Category Archives: violence

zoriah and alissa

In Harms Way – War Photographers Zoriah and Alissa:

Part 1/5

Part 2/5 

Part 3/5 

Part 4/5 

Part 5/5 


Filed under conflict, gaza, photographer, photographers, photography, photojournalism, photos, violence, war

goodbye nadia

how do you mourn someone when you’re not sure she’s dead?

in november 2005 i became acquainted with nadia abu-amar, one of the wonderful young ladies at a shelter for women in jerusalem, as part of a project titled in spite of!

nadia was camera shy, more than the other girls. even after months of shooting she would still give me her shy smile when she noticed the lens in her direction. i had to sneak up on her to capture her true spirit. and what a strong spirit! she was tough, determined, independant, she new exactly what what she wanted and she went out to get it! her very short life heaped with intense experiences molded and matured her character to a level you or i would have achieved only many years later.

nadia was hiding out at the shelter from her family. hiding out for fear of continued abuse, sexual and other, and for fear of retribution, for daring to speak her thoughts and her desires, for daring not to marry the man her father had ‘sold’ her to. nadia’s cultural arab background dictates a death sentance as a reward for her independent character.

a mother, a father, brothers – a new definition to “family”.

“i sat and spoke to the ocean. it doesn’t answer but it hears”

“yes, i have overcome, but sometimes i am still terrified”

in november 2007 nadia went to visit her sister in haifa. on her way back to the shelter in jerusalem nadia disappeared. months of a police investigation did not turn up a body, only a proud and arrogant brother’s declaration “i slaughtered her. she deserved to die!” criminal charges have been filed against three brothers and an uncle and have yet to be concluded in court.

for months nadia’s room at the shelter remained just as she had left it; her clothes in the closet, her articles on the dresser and her works of art on the wall above her bed – a mixture of hope and disbelief. but finally, her friends deserve to say goodbye and mourn. sunday, june 15th, a memorial service will be held for nadia, a final farewell, at the hostel.



Filed under abduction, art, death, distress, documentary, family, image, images, in spite of, israel, Jerusalem, kidnapped, photo, photographer, photography, photojournalism, photos, shelter, social welfare, tragedy, victim, violence, woman

cry of the celts

dolmen, neolithic burial tomb, october 2007, donegal, ireland

Wikipedia –

The History of Ireland began with the first known human settlement in Ireland around 8000 BC, when hunter-gatherers arrived from Britain and continental Europe, probably via a land bridge. Few archaeological traces remain of this group, but their descendants and later Neolithic arrivals, particularly from the Iberian Peninsula, were responsible for major Neolithic sites such as Newgrange. Following the arrival of Saint Patrick and other Christian missionaries in the early to mid-5th century, Christianity subsumed the indigenous pagan religion by the year 600.


celtic cross, october 2007, sligo, ireland

From around 800, more than a century of Viking invasions wrought havoc upon the monastic culture and on the island’s various regional dynasties, yet both of these institutions proved strong enough to survive and assimilate the invaders. The coming of Anglo-Norman mercenaries under Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, nicknamed Strongbow, in 1169 marked the beginning of more than 800 years of direct English involvement in Ireland.


celtic cross, october 2007, louth, ireland

the whole of ireland was occupied and ruled by great britain for over 800 years. the descendants of ancient celtic tribes were robbed of their land, self government, pride and basic human freedoms. hundreds of years of british plantation and manipulation reduced the majority of the irish population to a life of peasantry in the 19th century, subordinate to greedy landlords – 8 million people totally relying on … a potato.

irish farmer, october 2007, sligo, ireland

in 1845 a fungus attacked the only source of food available to a poor rural population, most of them living in mud cabins. the worst european disaster of the 19th century, known as the irish famine, lasted 7 years and brought mass starvation. during these years the british rule showed total incompetence, dublin nobility continued partying and greedy landlords exported enough grain to have kept millions of irish alive. within 7 years the irish population fell by 3.5 million. exactly how many died and how many emigrated? nobody knows.

famine village, october 2007, donegal, ireland

the easter rising of 1916, lasting a week, devastating dublin and ending in the rebels’ surrender and execution of leaders expedited the 1918 war of independence and brought to the partition of ireland in 1921. northern ireland remained a part of the u.k., a state which discriminated the catholic irish as a matter of policy.

commemoration murial, october 2007, belfast

the troubles began in the late 1960’s. 30 years of bloody violence between republican and loyalist paramilitary groups, including the ira, the royal ulster constabulary (the police force of northern ireland at the time) and the british army. between 1969 and 2001, 3,523 people were killed as a result of the troubles, 1,855 of them civilians, 47,000 injured, 16,000 bombings, 20,000 imprisoned. quite an intifada!

a gate in the barrier, october 2007, belfast

almost unbelievably, on friday april 10th 1998, good friday, both british and irish governments signed the belfast agreement for the creation of a power-sharing executive body committed to the use of “exclusively peaceful and democratic means”. the agreement was endorsed by almost all northern ireland political parties. which, with great emotion, reminds me of a song from childhood – 

Last night I had the strangest dream,
I never dreamed before.
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war.
I dreamed I saw a mighty room,
The room was filled with men.
And the papers they were signing said
They’d never fight again.

