The first week of June in this time of novel coronavirus pandemic has been a week of contrasts.
Scenes of continued isolation versus images of huge protest gatherings.
Cities appearing under siege with rioters breaking windows and burning stores.
Watching educators provide a memorable graduation ceremony for their classes of 2020.
Israel, meanwhile, began to emerge from COVID-19 isolations and lockdown.
Not sure if I should share secrets – but this path is in the Valley of the Cross.
The new landscaping seems to have burst out in color along the new bike path.
How many times did I walk this way and not notice “Milton’s Way Bike Path?”
Not the usual wheels one sees on this bike trail. It seems even individuals more at risk took time to get out and exercise in the pleasant weather.
A sign of the times – a discarded mask on the path in the Valley of the Cross.
Contrast #1 – this peaceful location was a scene of a terror attack.
The path where Prof Menahem Stern was murdered by a terrorist in June of 1989.
Contrast #2 – the green growth so close to the dried weeds, with the Israel Museum overlooking the stones of an ancient dwelling.
Contrast #3 – This intersection of Herzog, Tchnernichovsky, and Haim Hazaz Streets,
with the same intersection two days later. Each image shared tells a different story. With less traffic Jerusalem construction work has proceeded.
One sign of normalcy, the Scouts put a banner on the Pillbox at the corner.
Contrast #4 – a protest sign in the same location two days later. This group wants to keep the Jerusalem hills green with no building. Corona or not, protests have continued on a daily basis, for multiple issues. At least the new “save the hills of Jerusalem” protest was quiet.
Contrast #5 – Israeli schools reopened after being closed for weeks. However, Jerusalem’s Gymnasia Rechavia closed after two teachers were diagnosed with COVID-19, and many students tested positive also. Crews went into the high school building after it was shut and disinfected everything. Today 22 more schools were reported on the list as closed.
With the spring holiday season over, the Israeli flags have been removed from over the Jerusalem streets, while new colorful signs were put up.
Contrast #6 – Things are to be very different this summer than in past summers.
Fewer Israelis will be traveling overseas and fewer international tourists arriving.
The hotels by the Kinneret have started advertising for guests to come again.
But wait, Jerusalem wants Israelis to come to spend their holiday time here in the city.
The new signs are for food, music, street entertainment, and more.
One idea was to temporarily close streets to traffic so restaurants could serve patrons outside. Azza Street was one of the first of 13 locations to close.
Unity Prize at Beit Hanasi was one of many Jerusalem events held at the beginning of June.
President Reuven Rivlin hosted, the sixth Jerusalem Unity Prize award ceremony in memory of Eyal Ifrah, Gil-ad Shaer, and Naftali Fraenkel ז”ל at Beit HaNasi on Tuesday, June 2. During the ceremony, Uri Ifrah spoke on behalf of the families and former Jerusalem Mayor, now MK Nir Barkat, one of the founders of the prize, also spoke.
Last year on stage for the final photo, winners stood behind the Israeli dignitaries.
Two years ago the room was filled with families and guests and entertainers,
Shuli Rand and Guri Alfi were highlighted in the program.
Contrast #7 – This year was a very different scene.
As the “Trump Plan” and Sovereignty are hotly debated, these posters were posted in Jerusalem.
No one knows for sure what the future will bring.
Contrast #8 – I want to end with something positive.
This photo from United Hatazalah, with a caption on Tweeter: “a secular Israel, a religious Arab Israeli, and an Ultra-Orthodox Israeli saving lives together on an ambulance shift today in Jerusalem,” mentioned @RealJStreets.
As of now, it has been retweeted 200 times from the original and has well over 600 likes.
Not to worry, the women all wore masks working and only removed them to smile for the camera.
A week filled with contrasts, and highs and lows.
But as always things were happening on the Jerusalem streets.
Which images and contrasts did you see shared?