Yom Yerushaylayim, or Jerusalem Day, with its singing, dancing and Israeli flags received a lot of bad press this year. Especially in social media, the hype about trouble ahead rose to crescendos. Battles on Facebook posts went on for days.
I posted why I believed Jerusalem Day was so important. Now I want to share what you did not see of Jerusalem Day this year in Jerusalem, Israel.
Perhaps you saw a photo of the crowd on King George Street. However, there were also, tens of thousands of people who were in Jerusalem in other locations.
You may have heard how the Muslim Quarter shops were closed and people inconvenienced.
However, large green public buses blocked streets and most of the center of Jerusalem was shut to public and private transportation. No light rail service and no buses. A friend had to walk home to Baka through the crowds of people with Israeli flags.
Tens of thousands of Jews celebrating and Arab women were out shopping in Mamilla Mall. Remember, it was not safe for anyone in this area in 1966.
The route of this annual Flag dance, march, parade, or what ever you want to call it…
went along part of the Jerusalem Light Rail track. Remember, this was No Man’s Land in 1966. The famous story of the Nun and false teeth happened here. A spot so dangerous a nun needed special military intervention to enter.
The loud speaker van with blasting music stopped. Then on to Damascus Gate.
The media was at Damascus Gate. Posed and ready for action, though not everyone watching wanted their photo taken.
The Israeli chief of police was on the scene. Security was on top of buildings. It seemed everywhere. Everyone was ready. However, those violent Jews just did not appear at Damascus Gate.
I did the entire route to see for myself what happened.
At one point an Arab shop was open on the Via Dolorosa. Three men sat outside. A few teens stopped and were signing loudly in their direction. I was posed camera ready for action.
They laughed. The Arab men kept smiling and laughing. Within seconds, the boys got bored and moved along.
What a shame. Bored. Yes, it was boring. A no headline day in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City.
However, at the Western Wall, tens of thousands were gathered singing and dancing. On the Jerusalem streets, there was plenty of action.
Not the violent kind the press was waiting for. Not from the Jewish celebrants. Not from those who came from all over Israel and the world to sing over and over, Am Yisrael Chai.
In the Cardo, the ancient Roman marketplace, who would have imagined centuries ago, or 50 years ago, Jewish young men would sing and dance?
Too bad, two Israeli buses were attacked as Jerusalem Day ended. A bus with school children was attacked by terrorists with stones. A public bus was hit with metal balls, so at first it was thought to be gun shots. Terrorists at work, as strict security lessened.
The Jewish people are alive.
From 1948-1967, there were no Jews in the Old City.
One day a year, Jerusalem streets are blocked with singing and exuberance to celebrate coming home again. I could go on and on, but enough for now.