It takes people to conflict.

In a total understatement, there’s been a lot going on in Israel lately. People say it’s the start of the third intifada (again), while other people call for the third intifada.

Stabbings, shootings, stonings, molotov cocktails. Lynch mobs.

And the beat plays on: the same media headlines, the same talkbacks, the same Facebook statuses. The same quotes from the same politicians. The same calls to action from the same leaders. The same nonaction after the same calls to action from the same leaders.

This, after coming off a week of ranting and raving that everything in America stays the same, that gun rage carries on, that no one cares. Obama’s post-Oregon shooting speech could be translated into Hebrew.

In dealing with frustration and anger that we find ourselves yet again in the midst of the ‘beginning of the third intifada, question mark’, I wonder aloud at this thought: why do people – people on the Jewish/Israeli side of the spectrum – continue to refer to the Palestinian and Israeli-Arab men and women and teenagers (if we call our 18 year old victims teens, then so are some of these) who commit acts of knife-wielding terror, animals?

What’s animalistic about making a conscious decision to make a fatal political statement about your life place/politics/anger/zeal? Animals don’t make those kinds of choices – people do. That’s what makes us people. The committers of these acts are people. Men and women. People who live a different reality to you, to us, to whoever. That doesn’t make them animals. It makes them people, in a very true way.

People shot point blank at mother and father driving with their children in the backseat. People stab other people in the middle of busy roads and outside office buildings. People throw stones – when did you last see an animal throwing stones?

People find guns and shoot them at other people who are not living the same reality as they are. People of all stripes – some of them share our reality and some don’t.

And so we are people too, even if we think other people don’t agree. We are people who make choices about how to handle and interpret and act on our reality. Everyone involved in this conflict is a person.

It takes people to choose to conflict. It takes people to choose to not conflict.

Fifty-Two Frames: Negative Space

‘Negative space’ – what a loaded term.

Luckily in photography it’s an awesome concept.

Unluckily in everyday life right now, didn’t have a of time to explore it. Went with the first idea that came to mind.

Week 30: Negative Space

Seeking: a partner

What’s more complicated than kidnapped teens, baby heart surgery, and life in Israel?

Day 10.

My god. This country. What is more complicated than this goddamn country?

This is a news segment on Channel 10 [Hebrew] profiling a father of a Makor Chaim schoolmate of the two 16-year-old kidnapped boys. He is also Dr. Dudi Mishali, a 20-year Tel HaShomer baby heart surgeon. He opens the chests of infants to cure them of heart conditions.

He does this for any baby that comes through hospital doors. That includes Jewish babies, Israeli Arab babies, Palestinian Arab babies, refugee babies.

So the father of a schoolmate has to contend with the fact that he’s now operating on the 4 month old of Arab Hevron residents while his son’s schoolmates are likely being held captive – assumed alive – somewhere in the very same area.

The parents are terrified of what will be with their baby. The parents are… parents. Like Dudi. Like the three sets of parents waiting to hear the fate of their kidnapped children.

Of course he operates. Of course he goes about his business. Of course it tears him apart that this is the way he has to work right now.

Who – who – can look at a child and not save his life?

But he, and his wife, raise painful points, torturous questions.

This video is uncomfortable.

It’s kind of just life here at the worst of times.

Watch the video.

What kids (don’t even know they) know.

Sitting with Bebe on the couch. Flipping through a Time magazine.

“Tomatoes!”

“Yeah! That’s right.”

“Balloons!”

“Yup.”

“Ima!” She points to the photograph of an unidentified woman holding a picture of Arafat Jaradat, the Palestinian prisoner who died while in Israeli custody.

And then she repeats it.

“Ima!”

And points to me.

Co-op drama in Park Slope: Daily Show has it covered.

I left America to avoid places like Park Slope. So I’ve been hearing bits and pieces of the local Brooklyn grocery co-op drama, where half the members wanted to ban Israeli products and the other half were protesting.

Decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict? The most ravaged, tragic victims were in Park Slope Brooklyn all along…

Of course, The Daily Show covers the story, so watch Co-Occupation with Samantha Bee. I post this despite being a teeny bit embarrassed.

(In fairness, activism is important all over the world when you want your cause to go global. And as a former activist in the States, I know what it means to be on the ground there defending and protecting something – a people, an ideology, a place that means so much to you. But I dunno. Maybe because I live here now, it just seems so trivial.)

A look at photojournalism, in meta.

This is really interesting. It’s a photojournalist examining other photojournalists examining their target, which is the Palestinian-Israeli story (which isn’t really the point).

The reality behind the zoomed-in reality.

By the way, whoever posted the video is not the creator himself so the YouTube title takes it in a more political direction than I think it’s meant to be.