Global Forum For Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem: Inside and Outside

Global Forum For Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem: Inside and Outside

Antisemitism is not a thing of the past.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, here in Jerusalem,  said “I would really like to make it clear that the struggle against racism and anti-Semitism is important to me.”

Also this week French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian while in Jerusalem said, “There is a friendship between France and Israel that is deep and enduring, and expresses itself in many, many ways. I wish to send through you my best regards to President Macron.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Affairs hosted The 6th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem, Israel, from March 19-21.

Global Forum against antisemitism in Jerusalem opening plenary

Together we can fight online hate speech was the opening plenary of the first day. The night before a large gathering listened to US Ambassador David Friedman.

Man from Australia wearing kippa with Aboriginal designs

People came from around the world, with 87 countries represented. This friend as you might guess came from Australia, but I also met a man from Trinidad, and several people from South African countries.

Global Forum Justice Ministers Israel, Germany, Greece and Italy

Ministers of Justice from Germany, Greece, and Italy joined Israel Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked in signing a joint statement confronting online hate.

Facebook regional director of policy at Global Forum in Jerusalem, Israel

Delphine Reyre, Facebook regional director of policy in southern Europe, told of Facebook efforts to curb terror sites.

This week it was reported that Facebook closed down a Hamas page.

However, Twitter has not closed even one hate site.

Former Prime Minister of France Manuel Valls speaking at Global Forum in Jerusalem Israel for Combating Antisemitism

Near the end of the Global Forum, the former Prime Minister of France, Manuel Valls, speaking in French, received applause for stating anti-Zionism is antisemitism.

Bulgarians with Presidential visit to Jerusalem Israel

The Israeli Foreign Ministry spent plenty of shekels on this event. Here the delegation with the President of Bulgaria arrived and waited politely to be seated at lunch.

Abe Foxman introducing President of Bulgaria at Global Forum in Jerusalem Israel

Abe Foxman was given the honor of introducing Bulgarian President Rumen Radev.

Radev remarks were in English. Not only is his English excellent, he showed amazing patience while being stopped for selfies during his visit.

Bulgarian Ambassador, President Rumen Radev, and Ron Yaakoby

Here Radev (center) posed with the Bulgarian Ambassador to Israel on the left and Ran Yaakoby,  Chairman of the Global Forum (right) of MFA.

Dessert tray at Global Forum in Jerusalem Israel

With lavish food and desserts, oh how very sweet the Global Forum was. Facebook photos HERE

But will it make a global difference to curb antisemitism?

Celebrity guests like Mayim Bialik got media coverage. Anti-Zionism, manifested in Israel Apartheid Week, has spread to India for the first time this year.

Meanwhile, for most locals what was happening to the streets was of more immediate concern.

Jerusalem new center under construction

Outside the International Convention Center where the Global Forum was held the streets change daily due to construction.

New roads in Jerusalem, Israel

This road expansion was open after weeks, or months, of work.

Jerusalem street construction fixing crossings.

I had to wait to cross until this small earth mover moved out of my way.

Jerusalem Israel new housing near future fast train to Tel Aviv

This is one of the new neighborhoods near those streets reaching completion.

Bridge for Tel Aviv to Jerusalem fast train outside of Jerusalem as seen from highway

The fast train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv will not open this month.

Train station in Jerusalem for fast train to Tell Aviv

But when it does, those apartment dwellers are near the fast train station, and can be in Tel Aviv in half an hour.

Coming soon Gan Sacher

Coming soon?

Whatever they are doing in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, is to be completed soon.

Gan Sacher trees in bloom on spring day with blue sky

Meanwhile, as I walked along Gan Sacher on my way home from the Global Forum, I saw something which all can appreciate now.

With spring weather and trees in bloom, we can appreciate what we have today and hope for a better future.

Spring is in the air. This year all Easter celebrations coincide with Passover, so tens of thousands of visitors are arriving daily.

Street sign Happy spring holiday

Happy Holiday of Spring in Jerusalem.

חג שמח

Chag Sameach.

 

15 Favorites of Sukkot

The seasons have changed,

 days are shorter

and evenings are cooler.

 Children are back in school

 after a long break for holidays.

