Off topic- Seeing as how Mister Trump has made Israel an issue I am tempted to weigh in on Mister Trump and the wider issues raised here, but instead:
Report from Jerusalem. Since moving away from Israel after a five year “aliya”, I have visited Jerusalem every summer for the last 7 years 2012-2019 and I arrived in Jerusalem today.
I didn’t sleep much on the flight, which was a nonstop from JFK to Ben Gurion Airport. When I first arrived at Lod Airport in 1972 at the age of 16 , Ben Gurion was still alive (he died in December of 73, less than two months after the Yom Kippur war) and in fact at that time arriving passengers and the general public were allowed to mingle. (this was in February, four months before the Lod Airport massacre.)
The trip from the airport to Jerusalem was not very pleasant because the cabby told me that he would only take me to the center of town and not to the neighborhood where my apartment is located. (I ended up spending an extra 11 bucks on another cab once i was dropped off in Jerusalem.) We traveled through the West Bank on highway 443 because the first passenger was dropped off in a suburb of Jerusalem in occupied territory. When we got close to Jerusalem I could see the Bridge of the Strings, which is supposed to resemble or symbolize David’s harp and it can be seen from a distance. there are some tall buildings that constitute Jerusalem’s skyline when approached this way, but the sculpture is more artistic than any of those buildings.
I visited my parents in West Jerusalem in a neighborhood with a marked presence of ultra orthodox. My father does not talk much these days and my mother is not very political, although when I mentioned Mister Trump and the squad, my mother’s derogatory remarks were aimed at the squad and not Mister Trump. i dropped the topic.
When I left my parents I caught the train that travels on Highway 1, the seam between West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem. It was very hot today and there was a mix of Palestinians and Hebrew University types and ultra Orthodox on the train. The second stop after boarding the train is the Damascus Gate stop. I get a kick out of the 3 languages used to describe the stop: in English: The Damascus Gate, in Hebrew The Shechem Gate (Shechem is the Biblical term for Nablus) and in Arabic Bab el Amud, The gate of the pillar (right inside the gate there is the remnant of a column from the Roman era.)
I got off the train in the center of town and did a few errands: loading my transit card with cash and since I had already replaced my American Sim card with an Israeli Sim card, I now had to buy a month’s worth of internet and phone usage.
because I had been in Jerusalem in early April for less than a week for a wedding of a niece the usual thirst to see Jerusalem was not up to par. But still Jerusalem is my second home and hanging out in Zion square was reassuring. I then caught a bus to my neighborhood. (the place where I lived for 4 and a half years when I was an oleh, and the place that i have rented for at least a month every summer but one since then.)