Tag Archives: middle east
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Mrs. Naomi Tsur, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Dr. Yossi Leshem, from the Tel-Aviv University and Society for the Protection of Nature and Amnonn Hahn, General Manager of “FRIENDS OF THE SWIFTS” Association in Israel take part in a welcoming ceremony for thousands of swifts returning from South Africa to nest in the Western Wall as spring and breeding season arrive.
The Western Wall in Jerusalem serves as one of the oldest Common Swift nesting sites in the world. A special study to map the nests was conducted in 2002 by the researcher, Mr. Ulrich Tigges and by the late Prof. Mendelssohn during which 88 nests were noted. This study map served as a guideline during the work of strengthening the Western Wall, keeping the nests unblocked.
However, the future of the Common Swift is not secure at all and their future is at risk. The FRIENDS OF THE SWIFTS Association, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and Tel-Aviv University are working together to promise the future of the Common Swift by all available means: saving existing nesting sites, designing and building new ones, special educational programs in schools, assisting Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers, and PR activities to increase public awareness of this special bird and the problems it faces.
The Common Swift is a unique bird that spends most of its life on the wing. It feeds on flying insects, which it hunts in the air, it drinks while flying, it sleeps on the wing and it even mates on the wing at the beginning of the breeding season. The Common Swift spends most of the time living in South Africa in dense colonial groups and at the beginning of spring starts migrating north to its breeding sites. During mid-February it arrives in Israel, which is known to be one of its first breeding sites, and migrates back to Africa at the beginning of June, immediately after its nestlings have fledged. It is a small bird, weighing only 35 – 45 grams, but is a superior flier, an aerial acrobat. It has a thin, short body and impressive, long, scythe-like wings with an outstanding aspect ratio. Ever since humans have started building cities, the Common Swift has found our buildings perfect for nesting sites including ancient holy sites such as churches, synagogues, mosques and temples, and has become dependent on us.
Posters of female neighborhood residents are displayed in the French Hill with their names and occupations on International Women’s’ Day defying a citywide wave of gender segregation in the public sphere imposed by religious pressure.
In view of a citywide wave of gender segregation in the public sphere imposed by religious pressure and near-liquidation of advertisements including photos of women, this year’s International Women’s Day gets special meaning in Jerusalem. In the secular neighborhood of the French Hill a special campaign empowering women, residents of the neighborhood, puts twenty photos of women on display while giving them a name, an occupation and a meaningful identity. The posters also declare “Welcome to the French Hill!”
The project was initiated by residents of the neighborhood themselves in an interest to make the neighborhood more attractive for secular young people. Photos were created voluntarily by a female photography major from Betzalel School of Art and graphic artists from the neighborhood also volunteered their services. Their message is “We are women and we are here to stay!”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat leads a press conference on the rooftop of Notre Dame Hotel regarding the upcoming second Jerusalem International Marathon explaining the routes, logistics, special benefits to runners and city residents. Jerusalem, Israel. 6-Mar-2012.
Jerusalemites woke up this morning to a thin white blanket covering the city. After several years of anticipation and disappointments snow is finally here. Heavy snowfall continues this morning disrupting schools and public transportation. Jerusalem, Israel. 02-Mar-2012.
The Jerusalem Municipality is operating heavy equipment in an attempt to clear roads but Egged, the biggest public bus system serving the city, has announced that all public transportation in the city, to and from it, is suspended for the time being. Exams at the Hebrew University have been postponed.
Thousands of Christian pilgrims and believers flock the Church of The Holy Sepulchre on Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, in Western Christianity, and occurs 46 days before Easter. The Church of The Holy Sepulchre was built in the fourth century over the site of a Roman Pagan temple. It is considered one of the world’s holiest shrines to Christians, preserving the most important moments of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
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The children of Israel take part in a nationwide exercise simulating an earthquake. At the Bet-Hakerem Elementary School Home Front Command oversee the drill with police, paramedics and firefighters. Jerusalem, Israel. 20th February 2012.
