Letter 3

Dear Art,

This letter is coming to you from atop Gesher Ha-Meitarim (The Chord Bridge), situated at the main entrance to Jerusalem.  This is where Highway 1 from Tel Aviv enters into Jerusalem.

The bridge is shaped (sort of) like a harp with wire suspensions converging together towards the top of a long vertical, somewhat leaning, structure.  There is a footpath, where I’m standing, and soon the new Jerusalem Light Rail Train (above ground tram) will also go across the bridge.

The wall behind me is a few meters high and thus prevents me from seeing westward towards Tel Aviv, so all I can see is eastward into Jerusalem.

Being rush hour, 5:25 in the evening, there is predictably a lot of traffic flowing beneath my feet; some entering Jerusalem and some leaving.  With Magen David Adom (Israel’s Red Cross) nearby, not surprisingly sirens of an ambulance were just wailing.

Looking straight ahead into Jerusalem I can see the large Binyanei Ha-Uma building a few hundred meters from where I’m standing.  This was the spot a few weeks ago of the recent Jerusalem terrorist attack.

Public transportation buses (Egged) are coming and going, the new ones green and white while the older ones are red and white.

A little behind, to the south of Binyanei Ha-Uma, is one of the taller buildings in Jerusalem, The Crowne Plaza Hotel (approximately 20 stories high).  A little further to the south are the various government buildings, the Foreign Ministry standing out with two long blue and white Israeli flags draped from the roof down to the ground below (about 5 floors).

The entrance to Jerusalem is being redone, yet there are still a few old apartment buildings “stuck” in the middle.  I’m assuming with time these people will be paid to relocate (I hope for their sake).

To my immediate right are a few large apartment buildings, one with a prominent sign (in Hebrew) which says “The Nation (or people) is with the Golan”, a throwback to either the early days of Oslo or the Ehud Barak Prime Minister years.

Further to the south is the tall Holyland structure, a symbol of the everpresent Israeli corruption.

I just looked down at a passing bus, not a public transportatin one but a tourist bus.  The large sign on its windshield said “Grupo Univ Guatemala”.  Tourists, especially Christian ones (I’m assuming they’re Christian) are popular in Israel.

I have to get home to help with the Pesach cleaning/preparation but I’m reluctant to leave.   The weather is sooooo nice, not cold but not yet hot, and the air is the usual late afternoon/early evening Jerusalem air.  Something special.

I’ll be in touch soon.

Yoel

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