HNN reports that during a search of a house in the Moslem Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem the police discovered 2 pistols, a pipe bomb, a stun grenade and Hamas flags.
Two suspects were arrested.
HNN reports that during a search of a house in the Moslem Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem the police discovered 2 pistols, a pipe bomb, a stun grenade and Hamas flags.
Two suspects were arrested.
Hundreds of Israeli Arabs protested outside Sha’ar Shchem (Damascus Gate) in Jerusalem on Friday. Four people were arrested as the crowd tried to march towards the US Consulate. Hundreds more Arabs protested in Yafo against the ‘Innocence’ film.
The US has forbidden any government personnel to enter the Old City of Jerusalem today.
The US Government has forbidden government personnel from visiting the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday, and is restricting their travel within Judea and Samaria too (no information if that restriction also includes Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Gilo and Har Homa).
The US also recommends that all US citizens stay far away from (presumably Arab) demonstrations today, as they expect they may get violent.
Consulate General of the United States of America
JERUSALEM September 14, 2012
Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Possible Demonstrations in the Old City
The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem advises U.S. citizens that due to the possibility of demonstrations on Friday, September 14, the Old City of Jerusalem is off-limits to U.S. Government personnel that day.
U.S. citizens are advised to defer non-essential travel to the Old City and to generally exercise an extra measure of caution.
We remind U.S. citizens that due to the possibility of demonstrations throughout the West Bank, the U.S. Consulate General has limited both official and personal travel in the West Bank until further notice.
U.S. citizens are advised to defer non-essential travel to, and within, the West Bank and to exercise an extra measure of caution.
We also take this opportunity to remind U.S. citizens that demonstrations, even peaceful ones, can turn violent with little or no warning. U.S. citizens should be aware of their surroundings at all times, and avoid large crowds.
It’s election season, so Republicans can’t be blamed for expressing outrage when the political platform at last week’s Democratic National Convention removed support for Jerusalem being the capital of Israel.
Nevertheless, all the political fodder seemed disingenuous. Just a week before, nobody even noticed when the GOP’s own platform dropped its prior call for Jerusalem being Israel’s united capital – by removing the word “undivided.”
For many, support for a political party is eternal, like loyalty to a sports team. So Democrats faithfully recite talking points about President Obama being a great friend of Israel, Republicans pretend the Iraq war was a good idea, and Mets fans continue to watch Jason Bay.
On the surface, it’s good that the biggest immediate challenge to Israel’s status in Jerusalem is a few omitted words in a political platform.
But daunting threats are on the horizon, which will require Jerusalem’s supporters in the United States to do much more than play politics. A principled stance that holds everyone accountable, regardless of party affiliation, will be essential.
It may sound like a cliché, but it’s still true: For 3,000 years, Jerusalem has been the center of the Jewish world. The city was desolate for two millennia, but Jews everywhere prayed, hoped and dreamed to return there. Jerusalem is where the British banned the blowing of the shofar at the Western Wall; where the Jewish Quarter fell in 1948, as Jews were expelled and banned from the Old City for 19 years; where, in what was one of the most dramatic days in modern history, the dreams of Jewish sovereignty over our most treasured places were suddenly realized in June 1967; and where, less than a decade ago, routine bombs on buses, in cafes and in the streets left the center square virtually empty once again.
The dangers of the shofar being banned at the Western Wall, of Jews again losing access to the Old City, or of renewed mass murder in Jerusalem’s streets are real, not mere paranoia.
The world has decided that for the sake of peace, Jerusalem will be divided. But in fact, while it might be possible for Israel to cede sovereignty over outlying Arab neighborhoods added to the city’s municipal boundaries in 1967, the idea of dividing the Old City is delusional at best. Yet due to the egregious concessions offered by Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert at the end of their failed prime ministerial tenures – concessions that were soundly rejected by Israelis – the international community assumes the delusional to be inevitable.
This is why both Republican and Democrat support for united Jerusalem has steadily eroded, as reflected in both of their party platforms. Fixing the platforms and having a celebratory l’chaim is not the answer. The platforms are the sounding of an alarm, conveying that something must be done to shift the pendulum back in Jerusalem’s favor.
It’s long past time to return to substance and explain why Jerusalem must remain united. Anybody who has spent time in Jerusalem knows it would be absurd for Jews to expect to enter the State of Palestine at Jaffa Gate, safely walk or drive in Palestine from there to the Western Wall, and then return to the state of Israel in western Jerusalem. Yet this is just what all the so-called peace plans call for – even though polls show that Jerusalem’s Arab residents prefer Israeli control over united Jerusalem to a divided city that could be an even worse place to live than Belfast or Sarajevo.
