those who disagree with me, of the entire Jewish People.

I am deeply and genuinely concerned for the security of all Israelis,

for the fate of the nation, and for the fate of our people

and I will do my utmost to ensure our future.”

At least the Histadrut could clean up after themselves.

Ready for Hanukkah or Chanukah in Jerusalem

What a week this has been.

From as far away as Sydney, Australia,

we hear that an armed man “claiming political motivations”

took hostages,


image clouds

 something as simple as the cloud formations

against a blue sky can be appreciated.

Last Friday, coming from the Gush to Jerusalem, Israel,

we stopped for a traffic light.

The same as we have done many times.

That signal was installed after many traffic accidents.

image security

We saw this police vehicle blocking our view,

and we heard a man scream, then he was down on the road.

Israeli soldiers

As the security forces arrived in force,

it was clear this was no simple accident.

Acid (yes, vinegar is an acid!) was splashed on Israelis

by a terrorist and he had run to this spot.

I had been looking for cars involved,

but it was stopped a few meters away.

We got through quickly,

as the traffic in the other direcion stopped and backed up.

 I sit here now,

watching a live news feed of a cafe in Australia,

under threat by a person with an ISIS flag.

We cannot be sure when or what will happen next!




Hanukkah is coming.

After finally deciding to spell it as spell check goes,

the Government Press Office is using Chanukah this year.

Oh well, people are getting their chanukiot, menorahs

ready to light.

Chanukaih, street lights Jeryusalem

As always I love the streets lights,

and signs filling the streets.

banner in Hebrew for Hanukkah

“A Great miracle happened here.”

The school holiday is shortened this year,

but the school extravaganza productions

are bigger and better and longer than ever.


Suffganiot, millions of all types of donuts and

fried foods will be consumed over the eight nights.


But also strawberry season has begun

and the markets are filled with the sweet red berries.

Happy Hanukkah,

image hanukah semach on bus, picture Hanukkah in Israel, , photo egged bus sign for holiday

Chanukah sameach

however you spell it,

the first candle is tomorrow night.

Highs and Lows Felt in Jerusalem

Last week was a week of good and bad news,

now it looks like this is one of highs and lows.

Real Jerusalem Streets is not just about the good stuff,

but what is really happening.

On days like this it is hard to know where to start

and what to post, there is so much to say.

Arab media has been inciting with scare headlines

like “Settlers are Storming Al-Aqsa” for months.

First of all no one is “storming”

if anything a few are walking slowly and under threat.

 Jews have to be careful how they move their lips,

as no Jewish prayer is allowed.

image MK Shul Mualem

MK Shuli Mualem went on the Temple Mount and was assaulted.

Today there was a deadly attack against people waiting for the light rail.

The border police officer murdered in the terror attack in Jerusalem

was named Chief Inspector Jidaan Asad,

he was 38 years old and had a young son.

The terrorist who drove the van into the crowd had published posts

glorifying previous attacks against Jews on his Facebook page.

There was to be a day of rage on Friday,

but the heavy rain this week has kept many inside.

On Shabbat afternoon a huge rainbow arched over the Old City.

Stone-throwing children have been a problem for months,

maybe now police will try and put and end to it.

image protest Israel

There were new protest signs this week.

But the Mayor would rather you hear about

sign for cultural event

the many artistic and cultural events,

iamge Azza street

including another Einstein on AZZA this Friday.

Streets will be shut for university lecturers to hold forth to the public – for free.

But my  high of the week was the Masa Israel Journey Mega-event,

in the Jerusalem Convention Center’s main auditorium.

image Israeli Prime Ministeri on stage

Certainly it also was a high for the Prime Minister.

Thousands of young people from around the world,

image crowd of young people

 some dancing in the aisles,

image people happy to be in israel

excited and happy

image crowd of young people

 to be in Israel for a year volunteering.

image Jerusalem crowd

School trips to Jerusalem from around Israel have been canceled,

but if you want to end on a high note,

check out this post from Israellycool

earlier in the week and watch the short video at the end,

עם ישראל חי

Am Yisrael Chai

Good News – Bad News from Jerusalem

Good News – Bad News from Jerusalem

  Good news first.

