Jerusalem Heats Up for Summer

Jerusalem Heats Up for Summer

It had to happen here in Jerusalem, Israel.

The hot weather had to arrive.

We are well into summertime in the Middle East.

This past week was still cool in the evening and pleasant.

But, today it’s hot outside.

French ceremony for Bastille Day

July 14th was Bastille Day, celebrated in France with an official ceremony including a military marching band – “Liberty, Equality, and Brotherhood.”

Protest Rally in Jerusalem Israel near Prime Minister's residence
Photo credit: Shifra G

In Jerusalem, the 14th was marked by a huge protest rally under the banner of “Siege of Balfour.” Protests are allowed under Israeli law, even when COVID-19 restrictions are the most severe stages. Most other gatherings, on the other hand, have been limited in numbers to try to control the spread during this coronavirus pandemic.

Protesters late at night at Jerusalem Israel Paris Square set fire to a paper recycling container
Photo credit: Shifra G

After the main protest rally with its noise and drums and shouts, it quieted a bit near midnight. We could hear the noises a mile away.

There have been protesters near Paris Square for a month, close to the Prime Minister’s Residence.

Jerusalem protest tent near Prime Minister's residence with Gilad Shalit's parents

Gilad Shalit’s family was there for years until he was released from Gaza.

Most weeks since, someone has a protest there. I have taken photos, but not always shared them.

However, this was more than the regular noisy protest.

Jerusalem Israel recycle container set on fire by protesters
Photo credit: Micky Rosenfeld Israel Polie

A paper recycling bin was set on fire, and enough protesters to fill a bus were taken away by police after being sprayed by water.

Israeli Police truck on way to burning dumpster at Paris Square

The truck was a little late getting to the protest scene. After making a wrong turn, the driver had to back the oversized vehicle out of our small, one-way street VERY carefully.

These protests have made headlines. The social workers are still on strike, but they’re not violent, making them less newsworthy.

Nurses are ready to strike also?

No idea what next, but can share what did happen:

Jerusalem Israeli scouts in uniform

Israeli Scouts in uniform and masks met on Tuesday for an outing.

Young Jerusalem children meeting in a park area

A group of young children gathered in this shaded nature spot. I liked how their backpacks were hanging from a cord – carefully distanced. I was reminded of the days when parents thought that head lice was the worst possible of plagues.

President Rivlin watches Israeli football final from a box, as the only spectator
Photo credit Kobi Gideon, GPO

The Israeli Football (soccer) final had one spectator – President Reuven Rivlin.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin meets with IDF near Lebanon border
Photo credit: Kobi Gideon, GPO

Twenty years after the withdrawal from Lebanon, President Rivlin visited the northern border on Thursday, beginning his visit with the operations room at Camp Biranit. I thought the plates of healthy food on the table were interesting.

Hezbollah in Lebanon as seen from Israel

I have plenty of border photos from January. Seems so long ago, when I was near the Blue Line, on the Israeli border of Lebanon.

The Jerusalem Film Festival (JFF) announced the end of its plans to run a delayed physical edition at the end of August. Following a surge in COVID-19 cases, new restrictions on large-scale gatherings have been introduced.

Dr Ruth and President Reuven Rivlin

Last year President Reuven Rivlin was the honored speaker as the event was dedicated in memory of the wife Nechama z’L. Dr. Ruth was a special guest.

Opening night Jerusalem Film Festival 2019

In 2016, the Jerusalem Film Festival attracted even more photographers to the opening night in the Sultan’s Pool.

Quentin Tarantino received a special award from Mayor Nir Barkat before the film.

Director Quentin Tarantino received an award from Mayor Nir Barkat before the film.

Jerusalem Israel building National Library near Knesset and Israel Museum

Even as many restaurants, museums, and buildings are forced to close, construction

Building the Israeli National Library man on top of building site

on the new Israel National Library,

Man working with construction equipment in Jerusalem

and other Jerusalem building projects are proceeding.

Watering Sacher Park in Jerusalem Israel no Sunday morning

Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, was empty in the morning as sprinklers water the grass.

Jerusalem Valley of the Cross bike path and new landscaping

The path in Valley of the Cross leading into the park was quiet.

Then a few minutes later – it was best to get out of the way!

New grapes on Jerusalem streets

How many times I have walked by this location and not noticed the beautiful green grapes growing?

Grape vine over trash container on Jerusalem street

Maybe because I did not look up over the garbage bin to see them?

Too many people walk looking down at their phones not seeing what is around them.

Wearing masks. Not wearing masks.

Another week under coronavirus pandemic.

Always something different happening on the Jerusalem streets.

Flower growing in Jerusalem Israel in Valley of the Cross

While many people are suffering, nature is thriving.

Take care out there and stay well.

In Jerusalem 10 Signs of Purim Season

You can never tell what you will find on the streets of Jerusalem, Israel,

and that is especially true at this time of year.

The month of Adar has arrived,

and though the Purim holiday is still two weeks away,

Purim mask on Jerusalem street photo

here is a sign of the season, a great mask I passed on the street.

balloons, Jerusalem photo walk

Across the street from the Prime Minister’s residence

blue balloons were hanging and blowing in the wind.

At first I thought they were some sort of reminder of a terrorist attack

Jerusalem photo memorial

 that had killed 10 people at this spot in Adar of 2003.

But, the number 18 was not about years or the number of victims of terror,

when I looked more closely, they said:

Balloon 18 ministers is enough

 18 ministers in the new government is enough!

Jerusalem photo tour, sale sign

End of season sale signs are up in Mamilla Mall, where

Jerusalem street picture

 the humor themed art is perfect for this time of year.

Marathon sign at Jaffa Gate

The giant sign for February sport events and the Jerusalem Marathon

at Jaffa Gate cannot be missed

Jerusalem construction sign

Even with signs, the construction of new sidewalks

can be hard to figure out, and it took awhile to get around this mess.

Jerusalem protest sign photo

For months on this corner, there was a protest against racism,

in the same spot where Gilad Shalit’s family spent so many years. 

Jerusalem street photo

Today it was cleaned up and clear of all tents and banners.

Jerusalem street sign picture

You can now see the sign that says that it is prohibited to hang signs.

However, there are new signs being hung

Free Jonathan Pollard sign

across from Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence,

“Honored President, Save Pollard.”

There are  many more signs of the Purim season,

but two of my favorites 

Mordehai street sign in Jerusalem

are the street signs named for Mordechai the Jew,

and of course,

Hamentaschen photo

 those full plates  of hamentaschen being served where ever you go.

A Different Gilad

Jerusalem is often the scene for protests, some of which make the news,

such as the protest about Egged bus routes in Mea Shearim.

Another protest are these photos of several famous Israeli women,

including Golda Meir, without their faces showing.

A lone protester with a sign

and a cause is a common sight and usually ignored by the media.

 Ramat Gilad is far from the center of  Jerusalem,

but last week a new protest tent was set up where Gilad Shalit’s family had been.

Gilad Zar was killed by terrorists in 2001.

His family started a new neighborhood, Ramat Gilad,

over looking Karnei Shomron, in his memory.

Plans were approved by the Housing Ministry for 185 units in 2003,

 today there are 10 families, about 30 people living on the hilltop.

The organization Peace Now petitioned the court to destroy Ramat Gilad.

The Zar family did not stay in Jerusalem for long.

The media did not report their cause or their search for a compromise.

Now each night they are afraid the army will come to destroy their homes.

A “settlement” home… no this is in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

In the center of Jerusalem there are illegal buildings,

 in the southern Israel there were more rockets from Gaza today,

but Peace Now is worried about Gilad.