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.

Demonstrations in the News

Someone is always demonstrating in  Jerusalem,

 

with a banner displaying their cause by day,

or at night,

alone

 

or in a large gathering.

Some displays are colorful

and up for a day or two,

while the tent for the return of Gilad Shalit

has been up a very long time, as seen by the number of days of captivity displayed on top.

Paris Square is a favorite scene for protests

 

and for news broadcasts to around the world.

Most people walk past and try to ignore the small group of people dressed in black

in Paris Square who regularly protest  “the occupation” on Friday afternoons,

but this week there was a pro-Israel counter demonstration.

After the hour-long protest ended,

police removed the barricades and a few young people waved flags.

The helicopter and extra police left, everyone seemed relaxed,

even the ladies in black.

But then a woman got up and started shouting at the boys with flags,

and one peacenik was heard telling a young high school boy that she hoped

he would return from his future army service  in a coffin.

Cameras started rolling as the yelling got louder,

 

   “Go back to America!” she screamed,

 an Israeli “peace” demonstration.

 The media is on the spot for any conflict, confrontation or violence, no matter how small.

Late Monday night saw a demonstration of a far different type and scale,

 100,000 or more people came together

 to pay their last respects to former chief Sephardi Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu,

may he rest in peace,

 but this demonstration may not have made your local news.