Another week in Jerusalem, Israel with the question of where to begin.
President and Michal Herzog departed for a state visit to the Federal Republic of Germany today, at the invitation of President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
On December 6, 2015, President Reuven Rivlin and Nechama Rivlin greeted the President of Germany Joachim Gauck and Mrs. Daniela Schadt marking 50 years of diplomatic relations. It was an impressive positive event.
However, September 5, 2022, marks another 50-year remembrance. The 1972 Olympic Games held in Munich were publicized to be the “Peace Games” but turned out to be anything but peaceful.
Black September, the PLO group formed within Fatah led by Yasir Arafat, turned the Munich Olympics into “the worst of times” as ABC announcer Jim McKay intoned of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes.
The first-ever live broadcast of the summer Olympics started out colorful and exciting to watch on television for millions around the world.
Then two Israeli athletes were butchered in their dorm room, and the others held by the 8 terrorists were killed in a “botched rescue” mission. At an airstrip away from the athletic village, a terrorist threw a grenade into the helicopter as the Israelis were held tied hand and foot.
Even now international media uses “fighter” and “militant” to describe them, starting half a century of deadly international terrorism.
Ankie Spitzer, the widow of the murdered fencer Andre Spitzer has spent the past 50 years trying to get answers to how and what happened in Munich.
December 1974, Black September was dissolved. Most of its membership was reassigned to other PLO groups. Wonder where they went?
Over the course of four years, Canadian Francine Zuckerman documented the stories of four women in the film “After Munich” which was screened at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. The timely showing of the film based on the lives of four women directly involved with the Olympic tragedy left me with more questions than answers about the Munich Massacre.
However, in the next few days, the President of Israel will deliver an address at the Bundestag and will participate in the official ceremony marking the 50-year anniversary of the Munich Massacre, with family members of the murdered athletes in attendance.
President Herzog will also visit the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, accompanied by the President of Germany.
Perhaps now the sealed German records will be opened. Time to see how such an attack against Israeli athletes happened on German soil.
From the worst of times – back to the Jerusalem streets.
After over ten years of work, a new Jerusalem street opened up this week.
Until you experience it for yourself, here’s a ride on Ariel Sharon Highway:
Years of blasting out under mountains, Highway 16 circumvents the traffic at the entrance of Jerusalem and goes from Route One to the Shaare Zedek hospital area in minutes, instead of the much longer times we have endured.
Come and see what’s new, it is constantly hard to believe with so many troubles, that there is so much positive happening.
As the end of the year approaches, Beit Avi Chai has a list of Elul programs.
The new school year of 5783 started as the shmita year is ending.
The public flower beds are cleared and ready for planting after Shemita.
It was hotter this week than it was all summer, but a Jerusalem winter sign decorates a local bus stop.
Hope to see you here soon on the old and new Jerusalem streets.