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Knesset Celebrates 63 Years in an Open House Event – Jerusalem

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.

A kindergarten class from the Arab city Tayibe arrives to the Israeli Parliament for an open house celebration on the occasion of its 63rd birthday, exemplary of Israeli democracy and equality of rights. Jerusalem, Israel. 8th February 2012.

A row of photo portraits of past prime ministers decorates the halls of the Knesset as it opens its doors to the public for an Open House birthday celebration. First photo portrays legendary David Ben-Gurion. Jerusalem, Israel. 8th February 2012.

Children are mesmerized as MK Nachman Shai reads a story by Lea Goldberg to granddaughter’s kindergarten class in ‘Story Hour’. Thousands of Israelis visit the Knesset today for an open house celebration. Jerusalem, Israel. 8th February 2012.

More HERE

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Ethiopians March for Equality – Jerusalem

Thousands of Ethiopians and supporters join Mulet Hararo, who set out on a 70Km 3-day trek to Jerusalem from his home in Kiryat Malachi, at the Wohl Rose Garden opposite the Knesset protesting racism. Jerusalem, Israel. 18th January 2012.

Mulet Hararo, 26, an IDF officer and physical education student, who just finished a 70Km 3-day trek to Jerusalem from his home in Kiryat Malachi is joined by thousands of Ethiopians protesting discrimination. Jerusalem, Israel. 18th January 2012.

Check it out HERE!

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The Gospel Trail

Tourists from Germany traveling along the Gospel Trail rest atop Tel Kinrot, a hilltop located above the fertile Gennesaret and Tabgha Valleys. Tel Kinrot was once a fortified city, mentioned in ancient Egyptian sources. Lower Galilee, Israel. 29th November 2011.

Ein-Nun, the Spring of "Nun" ("fish" in Aramaic) along the Gospel Trail is a stone-lined pool bordered by huge eucalyptus trees, one of many springs along the western side of the Sea of Galilee. Lower Galilee, Israel. 29th November 2011.

The 380-meter-high Mount Arbel cliffs on the Gospel Trail overlook the Sea of Galilee. In Jesus' time this was the main route from Nazareth to the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee. The Gospels indicate that Jesus passed this way several times. Lower Galilee, Israel. 29th November 2011.

Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov prepares to lead a group of journalists horseback riding a section of the Gospel Trail on the day of its official inauguration. Lower Galilee, Israel. 29th November 2011.

Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov leads a group of journalists horseback riding a section of the Gospel Trail on the day of its official inauguration. The trail offers pilgrims and tourists the opportunity to discover the cradle of Christianity. Lower Galilee, Israel. 29th November 2011.

Two priests take part in a sail from Capernaum to Ginosar on the Sea of Galilee in celebration of the inauguration of the Gospel Trail, offering pilgrims and tourists the opportunity to discover the cradle of Christianity. Lower Galilee, Israel. 29th November 2011.

The sun sets on the Sea of Galilee, near Capernaum, the destination of the Gospel Trail. The trail was officially inaugurated today for the benefit of pilgrims and tourists visiting the holy land. Lower Galilee, Israel. 29th November 2011.

Ministry of Tourism press release, 17th November 2011: The Gospel Trail offers pilgrims and tourists, individuals and groups, the opportunity to discover the cradle of Christianity by experiencing – both physically and spiritually – the same biblical landscapes and sites of the Galilee where Jesus and his disciples once walked. The Gospel Trail incorporates over 60 kilometers of specially-signposted footpaths and roads which can be traveled on foot, by bicycle, on horseback and/or car, culminating in the spiritual highlight of sailing on the Sea of Galilee.

The modular trail, which the Ministry of Tourism has developed and renovated together with KKL-JNF in a joint investment of NIS 3 million (NIS 2 million from the Ministry of Tourism’s budget), follows the paths that Jesus is believed to have taken when he left Nazareth, the home of his childhood, for Capernaum on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, which became the center of his ministry. Luke 4: 29 -31: “And they led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, he went his way. Then he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee…”
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Speak to us of children!

First, there are the children of Sheikh Jarrah …

And then there are the adults …

And a whoman who held a babe against her bosom said,
– Speak to us of children!

And he said:
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come trough you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of to-narrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

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Boys

A young Jewish boy holds an Israeli flag at a counter-demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem

A young Palestinian boy tries to understand what Israeli flags are doing in his neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah

As the two young boys confront each other, for just a split second, frustration and anger form a raised fist in an act of retaliation with no real intent

29/1/2009, Jerusalem – Violence, dozens of arrests and claims of police brutality have characterized the last few weeks in Sheikh Jarrah, every Friday, following weekly rallies protesting Palestinian eviction from homes and the takeover of these homes by Jewish settlers. Today, police seemed embarrassed and more hesitant in their dealings with ‘unruly’ Arabs and leftist protesters.
Yesterday, January 28, Justice Gad Erenberg of the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, rejected police request to extend the remand of those arrested for disorderly conduct last week, January 22, until the end of legal proceedings, and ruled that leftist demonstrations in Sheikh Jarrah are not illegal as claimed by the police. The judge wrote, “Because freedom of assembly and freedom of expression are basic rights, the police must protect those who assemble from others and not declare their gathering as illegal because they fear retaliation from others.” He further stated that the gatherings are legal as long as protesters do not disturb public order or disrupt traffic. The judge noted that according to eyewitness accounts, the protesters yelled at worshipers and even spat at one of them. From that moment on, the judge said, the gathering became illegal and therefore the arrests made afterwards were legitimate.
Turnout today was greater than previous weeks. Several hundred activists assembled carrying signs reading “Free Sheikh Jarrah”, “Stop Apartheid”, “There is no holiness in an occupied city” and “Eviction from homes hurts”. Across the street several right-wing activists staged a counter demonstration. The atmosphere was joyful but tense as both sides awaited police reaction. But, as the sun sank in the West, the serenity of the Sabbath overcame politics and all involved disperssed very quietly.

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