Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Snow in Jerusalem

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

It snowed in Jerusalem.

The international press has romanticized the rare, beautiful white blanket that now covers parts of the Middle East.

Both The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal printed unique, even entertaining pictures of the snow in Jerusalem - on their front pages and above the fold. The Times showed a lone figure swimming in a pool surrounded by snow and images of the city. The Journal showed a snow boarder high in the air, his tsitsit (ritual fringed garment) flying in the wind.

The images shown in those papers are beautiful, but they do not depict the whole picture. The reality is grim. There is a very real and very ugly underbelly to this storm. Over 100 people have been treated in hospitals after slipping on ice. Tens of thousands of people were left without heat and electricity many are still living in the dark and cold. There are people trapped, waiting in their homes for emergency evacuations to hospitals after giving birth or having suffered various medical crises.

Some say that Israeli leadership failed miserably and that basic services have not functioned well in this crisis. Others are enjoying what may be a once in a lifetime experience.


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