Jerusalem, Israel, covered in white.
Why is it? What is it?
The world loves to see photos of snow in Jerusalem!
This past week Jerusalem awaited the arrival of nearly fifty world leaders.
Five years ago the snow made for impressive images.
The Valley of the Cross looked like a scene from Europe rather than the Middle East.
This week temperatures dropped as the rain pounded down for days, seemingly without end.
However, though forecast, no snow fell to cover the Jerusalem streets.
A few white clouds occasionally let the sun peak through on Tuesday at Beit Hanasi while awaiting the first of the international world leaders to meet with President Rivlin.
Governor-General David Hurley was the second of twenty-seven world leaders the President hosted in private meetings at his official residence, over the few days before and after the Fifth World Holocaust Forum (WHF). Close to fifty world leaders converged on the Jerusalem streets for the WHF, which met for the first time in Jerusalem, Israel.
High-level delegations could not use the main entrance on Tuesday. A white tent covered the entire outside area. The ground was wet from a day of heavy rain. On Wednesday night at the dinner hosted by the President, the official photo was taken here.
Outside on Wednesday evening, white security tents and screens covered the length of Rechov HaNasi. There was no snow in Jerusalem, but a white security screen covered many streets.
What a difference two years made!
Two years ago for the UN initiated Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Prime Minister spoke to Ambassadors in the synagogue at Yad Vashem.
This year, marking the 75th year since the liberation of Auschwitz and the 5th WHF, royals and presidents and world leaders converged on the Jerusalem streets.
At least as the sun set there was a bit of color in the grey sky.
Zedekiah’s Cave was lit up with a thousand candles for a Wednesday night event for the media.
From the cave on a large screen, the main event dinner at Beit Hanasi was projected.
White linen and beautiful white flower arrangements were on the tables as the President spoke.
Walking home I went past the Old City walls near Jaffa Gate. Special lights and special colorful projections lit up the night.
Great idea to walk home, as major streets near hotels were closed to the public.
The next morning on Har Herzl this street was open, but the public was scared away.
Security units were deployed on Jerusalem streets early on routes to the main Thursday events.
The closed parking lot at Yad Vashem also had white security areas.
Inside Yad Vashem buildings white security barriers were erected.
International television crews had panoramic views of the Judean Hills from Yad Vashem.
But reporting in the afternoon, the fog on the hilltop made for a white background.
Holocaust survivors were at Yad Vashem to speak to international media.
German-born Walter Bingham attended as both a child survivor and a working member of the media. Bingham, 96-years young, is proud of his status as world’s oldest working journalist.
The main live-streamed event was held in a tent constructed on Yad Vashem’s Warsaw Plaza.
White security tents and barriers could still be seen at the entrance to Yad Vashem as the sun was setting.
With so many world leaders attending, the official Israeli black diplomatic vehicles were called in to use, as were dozens of white cars, lined up to take participants away at the conclusion of the ceremony.
But that was not all!
There was much more of the white security tenting.
At Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, covering what had been the dog park, were white tents.
Already on Monday night Gan Sacher was preparing for Thursday afternoon’s dedication of the Leningrad Memorial with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending along with Jerusalem and Israeli leaders.
The Roller Park looked like a swimming pool from rain, but the graffiti had been painted over, all nice and white.
Inside the main tent at Gan Sacher was the dedication ceremony held before the WHF.
What a week it was! Then the rain stopped.
The white flowers popped out of rocks in the midday sun.
Construction workers were back in the park and smiling.
Trees near the Leningrad Memorial site were still in their protected white coverings.
The main white tent was still covering the area of the dedication.
Metal security barriers were being removed from the park.
The Roller Park was open, but empty with fences still white.
This is the Gan Sacher temporary Dog Park.
The levels and layers of white security tents for Leningrad Memorial were still being removed.
I tried to get inside and failed.
So for now here is the publicity photo posted, but it shows only part of the tall monument.
Walking home it was good to see a wisp of white cloud and blue sky.
Blue and white flags being displayed to line some major streets, was one of many things that held up traffic this past week.
Now back to normal!?
Gan Sacher will have barriers up again.
The Jerusalem streets will soon be closed again.
Runners of all ages are out training – and getting ready.
March 20, 2020, as 40,000 runners will fill the Jerusalem streets.
The Jerusalem Marathon launch was also last week.
Tens of thousands of these white shirts will be seen as runners race through the Jerusalem streets for the 10th Jerusalem Winner Marathon.
Of course, there was much more happening this past week, but that will have to wait for next time.