Where should I begin to share a week where moods change as quickly as the weather?
It seemed every time I went outside the sun disappeared behind the clouds.
Often it rained, and rained hard.
But at least one evening I was in the right place at the right time to capture the colors in the sky, and with no filters, nature’s beauty appeared before the onset of darkness.
And look at this cactus, a wonder of nature growing so high and with new fruit.
The stalls at First Station were empty in the evening without the regular tourists in Jerusalem, Israel.
The carousel was wrapped in protective plastic and the Ferris wheel was not turning.
One Muslim man took advantage to say his nighttime prayers with no customers around.
I was on my way to the Menachem Begin Center for a program with Elliot Abrams and Dennis Ross.
Barbara Diamond moderated the live discussion as the two US experts discussed growing antisemitism.
A video with Bill Maher concluded the evening. His method of inserting humor while presenting historical facts that counter fictional narratives was greatly appreciated.
One of too many reminders of deadly attacks in Jerusalem is this memorial plaque listing the 11 names of martyrs murdered by a suicide bus bomber on January 29, 2004.
A reminder that 20 years ago, there were also calls for an intifada. Do people have such short memories?
Car-rammings became a new method of terrorism. Bigger, higher, and better bollards are now placed at Jerusalem bus stops to protect people waiting to board a bus.
But the Jerusalem streets, even during this October 7 wartime, are not shut down and dark.
The annual Shaon Horef, Winter Noise Festival is scheduled for the next four Monday nights on various Jerusalem streets.
The runners are out training for the Jerusalem Marathon set for the morning of March 8, 2024.
This week, at the Friends of Zion Museum, the Government Press Office held an evening event. Maayan Hoffman moderated a panel that included international journalists based in Israel.
CBN’s Chris Mitchell listened to Israel spokesperson Eylon Levy, while I was more focused on his socks.
Thousands of journalists came from around the world after the October 7 Massacre. I decided not participate in those early trips to see the death and destruction.
The panel with family members of the hostages was a somber conclusion to the evening. It boggles the mind that so many around the world deny the proof from videos and testimonies of survivors.
Some of the families of hostages have traveled the world to give testimony to get their stories told.
In the same place where the protest tents for the release of Gilad Shalit were, new are ones calling for the return of today’s hostages.
Frustrated after four months of captivity, protesters have taken to the Jerusalem streets calling for release.
The lights on Rivlin Street on the way to the Friends of Zion were twinkling on Thursday night.
I started on a positive note with colors in nature and want to end with one particularly colorful event.
Back on Thursday night, I was again at the FoZ for the opening of the Indigenous Embassy in Jerusalem with the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The program began with a moment to remember those murdered in the horrors of October 7.
Then we heard about the love of Israel coming from around the world, from Hawaii to Tonga.
Traveling thousands of miles to stand with and pray for the people of Israel.
IEJ is to become a hub for indigenous peoples visiting Israel and a tangible expression of their support. IEJ will also support and promulgate the academic work being undertaken to respond to false narratives.
However, IEJ does not purport to be an official representative of any of the governments that host nations of the respective indigenous peoples. It will engage in educational and cultural initiatives and mutually beneficial collaborative projects.
The Solomon Brothers added musical highlights to the event. But, when many participants got up to dance to Hava Nagliah, I thought it was my time to go home.
It’s over ten years since Ryan Bellerose shared his enlightening essay on Indigenous peoples. I thought of him throughout the evening even though he was not there in person.
Closing with a video also from 10 years ago, the prayer for Israeli soldiers.
At that time IDF tanks were lined up along the Gaza border.
Then, international opinion forced a ceasefire.
Hoping for the return of all the hostages and less gloomy days ahead on the Jerusalem streets.