It was, as always, a busy holiday season,

but before getting back to business,

I want to share a few favorites from Sukkot 5744.

Sukkos in Yerushaylim

Many share photos of Jerusalem, Israel’s religious neighborhoods

where every residence has a sukka,

Unusual sukka photo, image sukkah that is different.

but my favorite this year was this sukka in a forest outside Jerusalem.

So many sukkot are on the streets, one year I did Only Sukkot,

image sukkah with people in it

but it is so nice to pass by a new sukka in a spot which was empty in recent years,

and see someone you know sitting inside. 

Israeli president garden image

Thousands waited to pass through the Presidential sukka,

view of sukkah inside

but be it ever so humble, our sukka is also a favorite.

Eating in sukkah

For some, Sukkot was the holiday of pizza in a hut.

pile of boxes from pizza

I wonder how many thousands of pizzas were consumed over the holiday?

People gathered from all over the world for family celebrations.

It started to rain on this bar mitzvah party,

Sukkah open walls image

and then the wind blew a shade umbrella on top of sukka.

The weather was almost as crazy as we remembered in Melbourne,

but nothing could dampen holiday parties.

Decorated sukkah image, large sukka photo

The huge public sukka in Kikar Safra was again a favorite this year.

For weeks a friend has been asking,  Have you seen the bikes?

bicycles that show energy use, image special bikes

These are the special bikes that share the plaza with the sukka

and they were a favorite for all who came to government square.

The Jerusalem March went from Gan Sacher through Jerusalem,

it was a huge international event.

Jerusalem march Nigeria

There seemed to be fewer participants from Nigeria this year,

but Israel is a favorite destination for Nigerians all year-long.

Many Israeli groups marched also,

Jerusalem March El Al pilots

two of my favorites were the El Al pilots who stopped to dance

Jerusalem March with football club

and the Jerusalem football club members who came dressed in uniform.

There were more rain drops during the parade, 

but spectators did not seem to mind,

people watching a parade

and loved cheering and receiving flags.

spectators with signs image.

Some held signs showing just how much they appreciated the marchers’ support,

tens of thousands watched the parade, see more photos.

view of Jaffa Road, J Street image, photo real J Street

Meanwhile Jaffa Street was still busy.

Two more favorites,

Sukkot in Jerusalem image, photo man and luluv

 were people who carried their lulav and etrog all day

man in Jerusalem with lulav and esrrog

and those who held the lulav and etrog waiting for those who did not.

Teddy Park and view of Old City

As the water fountain at Teddy Park went on at the hour,

you could hear squeals of delight from children.

What a favorite it has become with all!

When there are large crowds,

White and brown police horse

 those beautiful police horses can be seen on the streets;

they always are a favorite.

man smiling for photo, image guy in Bezek shirt

It was great to see Ben Yehuda Street so busy over the holidays.

This man was sitting alone and asked me to take his photo,

Jerusalem Marchers

but there were tens of thousands more smiles.

Sukkot is a favorite time of year in Jerusalem.

Crazy dancing, boys on ground feet up

Thousands sang and danced on the streets all week, 

but these guys with their feet in the air were really something special.

Moedim l'simcha on bus

Jerusalem on Sukkot was indeed a happy season.

Wish there were more?

 See The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook Sukkot album.

Chasing Rainbows on a Rainy Day in Jerusalem

After hours and hours of rain and wind,

the weather cleared a bit in Jerusalem, Israel, today.

Gan Sacher

If it keeps raining Gan Sacher will look more like a lake than a park.

Gan Sacher

The city has trimmed and cleaned up a lot recently,

so only a few big trees went down.

I wanted to get a better shot of this tree, but the rain started again.

Gan Sacher , Sacher park

I love how nothing is level around here,

not even the water filling a container for empty ashes from BBQs.

Gan Sacker

The birds were happy and the grass was green.

And I was very happy

GAsn Sacher, SAcher park

 to see a lone jogger so that I was not the only crazy person outside.

cloud photo

The sun was in and out, and I kept hoping for a rainbow.

The best I could get was a break in the clouds

and a few drops on water on my lens.

It rained all afternoon again, pouring is more like it .

Tomorrow Gan Sacher will either be a lake

or if it gets cold it will be covered with snow, 

 a sight we are all waiting to see.