Those of us who oppose partition of Jerusalem are often derided as opponents of peace. But none other than Yitzhak Rabin, just months before he was murdered by Yigal Amir, understood that dividing Jerusalem was not a path to peace. Leaving no doubt, Rabin emphasized, “if they told us that peace is the price of giving up on a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty, my reply would be ‘let’s do without peace.’ ”
When a few weeks after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration indicated it would pressure Israel to accept the division of Jerusalem, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon angrily proclaimed, “Do not try to placate the Arabs at our expense. Israel will not be Czechoslovakia.”
92nd Street Y: Milton J. Weill Art Gallery
1395 Lexington Avenue at 92ned Street
212-415-5563 for Gallery Hours
September 5 – October 22, 2012
Photographs seems like cruel slices from the past, frozen images of what will never be again. Since we assume the photographic image is, by and large, a factual view of some reality, it is inherently believed and trusted. But now be forewarned. It ain’t necessarily so. Bill Aron’s new images at the 92nd Street Y betray and beguile so as to force us to reassess the meaning of what we see.
The passage through time is a core human experience, not to mention a fundamental Jewish structure. Halacha is deeply time bound, changing every seven days to reflect Shabbos and cycling through the year to encounter holidays, memorials and reflections that make up the fabric of Jewish life. Each day-time demands different actions or restraints from Jewish life; when to pray, when to work or not, when to laugh and when to cry unfold in a constant flow of future, present and past. How this continuum encounters photography is the subject of Bill Aron’s current fascinating exhibition.
The majority of Aron’s photographs here are “multi-image panoramas.” They are created by taking multiple digital exposures, sometimes scanning a scene up to 360 degrees and at times revisiting it over several days, and then seamlessly stitching them together to create what at first seems like one unified image. He invented this technique in a thoughtful response to the challenge of contemporary digital photography. Western Wall Plaza at Night is an excellent introduction to this methodology.
The 9 ¾” by 40” wide photograph cannot be realistically seen in one glimpse. To do that one must stand back a few feet which causes much detail to become indiscernible. As you get closer it becomes necessary to scan back and forth to accommodate the photo’s width. Even that is not totally satisfactory and so walking along the image becomes the ideal way to take it all in, thereby forcing the viewer to mimic how an actual viewer of the scene would have to shift focus and position to take in the panorama. But it is in the very content of the image that time begins to flow.
The ancient Western Wall becomes the timeless pivot through which the dusk into night scene seems to evolve, passing from the glowing pink of sunset on the left to the rich darks of night on the right of the image. Significantly the dark sky is punctuated by a burst of fireworks that emphasize the complete arrival of nighttime. In this one image we have traveled through a halachically crucial time; what is called “Bein Hashmashos.” It turns out that this image is not about a specific past event, but thanks to the “eternal” nature of this architecture, i.e. the Western Wall, is about a perpetually recurring event, the interlude between day and night in Jewish practice.
Aron’s most intriguing images involve the dialogue between static architecture and people passing through a scene who by their multiple images, once we notice them, invoke the passage of time. Crucial to his methodology is the viewer’s tendency to view an image casually at first and to see repetition in a photograph as normative and not significant. With Bill Aron’s work that is a big mistake.
Western Wall Plaza During the Day initially looks like a ragged-edged panoramic snapshot. Upon closer examination of the 10” x 40” image, (with all its complications described above) we notice a kind of visual echo reverberating through the image. Looking closely we see repetitions; three figures in red reappear approaching the Wall, first from afar and then closer and closer. Other random individuals reappear in other unexpected repeated positions. Perhaps these are simply individuals in a tour group dressed alike or yeshiva boys and girls, all dressed in a kind of uniform. But looking carefully these figures are too much alike. In fact in almost all cases, it is the same person at different locations literally advancing through time. The viewer slowly understands that this image is manipulated to drag us through time moving forward. This image transcends stop-time photography because the visual context overwhelmingly tries to convince us that it is but a momentary snapshot. It is not – neither internally in its own image nor when seen juxtaposed with Western Wall Plaza at Night, a nearly identical composition and perspective. They are both grounded in the eternal Temple Mount but radically separated by night and day depicting time’s passage itself.
The sale of a 185-room hotel at the entrance of Jerusalem on August 16 was not just a 17.5 million dollar real estate acquisition by Australian multi-millionaire Kevin Bermeister, but one investment in a broader and more calculated strategy to make Jerusalem a global tourism capital.
In an interview with the Jewish Press’s Yishai Fleisher, Bermeister, founding investor in Skype, founder of file-sharing network Kazaa, and builder of Australia’s largest video game distributor, discussed Jerusalem5800, his $30 billion dollar, 28 year project to revolutionize the city and quintuple its number of annual visitors.