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Jerusalem District Police Commander, Niso Shacham, instructs closure of the Temple Mount to non-Muslims following publication saying “Purify the Temple Mount of land-stealing enemies of Israel”. Jerusalem, Israel. 12th February 2012.
In an effort to prevent an outbreak of riots, Jerusalem District Police Commander, Niso Shacham, instructed the closure of the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa compound to Jews and tourists this morning. Fliers discovered called supporters to “purify the Temple Mount of land-stealing enemies of Israel”, allegedly signed by far-right Likud member Moshe Feiglin. Feiglin denies any connection to the publication. The Al-Aqsa compound remains open to Muslim worshippers.
Thousands of Israelis visit the Knesset today as it opens its doors to the public hosting an Open House event on the occasion of the parliament’s 63 birthday. Speaker of the Knesset, Mr. Reuven “Rubi” Rivlin was quoted saying: ”The Knesset is the house of the people, and this will literally be true, when a crowd of thousands comes to the Knesset to enjoy a range of activities. The purpose of the ”Open House” is to celebrate the Knesset`s birthday in a way which will bring the public closer to the Knesset, its unique role and its operations. The happening taking place on Tu Bishvat will be a mix of educational activities, cultural events, exercises led by MKs and yearly traditional ceremonies. I can promise anyone who comes an exceptional experience.”
Many interactive activities took place in Parliament today including the Knesset Band who welcomed visitors in the front plaza, ‘Story Hour’ for children lead by MKs, an exhibition of the Knesset Guard dog handlers, symposiums lead by MKs on political issues for students, actors dressed as famous Israeli political leaders interacted with visitors and a workshop on hand-powered bicycles for the handicapped.
In what seems to be an intensifying wave of ultra-religious intolerance sweeping the country two cars belonging to members of the Valley of the Cross Monastery were vandalized overnight. Tires were slashed and cars were littered with graffiti reading “Jesus die”, “Greeks out”, “The Maccabees of Migron” (referring to the right-wing unauthorized Israeli outpost in the northern West Bank), “Price Tag” and the Jewish Star of David.
The Monastery of the Cross is believed to have been built in the 5th century by Queen St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. Administered by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem the monastery was traditionally erected on the burial spot of Adam’s head from which grew the tree that gave its wood to the cross on which Christ was crucified.
Minister of Internal Security, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, and Police Commissioner, Yohanan Danino, take part in a festive ceremony awarding ranks to senior officers stressing their policy to strengthen ‘core police functions’ and reinforce the ‘front line’ of police services to the public including reallocation of organizational resources and personnel. The ceremony took place in the National Police Headquarters mess hall. Ten of the thirteen officers promoted to Chief Superintendent are station commanders and Border Police company commanders in accordance with Danino’s policy to reinforce the ‘front line’ of police, which serves as the ‘face of the police’ in the eyes of the public. Station chiefs promoted include Givatayim, Nazareth Illit, Modi’in, Harel, Migdal Haemek, Golan, Ofakim, and Arad police stations, previously considered “small” police stations in terms of numbers of policemen and the scope of the public they serve. Border Police company commanders promoted are Coral, Beit Horon and Company MZ in the Judea and Samaria.
In addition, ranks of Brigadier General were awarded to Uzi Levy, Border Police Commander of Northern District, Soaaa Thaoch, Border Police Commander of the Jerusalem Envelope District, and Simeon Lavi, Commander of the Operations Division, Tel-Aviv District.
Commissioner Danino stated “The move to implement 2012 as the ‘Turning Point Year’ will bisect all departments and districts. The center of gravity will move from the headquarters to the field. The move constitutes a new outlook for the public based on communal policing, strengthening field units, and providing more security and better service to the public.”
Newly ranked officers include Yoram Barina, Yehonatan Zeidel, Shlomo Ben-Shushan, Yosef Katab, Meni Benyamin, Mualem Ami, Gilad Bahat, Larry Samara, Avraham Biton and Eliyahu Shmul.