I was in the US for birth of a grandchild,

baby photo

his name is Yisroel Tzvi,

and he already is trying to figure out this world.

In the last two weeks I’ve had no computer time,

no down time and little sleep.

I hope you missed the updates from RJS these past two weeks?

image of sky from El Al plane

As always it is an adventure to fly El Al

and arrive back to Jerusalem, Israel.

But as I arrived home I heard terrible news:

Rabbi Yehuda Glick had been shot

and seriously injured

in an assassination attempt.

I posted on Israellycool  asap,

and you can see the background story and updates



In June at the Begin Center,

Yehuda Glick sponsored his first LIBA conference,

where I was shocked to learn that Jews are allowed

only 20 hours a week on the Temple Mount,

while Muslims have almost free access.

Today access to the Muslim masses was limited,

though tomorrow restrictions are to be lifted.

Helicopters are flying overhead,

and in Jerusalem that usually means trouble.

Much has been written about “Price Tag” attacks,

today there was graffiti painted near a church.

price tag in Jerusalem

 Months ago this photo was taken across from the Begin Center.

It did not fit the media spin of “Price Tag”

so it was never reported.

On my next photo walk in the area

I saw that it was whitewashed.

Abu Mazen is spinning the story of one of his followers

shooting a man in cold blood

into “Israel is bad,”

 another thread in his narrative;

while Yehuda Glick, a great guy with wonderful sense of humor,

is hanging on to life by a thread.

Join in praying for the recovery of

יהודה יהושע בן רבקה איטה ברנדה

Will this world be easier to understand when Yisroel Tzvi is older?

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.


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.


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?

Pope Francis View from Notre Dame

Ever walk by something many times and not really notice?

Even with my camera always out and ready,

I had not really paid attention

image St Louis Hosptial

to this building,

image St Louis Hospital

the Saint Louis French Hospital.

image St Louis Hosptial

Its gates were opened recently for a few hours to the press.

fresco image, picture of art under paint

Damage from a broken water pipe revealed hidden art on the walls.

Built across from New Gate of the Old City in the 19th century,

Comte Marie Paul Amédée de Piellat, a French nobleman funded,

designed and decorated the building after World War I.

DSC_4333b  frescoes on wall of hospital Jerusalem, Israel

His frescoes

photo art in St Louis Hospital

were revealed to the public after years out of view,

that whole story  has been written up in many places.

But, though I have seen the Israeli Antiquities photos of these frescoes,

image Rabbanut kosher certificate

no one posted a photo of the Kosher certificate near the entrance.

This hospital run by the Sisters of St Joseph of Apparition is kosher.

There is no sukkah,

but 50 volunteers came from Germany to clean for Passover.

 Arriving after the official tour had ended,

one of the two chaplains kindly showed me around.

Going through the nuns’ private upstairs sleeping quarters to the roof,

picture NOtre Dame Jerusalem Israel, photo where Pope is staying in Jerusalem

was a great view of Notre Dame where Pope Francis

will stay on his visit in Jerusalem, Israel.

image pope Jerusalem, Israel

By roof top, Notre Dame is just a hop, skip and a jump away.

image view Jerusalem

Too bad the patients at St Louis are much too ill to enjoy the views,

like this hidden oasis in back of the hospice.

image from ST Louis Hosptial

I could have spent hours up there,

image Jerusalem, scenic view Jerusalem

with incredible views

image view Jerusalem, Israel

of Jerusalem, Israel, from all directions.

When security is high, sharp shooters are posted on roof tops.

Ever wonder what that is like?

Now you know what they will see for Pope’s visit.

Too bad that streets will be cleared when Pope Francis arrives,

image Palestinian women Israel, photo Arab women, picture Palestinian Jerusalem

he will not see the real Jerusalem streets.