National Geographic : 1965 Mar
Israel Philharmonic packs Jerusalem's Conven tion Center. Based in Tel Aviv's Mann Auditori um, the orchestra tours the country, playing some 200 concerts a year. It counts 32,500 subscribers in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem. Queen of Sheba's meeting with Solomon stirs one of her bodyguards to jealousy. The queen's maid restrains him in this ballet by the Yemenite Inbal Dance Theatre. The same performers sing, dance, speak, and play instruments. Even here, however, the hand of the build er has been stayed for only a moment. Mor dechai Ish-Shalom, the mayor of the City of Peace (curiously, his name means "man of peace"), made that clear the minute I met him. "Of course our sector of Jerusalem has problems," he said, and led me to a window overlooking the venerable heart of Israel's capital. One- and two-story buildings crowd ed narrow thoroughfares, sheltering tiny shops and minuscule apartments.* "That is the most valuable real estate in Jerusalem," the mayor said. "We can do noth ing with it unless this whole section of the city can be torn down and built again." I must have shuddered visibly, for in Israel, 432 where so much was built last year or even last month, I have come to love the medieval look of Jerusalem's streets and its unchanging facades of beige limestone. But I was jumping to conclusions. Israel a Nation of Music Lovers "Only here in the heart of the city do we make such plans," he reassured me. "Even this will cost $80,000,000. So there will be more than enough of Jerusalem left as it is." Strangely enough, for all its 4,000 years of history, Jerusalem attracts only one out of three visitors to Israel. I have yet to hear of *See "Jerusalem, the Divided City," by John Scofield, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, April, 1959.