“I’ve been coming to this city for 7 or 8 times 5 or 6 times a year… I’ve been walking the streets learning about the city and I’m fascinated by it, I love learning the I love the history, I love the archaeology, I love the Jewish culture, I’ve become more religious, there’s many, many aspects to my fascination with this city,” Bermeister told Fleisher. Yet the fact that history and culture-rich Jerusalem has not advanced into a world class city the likes of New York City or Paris bothered Bermeister. And he decided to do something about it.
Together with a team of activists, engineers, architects and environmental and demographics experts, Bermeister began work on a grandiose vision for the modern-ancient city, and entitled it Jerusalem 5800, after the beloved city and the turn of the Jewish century which will occur in less than 28 years on the Jewish calendar.
Much of the plan, made public at Jerusalem5800.com, revolves around taking the visitor on a historic progression through the city, starting in the west and working toward the south – which means redefining the entrance to the capital.
“I am a personal fan of the city reorienting its entrance from the west towards the south. I think the south is the traditional entrance to the city from the time of Abraham, and in fact, it’s the right approach for tourists who are coming here to learn about the city,” Bermeister said. “If you approach the Old City from the south, you begin your journey three and a half thousand years ago, and as you progress up towards the north, towards the Western Wall, the Kotel, you arrive at a period two thousand years ago, and then you can progress to the modern city which is of course in our present day.”
When they come, tourists of Jerusalem in the year 5800 (2039 on the Gregorian calendar), will enjoy an advanced public transportation system and will benefit from significantly more travel accommodations.
“I realized that industry here has not really fully developed, it’s not catered to the extent that it is in other cities, and I started to look at tourism specifically… in the last 10 years, only 300 hotel rooms have been built. Once I discovered that fact, the light bulb went off…”
That burst of inspiration was partly the realization that investors stand to gain tremendous amounts by buying stakes in everything to do with Jerusalem tourism – particularly hotels which Bermeister hopes will house 10-12 million visitors a year by 5800, up from the current 2-3 million.
Bermeister is the first to admit that many of the projects Jerusalem 5800 are focused on making a profit for investors.
“The Leonardo hotel, for example, was one of those properties that we identified early. At the entrance to the city, adjacent to large zoning changes in Binyanei HaUma – which has recently been announced by the city – that would increase the density of building and perhaps provide us the opportunity to increase the density of zoning on our property and therefore improve the return on investment to our investors,” Bermeister said.
“[Jerusalem 5800] is a private/public partnership plan, and we’re trying to… develop the city into the future based on the prioritized return on investment to investors. So [we’re focusing on] those projects that will be most interesting to investors the soonest.”
The hope is that more money will mean more progress for Jerusalem. Jerusalem 5800 aims to “continue to encourage the development of a fund that would be supported by many more investors around the world who could put their funding and finance concentration into Jerusalem and into Jerusalem building,” said Bermeister.
But Jerusalem 5800 is not without its challenges. Progress can be halting because of Jerusalem’s atypical status under the jurisdiction of both the city’s mayor and the prime minister of Israel. The interests of various ministries and planning authorities must also be taken into consideration.
Not to mention the will of God. “Everything we do anticipates a possible future – please God, there will be a Temple and people will come three times a year to Jerusalem,” Bermeister said.
“But the 28 year plan really focuses on the what we know and what we can do something about in physical terms in the city today. Preparation of the city, taking advantage of the existing growth in global tourism, for which Israel is not obtaining its market share, and really to focus on making sure that we do obtain our market share of inbound tourism by addressing the issues of the Jerusalem city center and access to the Holy Basin.”
“So like Jews around the world who pray three times a day and sometimes a lot more, that the Temple will in our lifetimes become a reality, [the Temple] would become an amplification, a significant amplification of the present planning,” Bermeister said. “But in any event, 5800 would enable that thinking and enable us to cope with that amplification….it also looks to the future and hopefully will enable the city to be ready for an event such as the Temple.”
“I’m looking forward to a very bright future and I think Israel and Jerusalem are key to the examples that … Jewish people can set in the world, the way of thinking, the way of acting, and I think we have a responsibility to project in the world the way to make the world a better place.”
The hi-tech innovator’s plans, already 2 years in progress, include a Jerusalem regional airport in the Judean desert near Jericho, and underground traffic systems with service to the Old City.
Israel is a nation with a strong sense of youth groups. To varying degrees, all of my children took part in one or another of the available youth groups. Shmulik took it one step further than his older siblings by not only taking part, but following the path up to be a counselor. David, now 16.5 years old, has chosen this path as well. Part of the perks is that the counselors continue as their own youth group and do things together.
