for armed robbery
armed and dangerous – approach with caution!
anyone recognise these thugs?
the pride parade is planned for this thursday in jerusalem. last year police refused a to allow the parade in jerusalem, for fear of violence. a rally was held instead (does God love gays?). two years ago, one of the marchers was stabbed.
this years parade was not definite until recently the israeli supreme court ruled in favor. loud and somewhat violent objections have been sounding from all over. the ultra orthodox jewish community began its preparation last night in their attempt to foil the intentions, of what they call, defiling God’s holy city.
follow this post and amendments over the next few days. decide for yourself where lies the pride and where lies the shame.
this guy stole my blog post title (almost):
leviticus 18:22 “‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable”
as always, prints and licenses may be purchased on my site at images of my thoughts . com
i first ‘met’ ziv koren through his work displayed in the world press photo traveling exhibition displayed in tel-aviv. his shots simply stood out. i was captivated, as i hope you will be when through with this post.
numerous award winning israeli photographer ziv koren‘s 1995 photo of an exploded bus, published on the cover of ‘time international’, was selected in 2000 as one of the 200 most important images in the last 45 years by the world press photo association, besides receiving several other rewards.
another of ziv’s images displayed in world press photo, a ‘dolphin’ submarine on its way from the german manufacturer to its new home in the israeli navy, also caught my attention.
a few years later, as uri was nearing his draft to navy officers’ course, he also decided to redecorate his room. he was looking for a photo that had to do with the navy. i suggested he contact ziv to ask about buying a print. an amusing email interaction took place between uri and ziv. eventually, understanding that uri was not in a position to purchase a print at ziv’s usual prices, ziv sent uri the full res image file, allowing uri to make a print and then delete the file - a present for uri’s upcoming draft.
i next met ziv at a course on documentary photography i did in tel-aviv, run by contact magazine. ziv was an instructor that either discouraged you to the point of despair or pushed you to the limits of your creativity. brutal in his critique ziv made sure my feet were on the ground and that subjective owner’s euphoria didn’t cloud my sense of reality and direction. i learned a lot from this photographer, i greatly respect him and i admire his work!
today i ran into an online presentation that summarizes much of the work ziv has done over the last two decades in regard to the israeli-arab conflict. ziv has often placed himself on the edge of a knife to get the images he set out to achieve and his work is extraordinary.
do yourself a favor – follow the link below, click on the full screen icon at the bottom-right and and lock out everything else for 3:30 minutes.
“the armies of egypt, jordan, syria and lebanon are poised on the borders of israel…to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of iraq, algeria, kuwait, sudan and the whole arab nation. this act will astound the world. today they will know that the arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. we have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations.” -jordanian king hussein after signing a defense pact with egypt in 1967.
a few years earlier in the 1960s pressure began to build. in may 1967 egyptian president gamal nasser began building up pro-war rhetoric in the media and then closed the strait of tiran to israeli shipping. the fatah group, headed by yasser arafat (recently deceased), began calling for war to eliminate israel. jordan signed a defense pact with egypt, readying itself for war. on june 4, iraq likewise joined a military alliance with egypt and committed itself to war stating “this is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. our goal is clear – to wipe israel off the map.”
israel could not maintain total military mobilization indefinitely. when it became apparent that egypt would not stand down, israel attacked the egyptians beginning on june 5, 1967. in the first hours of the war, israel destroyed over 400 enemy aircraft to achieve total air superiority. israeli troops quickly conquered the sinai peninsula and gaza. jordanian artillery began firing at jerusalem on the first day of the war, despite a warning by israeli prime minister levi eshkol to stay out of the war, and then the jordan legion advanced and took over the headquarters of the un (governor’s house – armon hanatziv ) in jerusalem. after warning king hussein repeatedly to cease fire and withdraw, israel conquered the west bank and jerusalem. during the first days of the war, syrian artillery based in the golan heights pounded civilian targets in northern israel. after dealing with egypt, israel decided to conquer the golan heights. after just six days of fighting, israeli forces broke through the enemy lines and were in a position to march on cairo, damascus and amman. along with the territories conquered, israel now had close to a million palestinians under it’s rule.
jordanian police academy – ammunition hill outpost:
lyrics: Yoram Taharlev
It was the morning of the second day of the war in Jerusalem.
The horizon became pale in the east. We were in the middle
of the battle on Ammunition Hill. We had been fighting for 3 hours.
It was a stubborn battle. Murderous.
The Jordanians fought stubbornly. It was an exceptionally fortified area.
At a certain point in the battle only 4 soldiers remained with me.
We arrived there with a force of two platoons.
I did not know where the others were, as the line of communication with
Dudik the commander had been cut off at the beginning of the battle.
At that moment I thought everyone had been killed.”
At two, two-thirty
We entered via the stony ground
Into the fire and mine fields
Of Ammunition Hill.
