Friday Afternoon in Jerusalem

Friday Afternoon in Jerusalem

The sun was shining.

The weather unseasonably warm.

So I went off to see what was happening in the Old City.

Kotel security on Friday near Kotel

Police vehicles lined the area outside of the Western Wall Plaza.

Crowd at Kotel on Friday summer like day

Thousands of people were out in the warm midday sun.

Arab Market near Jaffa Gate.

Outdoor cafes were popular, it was a perfect day to sit and enjoy. As I strolled sipping an ice coffee, I noticed all the people eating ice cream, young and not so young.

On the way home I witnessed one of the nicest acts of kindness.

Female beggar sitting in chair and young woman stops to chat with her

This young woman stopped to chat with one of the people lining the stairs collecting money. I wondered how many ever tried to speak to this woman?

Mamilla Mall was busy. People coming and going, shopping and eating.

Pleasant sights and sounds to end another busy week.

שבת שלום

Shabbat Shalom.

Long and Short of VP Mike Pence Jerusalem Visit

Long and Short of VP Mike Pence Jerusalem Visit

As always there is much happening

on these Jerusalem, Israel streets.

However, local news was overshadowed by

Knesset sign with US flag for Pence visit

the arrival of US Vice-President Mike Pence.

Flags on main streets,

US and Israeli flags on street near Knesset

while large flags, lined his motorcade route.

The visit was for two days.

Pence arrival in Jerusalem

Video cameras were ready at the official welcome

by the Prime Minister’s Office early Monday morning.

Honor guard for Pence arrival at PMO

An honor guard was getting ready for red carpet

greeting of the Tourist of Week.

The Vice-Presidential vehicle pulled in

VP Pence and Israel PM Netanyahu

and Vice-President Pence lined up with

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and

Head of State Protocol Meron Reuben,

surrounded by the watchful eyes of security.

View of arrival on Pence in Israel at PMO

After the White House press entered,

this was best photo I could get over the crowd.

The entire event took minutes,

and everyone went home.

Then in afternoon,

Security outside Knesset for Pence, end of motorcade

the Vice-Presidential motorcade arrived at the Knesset.

Before the Vice-President’s Knesset speech,

Thank you banner outside Knesset before US VP Pence spoke plenary session

supporters with thank you welcome banners lined the road.

Outside Knesset security watching people hold thank you banners for Pence

Security seemed a bit confused,

but did not complain about a positive demonstration.

Tuesday morning as I was walking near Mamilla Mall,

Trump bus in Jerusalem

I finally got my photo, not only of the Trump bus,

Bus painted to welcome US VP Pence to Jerusalem

but also one of the Welcome Pence buses.

Slow going from blocked streets and security,

was theme over the time of Pence visit.

But waiting in security line for the

Kotel, Western Wall,

Display boxes for Pence visit to Kotel

I was able to see these two display boxes,

for the Pences’ visit, carried by security,

also go through security checks.

It is hard to describe the layers of security.

View of white cloth covering view to Western Wall for Pence visit

 Routes to he Kotel Plaza were draped in white,

to block all views.

Pence visit view of Kotel

The entire area was closed to the public for hours.

Since the weather forecast was for rain,

tents and covers were constructed.

A small platform was constructed for media.

Kotel birds on stones

I took advantage of higher and closer spot to admire the birds.

However, the main event was eclipsed,

Male photographers at Western Wall

by female journalists who did not like being behind the men.

Once it was evident it would not be raining,

the white covering was removed.

As a short female photographer who is often blocked,

I was satisfied to stand on a chair supported by the barrier,

but others around me were furious.

More upsetting to me, was to see security blocking

the official White House press travelling with the VP.

White House press trying to get in to Western Wall area for Pence visit

They only had a few minutes to get in position,

we had been waiting for over two hours already.

On entering,

Pence with leaders of Western Wall Heritage Foundation

Vice-President and Karen Pence stopped to watch a video

about the Western Wall, giving

Western Wall as VP Pence arrived

 security and White House cameras time to get in place.

Pence at Western Wall with rabbis

Pence looked at a large book of Tehilim, Psalms,

with the two rabbis from the Western Wall.

VP Pence Jerusalem Western Wall

Blocking my shot (only can use the word now,

with so much insane security all around,

who knows how much trouble I would be in)

was a tall security guy in purple shirt!

