Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Day on the Streets of Jerusalem

I took a tour downtown today of the old neighborhoods of Yemin Moshe, Nachlaot, and saw the prison where the fighters of the Jewish underground were incarcerated and killed by the British. The prison part was pretty grim. Perhaps I'll post it for Yom Hazikaron (Israeli Memorial Day, next week.)

Meanwhile, here are some photos I took just strolling around Jerusalem:

Excavations at the Mugrabi Gate. The excavations have been a site of some controversy. The Islamic Movement in Israel (that is, radical Islamic fundamentalists who live inside Israel with Israeli citizenship) tried to stir up riots about a month ago, claiming Israel was trying to tear out the foundations of the Temple Mount. You can see the Temple Mount about a hundred feet behind them, which is obviously nowhere near the excavations. But it served its purpose. Israel invited the Turkish government to mediate and oversee the excavations, so the Islamic Movement had a small victory.

A group of Japanese tourists at the Kotel.

The finance minister increased tuition payments, so the university students went on strike. One would typically think of picket lines or traffic obstruction for a strike, but these are students, not auto workers, so they had a techno-trance in Kikar Tzion instead.

I bumped into Baruch downtown. Baruch used to study at Machon Meir. He's now working at the King David Hotel (which, by the way, was the British military headquarters in the 1940's until it was blown up by the Jewish Underground, mentioned previously.)

Some of the strangest picket signs I've ever seen.
Back in Pisgat Ze'ev, people are getting ready for Lag B'Omer, the 33'rd day of the 49-day long period of counting known as the "Omer" (today is day 15.) Lag B'omer is celebrated with massive bonfires, so the children are going out into the fields and bringing back shopping carts loaded with wood in anticipation.
Looking out at the Hills of Binyamin (the tribal region of Benjamin,) and the Ramallah Bypass Road, from my street. In the distance is the Jordan Valley.

Today begins the Jewish month of Iyar. Chodesh Tov!

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