Olmert, Corruption, and the Jerusalem Marathon

It comes as no surprise to most Israelis that our Prime Minister is shrouded in yet another controversy, this time allegedly for taking a bribe from a prominent American working in Israel.  The media is still under a strict gag order, but those in the ‘know’ say that this time, Olmert will have to resign.

This is his 5th corruption investigation since taking office two years ago. The most recent one, last Fall, alleged Mr. Olmert received payment in consideration for decisions made in the privatization of Bank Leumi, when we was acting as Finance Minister.

On the lighter side, Ehud Olmert, in 2002, then still Mayor of Jerusalem, was running in the 10KM race as part of the Jerusalem Half Marathon.  Olmert stepped up to the front of the line, mugging for the cameras.  Of course, to get to the front of the line, he had to physically move other runners to the side who had arrived before him.  One of these runners, a neighbor of mine, tells this story:

    I said to Olmert, “How come you get to go to the front of the line? We were here first!”  To which Olmert replied, “Because I am mayor. I am an important person”.

Assuming this story is true,  it illustrates what type of world Mr. Olmert lives in.  In his mind, he is priveleged.  He is a son of the “kings” of Likud. He has been in politics his entire life. Everything has come to him from his political position.

I won’t even bring up the “Divine Retribution” angle that has been posed by many in the National camp…  Ok, I’ll bring it up…

There is a long string of politicians who have expressed acceptance in relinquishing land to Arabs – whether it be East Jerusalem, the Golan, Gaza, even Sinai.  Each politician at the helm during these watershed times who has capitulated to Arab, world, or US pressure, has been knocked down, each with a different ‘natural’ conclusion. 

Is that “Divine” or just natural.  You can decide for yourself.

Jerusalem Lattices – Shutters

One of the really interesting features of the Old City Jerusalem are the multitude of latices (they are called shutters in the USA) .

These designs are basically throwbacks to the pre-1948 days. These lattices are meant to keep the wind and cold out on winter days. However, most of them can be found open all times of year. Rooms in these Ottoman style buildings can get pretty dark with the window shut, as the ceilings are high and the traditional lighting is insufficient.

Jerusalem Lattices

Kotel Western Wall Photo

There’s something about the Western Wall Plaza in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem that is truly exciting. Aside from all the metaphysical good vibes from the heightened spiritual feelings, there is a true kinetic energy that is experienced.

This infrared photo of the Western Wall (Kotel) Plaza somewhat describes the emotions evoked in me when I’m there.

Kotel - Western Wall Photo

Click on image for larger size photo.

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

The Jerusalem Biblical zoo is situated in the south of the city, just south of the Malcha Technology Park, and the Jerusalem Malcha Mall. It is easily accessibly by train (Malcha station), car, and bus.

The zoo is huge! The highlight is a wonderful children’s petting zoo – which, when we went, cost additional to the general zoo admission. The zoo strives to keep to it’s name “Biblical zoo”, hence the animals housed at the zoo are all mentioned in the Bible. Next to each cage is a plaque with an inscription from the Bible where that animal was mentioned.

Here’s a orangutan (I think) looking at one of the visitors. It wasn’t clear to me who was the visitor and who was the caged animal here 🙂

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Husan Arab Village Photos (South of Jerusalem)

This Arab village, Husan, has been mostly quiet in the history of Israel since it was captured in the 1967 Six Day War. It is situated just a few kilometers south of Gilo, the southernmost neighborhood of Jerusalem. It also sits strategically on the main road between the Gush Etzion area (which includes the 20,000+ city of Efrat), the burgeoning settlement of Beitar Illit, and Jerusalem.

In 2001, during the second intifada, the calm was disturbed. Residents of Husan would stand on the plateau above the main road and throw rocks at passerby vehicles. On a few occasions, terrorists came to Husan and fatally shot travelers on the main ‘tunnel’ road, and near Beitar Illit.

The army responded with curfews and built a huge fence to cage in the residents, and effectively halt the rock-throwing. To help prevent further terrorist incursions, Husan residents were restricted from traveling by car to and from the village.

The result was a strange spectacle of hundreds of workers from Husan every day being driven by van services to the edge of the village, then to walk across the main highway, only to be picked up by further van services to shuttle them to nearby Bethlehem and further.

Husan Residents Walking

Husan Arab Village Photos (South of Jerusalem) Husan Arab Village Photos (South of Jerusalem) Husan Arab Village Photos (South of Jerusalem)

Monster Slide Jerusalem

Here’s a straight shot of the Monster Slide in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Monster Slide

This is one of the true fun places to go when visiting Jerusalem.

To get there by car, simply drive south from the main entrance of Jerusalem on Herzl Road, always following the signs to Hadassa Ein Kerem Hospital. You will eventually get to a traffic light with this wonderful park on your left side. It’s about a 10-15 min ride depending on how many traffic lights you hit. If you reached the hospital, turn around, you went too far!

The Monster slide is a famous stop for university students and college tours.

Students on Jerusalem monster slider

Men in Black Hats

Sometimes guys in hats just want to have fun. This shot was taken at a Music festival near the Jaffa Gate of the Old City, Jerusalem. Men in Black Hats Then again, sometimes, hats just want to be alone. This shot was taken at a hat store catering to orthodox women near the Jerusalem City Center. Hats Off to Noone Sometimes a hat can mean a world of difference. In this photo, a Chabad man is helping soldiers put on Tefilin (Prayer Phylacteries) at the Western Wall. Hats of Choice

Jaffa Road (Yaffo)

Hats on Jaffa Road

mikhael gorbachev in Jerusalem

I was walking around the Old City one day in 2003, near the Jaffa Gate, and literally 10 meters from me a nice Town Car pulls up. Someone jumps out of the front passenger seat and opens the back door for Mikahel Gorbachev (former President of the Soviet Union, now deceased). There he was, and there I was with my Nikon F80 camera. I was the only one there with a camera, so I got up nice and close and pretended that I was from the press.

Here are some images from that moment:

gorbachev in Jerusalem

And here are some thumbnails for you to click on and see in full size.

As always, feel free to use these images as per the terms of this website. If you have any specific requests or ideas, contact us at contact@holyexposures.com

gorbachev in Jerusalem gorbachev in Jerusalem

Jerusalem Shuk – Mahane Yehuda

Whether you are looking for fruits and vegetables, or
fish, meat, candy, coffee, spices, kitchen utensils, bargain clothing (odd-lots), Judaica, or just about anything else – The Shuk (Mahane or Machane Yehuda) is The place to go!

The Shuk is bound by Jaffa and Aggripas Streets.
Most of the vendors are under awnings “Indoors”, however some, such as the Pita Hawkers, are simply out in the middle of the road. You can expect to hear quite a bit of price hawking being shouted from the vendor’s cubicles. Typically, they are informing you of the great deals available – such as “A dozen pitas for 10 Shekels” or “3 Shekel for one kilo of juicy tomatoes”. Sometimes, however, you can hear the inevitable haggling over prices from savvy shoppers (old-timers and youngsters).

Click on thumbnails to see some samples: If you need larger images of the shuk, or any of the images on this website, just let us know! Write to us at contact@holyexposures.com

Shuk Machane Yehuda Shuk Machane Yehuda Shuk Machane Yehuda

Shuk Machane Yehuda Shuk Machane Yehuda Shuk Machane Yehuda

Shuk Machane Yehuda Shuk Machane Yehuda