Against fortified bunkers
And 120mm mortars
One hundred and some boys
On Ammunition Hill
The pillar of dawn did not yet rise
Half the platoon lay, in blood
But we were already there
At Ammunition Hill.
Between the fences and the mines
We left only the paramedics
And we ran at the loss of senses
To Ammunition Hill
“At that moment a hand grenade was thrown from outside.
Miraculously, we were not wounded by it.
I feared the Jordanians would throw additional grenades.
Someone had to run above the trenches and to guard.
I had no time to ask who would volunteer.
I sent Eitan. Eitan did not hesitate for even a moment.
He climbed up and started firing his machine gun.
At times he would pass me, and I had to yell to him to stay in my line.
We proceeded in such a fashion for about 30 meters.
Eitan was covering for us from above, and we purified the bunkers from inside,
until he was wounded in the head and fell into the trench.”
We descended into the trenches,
Into the pits and the channels
And into the death in the ditches
Of Ammunition Hill.
No one asked a thing
Whoever went first fell
Much luck was needed
On Ammunition Hill
Whoever fell was dragged back
So as not to block the passageway
Until the next in line fell
On Ammunition Hill.
Perhaps we were lions
But whoever wished to live
Should not have been
On Ammunition Hill.
We decided to try blowing their bunker up with the bazooka bomb.
The bazooka made a few scratches in the concrete.
We decided to try explosives.
I waited above them until the guy with the explosives returned.
He would throw me bundle after bundle,
and I would place them one by one at the entrance of the bunker.
The Jordanians had a system: first they threw a hand grenade,
then they fired a round of ammunition, then they rested.
So, between the firing and the grenade I would advance towards
the entrance of their bunker and lay down the explosives.
I set off the explosives and went back as far as I could.
I only had four meters in which to move,
as there were Legionnaires behind me.
I do not know why I was awarded a Symbol of Merit.
All I wanted was to get home safely.
At seven, seven-twenty
to the police training school
Those who remained were gathered
from Ammunition Hill.
Smoke rose from the hill
The sun in the east rose higher
We returned to the city – seven
From Ammunition Hill.
We returned to the city-seven
Smoke rose from the hill
The sun in the east rose higher
Over Ammunition Hill.
Over fortified bunkers
And over our brothers
That remained there at the age of 20
On Ammunition Hill.
on the 6th of june, 1967, in jerusalem, in the battle for ammunition hill, the paratroopers encounters stiff jordanian resistance and could no longer advance. without a moments hesitation, eitan nave jumped out of the trenches and provided covering fire from above, exposed to enemy fire. his actions enabled the paratroopers to advance while he ran decisively, striking down many legionnaires, above, without cover, alongside the force in the trenches, until he was killed by a jordanian bullet to the head.
for his actions, private eitan nave was awarded the medal of bravery, the highest honor awarded by the israeli defense forces.
the way to mt. scopus and the old city was now open. 37 paratroopers had fallen in the battle for ammunition hill and the jordanian police academy grounds. the paratroopers who fought at ammunition hill were faithful to the combat principles of their training – courage, steadfastness, assisting one’s comrades under fire, initiative and ingenuity.
40 years ago today…
p.s. richard jones, u.s. ambassador to israel, as well as all europian union countries, represented by harald kindermann of germany, rejected invitations to participate in a special jerusalem day ceremony in the knesset, marking 40 years since the city’s unification. the boycott is due to the conflict over east jerusalem’s position as part of israel’s capital.
A lone Jewish settler challenges Israeli security officers during clashes that erupted as authorities cleared the West Bank settlement of Amona, east of the Palestinian town of Ramallah. Thousands of troops in riot gear and on horseback clashed with hundreds of stone-throwing Jewish settlers holed up in this illegal West Bank outpost after Israel’s Supreme Court cleared the way of demolition of nine homes at the site.February 1, 2006 - from The Pulitzer Prizes web page
amazing photo or not? not only do i find oded’s shot visually fascinating but it also conveys the essence of the struggle – ideological youth in an all out battle against government resolutions from a ‘nothing to loose’ standpoint (something i tried to convey in current affairs). the girl in the photo is named nili. she is not yet 17. nili says the photo did not bring israel worldwide honor and recognition – it brought disgrace. “when our leaders send our security forces to uproot and expel people, to destroy and demolish jewish life, it is not an honor” she wrote.
i saw this photo in the press at the time, later at world press photo exhibition (took 1st place for people in the news) and now i think the pulitzer is well deserved! i know i’m not the first to write about oded balilty’s award but i wanted to be. i postponed this post emailing ap a request to display the image on my blog. no reply. so…
oded balilty is quoted in maariv as saying he felt he had it the moment he got the shot. he wasn’t dreaming of a pulitzer at the time but he knew he had a great shot. his interpretation of the shot is ‘david against goliath’. although he hasn’t met her he sees the girl in the photo as one of the bravest people he has ever seen. not in the political aspect but in the ideological one – her decisiveness to follow her heart.
