A few years ago as I walked home from the Old City, the red, white and blue American flag was blowing in the wind against a perfectly blue background sky over the American consulate building.
I took out a little pocket camera to take a photo of the beautiful sight. Within seconds, I was surrounded by huge security guys, ok maybe not really huge, but in my walking shoes I am only 5′ 1″.
I tried in my best Southern accent to tell them that all I wanted was a photo of the flag and was not a security risk.
Immediately I realized that these guys had no idea what a Southern accent was and gave up. They then proceeded to delete my photos.
So for years the hardest picture to take on the streets of Jerusalem, Israel was the Star Spangled Banner, the US – red, white and blue, stars and stripes.
But not this week, now there are hundreds of flags lining the roads for the Obama motorcade.
Yesterday against a stormy sky two US flags flew outside Beit Hanasi. Soon this entire street will be off limits to photos, to all cars and also pedestrians.
Security preparations have already started for this visit and will exceed those of President GW Bush’s visits.
After GW Bush spoke at the Knesset, Ramban Street was empty of all vehicles, but people were allowed to watch his limo go by and wave.
For this visit, the US president will not speak at the Knesset.
It will be interesting to see how close any spectators can get.
In many Jerusalem neighborhoods, residents are bracing for a lock down situation.
One thing I would bet, is that these banners at a major intersection will be long gone.
“YES YOU CAN” free Jonathan Pollard will not be the red, white and blue that is out on the street for Obama to see when his special motorcade goes by.
About the AuthorI lived in the United States, Canada and Australia before moving to Israel in the midst of the Second Lebanon War. For for the last six years, walking the streets of Jerusalem, the scenes I saw every day did not resemble the ones familiar in the Western media. Now I try to share those positive images with the world, what is really happening in Jerusalem, Israel, The Real Jerusalem Streets
Filed Under: RealJStreets