blue and white,
Israeli and Jerusalem flags
are lining the streets,
and across some Jerusalem light rail trains.
A full and eventful week ahead,
but for now,
In Jerusalem, Israel, some bonfires started after Shabbat,
while others began Sunday night and Monday.
Lag B’Omer seemed less intense this year.
Some hide inside from the smoke and close their windows,
and I was one of the insiders.
On Monday morning many children had no school,
which was great timing for a free Museum Day.
Though Monday was warm and windy,
this father went biking with his children.
I saw fewer fires at night burning near us,
but these ashes looked like a party the night before.
No reports of serious damage is always good,
and the sirens this week were not all bad.
The Prime Minister of Ukraine went by in this noisy motorcade.
Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence,
was busy as usual with foreign and local guests.
On Monday, history was made,
when the first female Qadi, Sharia Judge,
was sworn in by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
Then on Tuesday, new ambassadors to Israel
presented their credentials, the first one of the day was Thailand.
The Israel Police Band played anthems, however,
even the new Spanish Ambassador received only minimal attention.
Most cameras were focused on new US Ambassador David Friedman
as he presented his credentials to President Rivlin.
As Hatikvah played, Friedman started to sing,
but after a few words, his lips stopped moving.
These red warning signs are up lining the street,
in Hebrew, and English ones too.
US President Donald Trump is to come next week.
Then we will see roads closed and traffic stopped.
This week Jerusalem is preparing to celebrate 50 years united,
with special Jerusalem flags,
in multiple ways and locations,
with music going late into the night.
Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day,
is on May 24, 2017, the 28 of Iyar.
The main event is set for May 21, 2017, at 8:30 pm,
here by the walls of the Old City,
but we are to have a US Presidential visit.
So many festivals, visitors and events,
it is hard to keep track,
stay tuned for what happens next on the Jerusalem streets.
Israel’s 69 years’ celebrations took many forms.
The flyovers on Yom Ha’atzmaut, Independence Day,
are an annual favorite.
This year I was in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, ready to record
as 4 planes zoomed across the sky, turned and dipped.
A blog called Outrageous, was posted
on May 11, 2011, concerning the poor
the situation of access for disabled individuals
in Jerusalem, Israel.
What triggered that post was the deplorable
restroom conditions at Gan Sacher on Yom Ha’atzmaut.
Tens of thousands of people and no proper toilets,
long lines, and no handicapped facilities.
By the spring of 2014, construction was underway
for a new public restroom, toilets, loo or “OO.”
Since I have gone by multiple times to check it,
I am very happy to report
that this year on Yom Ha’atzmaut afternoon
the women’s restroom was not only available,
but it was clean and stocked with paper and soap.
The speed can be seen in the air,
but on the ground things often go much slower.
This year Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day,
with all the build up to the jubilee year,
is being eclipsed by the first official visit
of US President Donald Trump.
The King David Hotel is to be cleared
of all other guests for the presidential entourage,
as was done for previous US presidential visits.
It’s not fun for locals
when major streets in the area are closed.
the Tower of David is offering some fun,
on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, with free entrance,
from noon – 6:00 pm.
Besides the opening of new exhibit,”50 Years 50 Faces,”
children’s activities are planned, plus guided tours.
Theatrical performances and live music will entertain,
look for more than jugglers on the wall,
Kings David, Solomon and Herod are to make an appearance.
Mayor Nir Barkat is to greet the public from 3:30 – 5:00 pm.
Always so much happening on the Jerusalem streets.