fantastic shot! congratulations!
you’ve probably heard israel is a dangerous place; suicide bombers, palestinian terrorists …
passing on the dark side, march 2007
the last two weeks have been horrible but statistics will only be available next month.
statistics for february 2007:
1,230 events with casualties. 2,323 people injured in one month! of them 33 dead and 142 seriously injured!
so many people walking around unaware of how their families might fall apart in just a few minutes, or tomorrow, or next week.
traffic accidents. not hammas! not islamic jihad! not az-adin-elkassam!
traffic accidents. horrifying!
exactly one year ago i had a unique opportunity to shoot the extradition to the u.s. of ‘the wolf’, ze’ev rosenstein. unique in the sense that i had access to restricted parts of ben-gurion international airport in tel-aviv. my camera and i escorted the marshals as they themselves went through security checks, as they briefed their prisoner and as they boarded the plane to the u.s.. 7-march-2006 my shots were published on the dea website front page.
regarded as one of the worlds top drug traffickers, ze’ev rosenstein (ze’ev meaning wolf in hebrew), didn’t really seem like a wolf to me, as u.s. marshalls shackled him in chains, searched him, removed his watch and $50 cash, and took him into their custody. he was very calm, somewhat docile, as he realised he was indeed on his way to a district court in miami. he had a hard time hiding his concern.
today, after being sentenced to 12 years to be served in an israeli prison, the wolf is back.
quoting from my own a lovely beginning … and then the end: ”recently i’ve been following several online discussions that have to do with restrictions on photographers. it seems that more and more photographic content is becoming off limits for commercial use; the louvre exterior, the lighting of the eiffel tower, municipal buildings ‘belonging’ to the city of london, n.y. subway and many other locations. that’s where editorial photo-journalistic photography has an advantage.”
for editorial use, as opposed to commercial use (such as advertising), many of these subjects are indeed allowed. still, many locations, even public locations, try to ban photography using all kinds of strange excuses.
not too long ago i was hounded by jerusalem central bus station security personnel. i was shooting, in a documentary sense, the security procedures around the buses in the public street. the security guys weren’t happy and they rudely told me it was against their internal regulations. only thing is since i’m not an employee of their’s i could care less about their internal regulations (and they didn’t ask nicely either). they had a hard time understanding this. i invited them to call the police and went on shooting.
but, i do have to admit, the security people’s concerns are certainly understandable. their job is not one i would wish to do and seems almost impossible. one event, to which i was a witness of the outcome, took place on sunday, may 18, 2003, when seven people were killed and 20 wounded in a suicide bombing on egged bus no. 6 near french hill in jerusalem. hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
an israel police bomb squad expert searches for debris following the may 18th suicide attack.
the seven victims were olga brenner, yitzhak moyal, nelly perov, ghalab tawil, marina tsahivershvili, shimon ustinsky and roni israeli.
the rabbis don’t think so! for the past two weeks they have been wreaking havoc in the streets of jerusalem. burning, rioting, throwing bricks at policemen, blocking traffic, threatening lives - they call it protest. they call it preservation of sacred values. they ‘speak’ in the name of God. do they really?
freedom of expression, democracy, abomination, sins – words being thrown around lately. are they important words, God? are they worth lives?
do you really love gays less than rabbis?
a compromise was reached. gays would not parade but rather hold a closed rally at the hebrew university sports stadium in jerusalem. everyone claimed victory, but it was a sad event. much less participants than in previous years. less colorful. jerusalem’s secular residents held hostage by a violent gang of hooligans backed by a copyright on God.
but still they come…
last weeks rains upgraded some of the grade iii rapids to grade iv. i wasn’t fully aware of exactly what this meant. that proved to be a mistake. the safe landing of our group of 11 required true rowing abilities, as a coordinated group. with 3 young kids, 1 grandmother and my ‘athletic’ abilities we didn’ t have what it took. our guide should have warned us. he didn’t.
the scenery from our raft leaving bovec slovenia was beautiful – dramatic tree covered mountains and clear blue skies. the pale green waters were initially deceivingly calm. but pretty soon the river began to hint what it had in store for us. we hit the rock. the rafts left side went up high. man overboard! i’ve heard that so many times and there’s probably a correct way to deal with it. but when it’s three overboard it becomes quite a challenging situation. yael, 9 year old keren and i were able to feel the soca’s wrath. it was an educationally frightening experience. it made me realize the extent of our mortality and left me humble in face of the forces of nature. i was pretty much helpless against the current, trying to push keren back towards the raft and trying to grab onto the rope while gulping in huge amounts of water. i have never before come so close to drowning. the few scary moments left me physically and emotionally empty. i was angry. i was frightened. my body ached all over. my muscles trembled with exertion. i was thankful we got out of it ok. it was close.
i consider myself a very responsible person and a very responsible father. i blew it today, big time. it won’t happen again!