They went to some training seminars and on Tisha B’Av, a fast day, they went late at night to walk around the ancient Old City walls. Their plan, and despite a delay, what they did, was to walk to the Western Wall and spend the remainder of the night there, reading, praying, learning, and remembering a time when the Temple Mount was in our hands and Jews could freely pray there.
Today, thanks to the idiocy of Moshe Dayan and the Israeli government of 1967, after being forced into war with Jordan and defeating it, the Old City was conquered and reunited with the rest of Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount and the mosques that the Arabs built on top of the ruins of our Temples, was handed back to the Arabs. Again, an act of a war they started and lost. During the 19 years – again only 19 years – that the Old City was in Jordanian hands, Jews were forbidden entry to the entire Old City, including not only the Temple Mount, but also the Western Wall, which is the the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount area (and not part of the Temple itself).
When we reconquered the Old City, we found graves on the Mount of Olives that had been desecrated, used to build bathrooms, smashed, etc. Now, for the last 45 years, Arabs have access (and control) of the Temple Mount and other than for security reasons (like when they start rioting and throwing stones on the Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall), they are remarkably free to come and worship. They even have been given the right to restrict Jews from praying on the Temple Mount itself. Of course, it is really the Israeli government and not the Arabs who have imposed this restriction – one that has Israeli police watching each group of Jews that ascends the Temple Mount and threatens to arrest them if they close their eyes, if they whisper a prayer, if they dare to stand silently and bow – no Jewish prayers are allowed there today – to the great shame of our people.
So we do what we can – we walk around the wall; we pray at the Western Wall. So that night, as my son and the older group passed what is called the Gate of Compassion – one that is supposed to open when the Messiah comes – they were pelted with stones. One girl was injured before the kids were fully evacuated to safety. Last night, an Israeli bus was pelted by stones thrown by Arabs as Jews traveled to the Western Wall. No, the Temple Mount itself is not enough for the Arabs and so they attack Jews who are even close by.
I used to live to the west of Jerusalem and so I would occasionally see Arabs drop to the floor, face east, and bow to what I thought was Jerusalem. When I moved to live on the east side of Jerusalem, a funny thing happened. I realized that the Arabs were still facing eastward. No, it was never to Jerusalem they faced. They face to Mecca and where I live, that means putting their backside towards Jerusalem.
This is true on the Temple Mount itself. Five times a day, the Arabs fall to the ground, point their backsides to their mosques and our Holiest ground – no, it was never Jerusalem that reigned supreme in their prayers as it does in ours. All over the world, Jews face to Jerusalem. Within Jerusalem, all face to the Temple Mount itself.
We as a people keep doing it wrong. The parents of my sons group were justifiably upset about their children, my son, coming under a rock attack. So what did they do with this anger? Well, late last night, David came into my room with a piece of paper and a pen. He needed me to sign a letter that he was going today up north with the group – on my responsibility. The parents had threatened to sue the older counselors for what happened the night of the rock attack and so, in response, these teenagers can only continue the amazing activities being planned for them – if the parents take full responsibility and promise not to blame the counselors.
On the heels of UNESCO’s decision last week to name the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem as “Palestine’s” first World Heritage Site, the UN body voted to list the Nahal Me’arot Nature Reserve as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nahal Me’arot (the Carmel Caves), located on the western slopes of Mount Carmel in northern Israel, are a group of prehistoric caves where early man lived continuously for hundreds of thousands of years. The caves were first excavated in the 1920s and 1930s; tools, animal bones, and human burials found in the Caves have “contributed greatly to the understanding of the physical and cultural evolution of man in the early phases of his existence,” according to a statement on the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Nahal Me’arot joins seven other World Heritage sites located in Israel. These are: the Old City of Jerusalem; the Bahá’i Holy Places in Haifa and the Western Galilee; the Biblical Tels of Megiddo, Hazor, and Beer Sheba; the Incense Route – Desert Cities in the Negev; Masada; the Old City of Acre; and the White City of Tel-Aviv.
Of course, the most dubious recent addition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization was the Church of the Nativity, not least because it was admitted as a site under a state that does not exist – ‘Palestine’. This was made possible by the UNESCO’s vote last October to admit Palestine as a full member.
“This is proof that UNESCO is acting out of political considerations and not cultural ones,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time. “The world must remember that the Church of Nativity, which is sacred to Christians, was desecrated in the past by Palestinian terrorists.”
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/carmel-caves-voted-a-unesco-world-heritage-site/2012/07/02/
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