Photo Essay: “Hell” In Jerusalem This Passover

Well, well, it seems that a Palestinian orthodox archbishop said Wednesday that Israeli security restrictions in Jerusalem – imposed for the Jewish Passover holidays – were “making life hell” for Christian pilgrims and Palestinian residents of the city.

That is just not true.

security blocking Jerusalem traffic

Traffic was blocked outside of the Old City. This busy road went to one lane and only special vehicles could pass.

street closed Jerusalem

And from the other direction, there were more Jerusalem streets closed. Trust me the driver in that rental car wanting to make a right turn was not happy at all.

gate in old city traffic and people

Inside the Old City, there were cars and people trying to use the same little passage ways.

security on Passover

After taking a public shuttle bus, getting off in a different location than usual, and walking all the way around, I could not go up the steps to the Jewish Quarter.

image Old City on Passover

I had to go back around in the hot sun and pass another Passover ice cream truck.

That is hell?

image of Passover crowd

Crowds later, I was back near where I had started.

Palestinian women

At least those of us who know our way around the Old City could get to where we wanted.

Well, not exactly.

police blocking St James Street

The way I wanted was one way – the other way. Even though it was afternoon, the crowd lessened, these police would not let me pass. I am not Palestinian or Christian. No discrimination, they were nasty to all, except that guy smoking a cigarette in the white shirt.

Passover in Old City

Yep, back around to the same gate that I did not want from the start, and where cars and people wanted to go at same time.

people waiting to get through gate

Oh, I was not alone, cars going in both directions passed as we waited to use the only gate that I could to get out of the Old City.

Muslim tourists in Jerusalem

Once outside, free at last, after at least twice as much time as should have been, an Arab tour group was also leaving.

Passover in Jerusalem

Those Muslim tourists were no more under strict security restrictions, than this woman with children we had seen walking earlier from the bus.

mnagal smoke in Gan Haatzmaut

I am not an expert on “Hell,” maybe that othodox priest complaining saw too much fire and smoke from people cooking holiday meals in parks?

I was very angry having to go out of my way, over and over again because of closed streets.

Yes, it took a very long time on Passover to get around the Old City.

But, Israel making life hell for Palestinians and Christians?

Maybe our complainer should try checking out life in Syria.


Real Jstreets

I lived in the United States, Canada and Australia before moving to Israel in the midst of the Second Lebanon War. For the last ten 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