Walking the Line
This easy and comfortable walking tour takes 3-3½ hours. We begin at Turjeman Post, which was once a military border post along the no-man’s land on the dividing line between East and West Jerusalem – Israel and The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Today the place is a museum. Our tour ends in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. After completing the tour, visitors can enjoy humus in the neighborhood or head to the nearby American Colony Hotel for coffee and cake.
Between 1948 and 1967, when Jerusalem was divided between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the “Municipal Line” was the name given to the armistice line in the city, part of the “Green Line” that formed the border between Israel and its neighbors. Drawn on a map as part the international agreements of April 1949, the line cuts through the city for about 4½ miles from north to south. Don’t worry, though – our walking tour will only take us along a small section of the route. The Municipal Line was often one of enmity and sporadic violence, but also one of daily contacts and sometimes friendships between Israeli and Jordanian border guards. We will hear an interesting explanation as to how the line was created and how agreements were reached between the IDF on one side and the Jordanian Arab Legion on the other. But our tour will also take us past “the most political house in East Jerusalem” – the Orient House. We will hear about the history of this building (which starts in 1897) and how it becomes the subject of a political dispute between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Of course we will not forget the American Colony Hotel, a legendary institution in the city. By prior arrangement we can pop in for coffee and cake – a real treat!!! As we move into the East Jerusalem neighborhoods, our route will cross the paths taken by the Israeli military convoys that passed through this area once every two weeks on their way up to Mt. Scopus, an Israeli enclave surrounded by Jordanian territory until 1967. We will cross Shimon Ha-Tzadik Jewish settlement, located in the heart of Sheikh Jarrah Palestinian neighborhood. This is one of the controversial neighborhoods and issues in Jerusalem today. We will try to understand the root causes of the conflict in the city. We continue our walk toward the memorial of the Hadassah Convoy Massacre. The memorial commemorates 78 Israelis, physicians, medical staff, and workers of both Hadassah Hospital and the Hebrew University who were killed in an attack while passing through the area on their way to Mt. Scopus (April 13, 1948). We will end our tour in Sheikh Jarrah at a vantage point toward the Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital, both located on Mt. Scopus above us.