This Week in Jerusalem 410626

Peggy Cidor’s round-up of city affairs.

People walk under colourful umbrellas decorating a pedestrian mall in downtown Jerusalem June 30, 2015. (photo credit: CINDY AZOULAY)
People walk under colourful umbrellas decorating a pedestrian mall in downtown Jerusalem June 30, 2015.
(photo credit: CINDY AZOULAY)
Tensions on the Mount
The recent incident on the Temple Mount was expected, and not only by the police. By Friday, it was clear among many Arab residents that “something” was going to take place on the holy site on Tisha Be’av. Two Arab residents told this reporter that “some riots were expected,” and both indicated it was the work of jihadists who, over the past few months, have even frightened guards of the Wakf Muslim religious trust with their violence.
Some estimate this group of young adults to be just a handful, while others believe there are many. Influenced by jihadist movements in neighboring countries or already members of a local cell, they act not only against Jews visiting the holy site but even against fellows Arabs whom they suspect of not being radical enough.
Two weeks ago, the rioters interrupted the visit of a Jordanian minister to al-Aksa Mosque, forcing the Wakf guards to hurry him out amid a hail of stones and curses by the group. They also displayed Islamic State’s black flag on the Temple Mount two months ago, which was photographed by Jewish visitors and displayed on social networks.
The police knew about the impending unrest and managed to control the situation and prevent greater disturbances.
Have Rav-Kav, will travel
This week, a positive initiative was instituted by Deputy Mayor Tamir Nir (Yerushalmim): to have several locations in the neighborhoods dispense the Rav-Kav transportation smartcard.
Until now, the only place to obtain the Rav- Kav was the central bus station, but long lines caused many residents to give up on it. Now residents can get the card in Pisgat Ze’ev, Ramot and Gilo, soon to be followed by the rest of the neighborhoods.
Whose home is it?
Beit Frumin, the large building on King George Street at the corner of Hillel Avenue near Horse Park, was the home of the Knesset between 1950 and 1966 before it moved to the present building in Givat Ram. For years, it served as the site of several government offices, including the Tourism Ministry and the Rabbinical Court.
The Knesset has decided to take back possession of the building and turn it into a museum celebrating its parliamentary roots. However, the Finance Ministry – the structure’s official owner – has repeatedly postponed its handover, since an alternative location for the Rabbinical Court has been found but is not yet ready to be used.
Earlier this week, the head of the Knesset sent a letter to the head of the Finance Ministry, urging him to find a solution.
Night shopping
Thursday evening marked the kick-off of a new initiative for the capital’s nightlife. The Jerusalem Night Market was launched at the corner of Shlomzion Hamalka Street and Jaffa Road, under the winged lion statue.
Every Wednesday throughout the summer, from late afternoon until 11 p.m., various merchandise stalls, as well as street performers, will take their place alongside the light rail. The idea is to give Jerusalem residents and visitors an opportunity to enjoy some street culture and activities, as well as the chance to do some shopping after the heat of the day. The market is a collaboration of the municipality and the Eden Jerusalem Center Development Company.