Close up of VP Mike Pence at Western Wall

I got the photo, plus

 another 400, if you are interested,

Karen Pence at Western Wall with women saying psalm

but turned my attention to Karen Pence.

She was accompanied first to the display case,

then to another large Tehilim book,

by the two rabbis’ wives and Western Wall spokeswoman.

Karen Pence at Western Wall on visit to Jerusalem

Karen Pence stood alone,

and spent a much longer time

with her hand on the stones of the Wall.

Security for Pence visit to Western Wall

The entire time from when motorcade entered the plaza

until they raced away was 30 minutes.

Pence visit to Western Wall security on roof tops

From rooftops,

Western Wall for Pence visit

to the roads leading to the Old City,

vehicles and pedestrians were stopped.

Karen Pence shops in Arab shuk near Jaffa Gate crowd gathers until she leaves

A crowd gathered near Jaffa Gate as

Karen Pence stopped to do a bit of shopping,

before heading back home.

As I finally headed home,

Streets closed for VP Pence visit in Jerusalem

the road to the King David Hotel was still blocked.

Oh, so different from Vice-President Biden’s 2010 visit.

Azzza Street without cars at sunset on wet day

After the motorcade passed on the way to the airport,

it was getting dark on wet Jerusalem streets.

Some roads were still empty

while others were filled with blocked traffic.

The predicted rain waited and began to fall,

but did not spoil the visit.

Lots of waiting for events lasting minutes,

the significance of which we can only guess,

not your usual week in Jerusalem,

or maybe it really was.

New Arab Girl Photos

New Arab Girl Photos

Times are a changin’.

Women in Saudi Arabia are allowed to attend sport events.

In a few months, women in Saudi Arabia  will be allowed to drive a car.

Photos of the new Saudi auto dealership for women only

show women covered in black from head-to-toe.

In Iran, Wednesdays have become protest days for women,

removing their white head coverings in protest to Islamic rulers.

And in Israel?

In Jerusalem, Israel, head coverings are important.

Without a red hijab,

Girl wearing red hijab in Israel restaurant in Mamilla Mall

how could we know this young woman in Aroma was an Arab girl?

World Champion gold-medal winner Anna Muzychuk

became news when she refused to wear an abaya

for the World Championship chess tournament held in Saudi Arabia.

Around the same time,

an interesting tourist group of women arrived

Arab girls at Western Wall plaza

at the Western Wall Plaza.

Escorted by two men,

a group of young women in traditional Muslim dress

Arab girls going to Western Wall

mingled with locals and other tourists.

I was on my way home, but I

Arab girls Jerusalem Israel

stayed to watch the reaction to the women at the Kotel,

the Western Wall, on that sunny afternoon.

Arab girls close to Kotel

There was none.

As they went close to the Kotel and stood there

Muslim women at Kotel

no one seemed to pay attention – but me!

Kotel, Arab women on Western Wall plaza

They took the normal tourist photos.

As the women wandered through the crowd,

 even their male escorts gave them space.

One woman waited outside the toilets for her friends.

Arab girl at Western Wall Plaza alone waiting for friends to come from toilets

Did anyone take notice?

From my vantage point above,

Arab girl alone in prayer in Jerusalem Israel near rest rooms

I noticed her taking the time to offer a prayer.

Her shoulder bag was from Milli Gorus,

which started in Turkey in 1969,

and is the most influential Islamist organization in Germany.

However, I am not sure where they live.

Arab tourism has increased,

and Muslim groups from Turkey and England are not unusual.

Next time I see a group of  young Muslim women

I plan to ask them where they live and how their trip is.

Will these women go back home and tell the truth?

In their traditional dress,

no one bothered them as they walked freely.

Muslim women walk pushing children in little cars in Jerusalem Israel First Station, Hatakana tourist site

 Israeli Arab girls and women in malls

or older women alone on side streets

know they have nothing to fear.

As a friend noted about 15 Real Photos of Arab Girls,

“Because somehow the “nude” got attached,

it will remain viral.

It will outlive the mythical cockroaches in a nuclear war.”🙂

Last year that post had almost 15,000 views,

my hope is some of those voyeurs

from every country in the world,

will see the truth about what is really happening

on these Jerusalem, Israel streets,

these real photos of Arab girls.