Terror Triumphs

Mea Shearim, an ultra-religious Jewish neighborhood over a hundred years old,

is a popular tourist stop and shopping center.

When you turn the corner

from Strauss Street,

you enter another world,

where Pashkavillim, not the internet provide the latest news.

On Mea Shearim Street discounted books can cause an instant crowd to gather.

For over a year the Or Chaim Bookstore on Mea Shearim Street

has been the target of repeated and increasing terror attacks.

This English modesty sign now hangs outside as a result of  those  assaults.

Metal doors, security, and police did not protect the owners from the thugs,

who vandalized the store and threatened the owners for over a year.

A group called Sikrikim,  extremists who want to control women’s dress and

 to decide which books are appropriate to sell and to read.

However, in store

after store,

after store,

after store,

after renovated store on Mea Shearim Street,

  no such modesty signs were posted today.

 Feldheim bookstore had the sign in Hebrew only.

Despite unending major building and renovation,

 and unwelcoming signs

 posted at the entrance to the neighborhood, the tourists still keep coming.

A few violent people caused The Or Chaim Bookstore’s shades to be closed,

so from the street no one can see they sell English books.

The damage caused by the Sikrikim was NIS 250.000 (over $65,000) ,

forcing them to give in.

Now they have the signs up.

They will not sell books the Sikrikim disapprove of.

Terror has triumphed in Mea Shearim…

Mughrabi Bridge

 The Mughrabi Bridge ascent to the Temple Mount

was destroyed by severe weather in 2004.

This temporary bridge was constructed

and is still in use.

It is the only way for non-Muslims to enter the Temple Mount

and is used by tourists from around the world.

For a while the lower part of the structure was covered with white fabric.

The women’s area near the Kotel, the Western Wall was made much smaller.

For some time now, engineers have said that the structure is no longer safe.

Yesterday the Prime Minister Netanyahu stopped a project, approved in March,

  to replace the Mughrabi Bridge with a permanent structure.

With the dark sky as background…

this is what the fuss is about,

this simple wooden ramp.

Jordan and Egypt have warned against proceeding with repair work.

There were rockets fired overnight from Lebanon into the North.

  Rocket fire from Gaza continues to threaten Israeli citizens in the South.

What is the greater threat to peace?

Not Tahrir Square

World media attention is focused on Tahrir Square with its exciting photos,

 by comparison Jerusalem’s Safra Square is downright boring.

A public meeting held in the City Council Meeting room on November 23, 2011,

chaired by Deputy Jerusalem Mayor Naomi Tsur was ignored by the press.

After her hour-long report on waste management, physical accessibility,

affordable housing and parks, transportation and a green Jerusalem,

there was a discussion group for each topic where the public could speak.

Each group then reported back to the full assembly during the last hour,

with an attentive Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat present.

He listened to each presentation,

took extensive notes,

and then responded.

The event was more civil, orderly and democratic than many US town meetings.

Near the end a man came close to photograph the mayor,

followed by a second photographer, otherwise the crowd sat politely and quietly.

Though a short power outage occurred during the mayor’s remarks,

 Naomi Tsur had good reason to smile at the close of the meeting.

After a resident of an Arab neighborhood gave an impassioned speech

 wanting good schools for his children at the housing session, he received applause.

The only noticeable  group missing were the Ethiopian olim,

possibly because of the Sigd holiday that is being celebrated this week .

The mayor used the word “savlanut”, patience more than once in this remarks.

Savlanut is usually needed in Jerusalem,

 a meeting like this one could be one small step in a positive direction.

Additional photos on The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook Page.