And when the papers were all signed,
And a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads,
And grateful prayers were made.
And the people in the streets below,
They all danced round and round.
And guns and swords and uniforms
Were scattered on the ground.

international wall, october 2007, belfast

why the great emotion? because as an israeli living in a land of violent conflict, who has served in the army and been in wars, who is raising three children in this crazy part of the world, the eldest of which is now doing military service … there is hope! in this sense belfast was amazing! past enemies of decades living side by side in a modern city, sharing governing powers and responsibility for building the future, making a sincere effort together. not everything is perfect. the peace is tense. a barrier still divides parts of the city and the gates are locked every evening at 6 to prevent unnecessary friction. i felt the tension in the air, i could almost touch it. but everyone i talked to can voice only one thing – hope for lasting peace. yes, for me that causes a surge of emotion from deep inside.

hope for lasting peace, october 2007, sligo, ireland

as always, super quality prints and licensing options available.

nir, with thanks to david o’connor!


Filed under belfast, british, celtic, celts, conflict, documentary, eire, ireland, irish, northern ireland, peace, photo, photograph, photos, politics, troubles, ulster, united kingdom, violence

send the sinful chicken to hell! take II

bounced up from october 1st, 2006 

swing the chicken three times around your head. pass to it your sins and cleans yourself.

and then, send the sinful chicken to hell!

don’t you feel purified now?

the innocence of children often seems wiser than the experience of their parents…

another two points for religion!


a year has past. yom kippur is once again at our doorstep, here in the jewish world.

karen horwitz recently commented on the original post: “Since I was a little girl my mother had me put a dime in a handkerchief and say the kaparot prayer three times and give the money to charity. My grandmother was orthodox and it was called caporah.”

yes karen, as a child that’s the way i remember it too. but the weird part is that the ultra-orthodox see it differently. can’t God be appeased without the slaughtering of a chicken?

what is yom kippur … the day of atonements? the central theme of this holy day is atonement and penance from sins, firstly against one’s fellow man and secondly against god. many traditions have evolved; fasting, prayer, wearing white, no bathing or washing, no wearing of leather shoes, oh! and no sex either! “For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before G-d” (Leviticus 16:30)

so what do chicken have to do with it? maybe a trace of sacrifices in the ancient temple. maybe remnants of pagan practices. superstition. this is the prayer recited as the live chicken is waved three times above the head just prior to it being butchered: “This is my exchange, this is my substitute, this is my atonement. This chicken will go to its death while I will enter and proceed to a good long life, and peace“.

packed in small cages in the markets and main streets of many cities, if you look closely you’ll see they’re barely moving. they hold their beaks open from thirst, hunger and suffocation after many hours in the sun, sometimes days. eye movements are evidence that they are still alive. barely. on this the holiest of days, why is so much slaughter necessary? why is so much cruelty to animals necessary? butchering them without mercy as we ask for mercy for ourselves, for atonement, for forgiveness.

there’s another way – read the paper chicken

going back to the essence of yom kippur i am not going to slaughter a chicken but i ask you, dorit, uri, tamar and hila, for forgiveness. your forgiveness for moments of anger, for things i said that i shouldn’t have, for moments of impatience, for not always being attentive to your feelings and your needs, for not always fulfilling your expectations. 

i apologize and ask your forgiveness.


amended september 21st 2007: 

a child of 3-4 months; how many sins has he accumulated to justify the slaughter of another chicken?

after less than half an hour of shooting the butchers began to get annoyed with me, worried i might harm their ‘business’. i welcomed their censure, it was a time to leave. i was sick to my stomach.


Filed under art, atonement, barbaric, belief, butcher, chicken, faith, forgiveness, God, hen, holy, holyland, image, israel, Jerusalem, jewish, judaism, kaparot, kippur, penance, photo, photographer, photography, photojournalism, poultry, primitive, pullet, rooster, sacrifice, shochet, slaughter, stock, superstition, tradition, uncivilized, violence, vulgar, yom kippur

an intro to malki’s legacy

on july 22nd i wrote about a letter i received by email in which arnold roth rebukes n.y. time’s decision to illustrate the article ‘hot house’ on palestinian prisoners in israeli jails with a glamor style photo of a smiling ahlam tamimi. i don’t usually delve into mass addressed emails but for some reason this one caught my attention. i surfed into the malki foundation internet site and became engrossed and captivated for over a week. thoughts about malki and the foundation haven’t left me since and it seems they have become a part of my life for the foreseeable future.

i had the honor of meeting frimet (mother), arnold (father) and haya (sister) roth in their jerusalem apartment a few weeks ago and i was deeply affected. haya, age 14, malki’s little sister is extremely disabled. over the years the roths have been conducting a brave struggle to love and care for haya in their home. apparently, all government institutions find it cheaper for children in such situations to be committed to institutions. families that do not comply with this policy often find themselves caring for their child on their own, with very little governmental support, if any.

malki had a very special relationship with haya. a relationship that enabled malki to share frimet’s burden of caring for haya at home – neither the relationship nor the burden obvious or to be taken for granted. over the years malki developed an acute awareness for the suffering of others and devoted herself to voluntary care for handicapped and sick children. she was a very special young woman who left behind an undeniable legacy.

since malki’s tragic death on august 9th, 2001 the roths have climbed out of deep grief, combining their private struggle for the care of haya with strength drawn from malki’s legacy and directing these forces for the benefit of families with children suffering from neurological disorders, severe illness and developmental problems. the malki foundation, established in 2001, serves as a living memory to a young woman who dedicated herself to the care of others less fortunate than herself.

yesterday i met with liat behr, executive director of the malki foundation. after careful consideration i have gained approval for a documentary photography project;

malki’s legacy – the story of hate inflicted death nurturing love and giving, nurturing life.

i intend to document the evolution of the project here on my blog in a separate page, all its own, as deserved. the page can be found here: . i’m not sure how wordpress will handle update notifications of a single post. so, if you’re interested in following the project either enter the page address in your rss reader or send me an email request for manual notifications of updates.

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Filed under compassion, documentary, editorial, family, handicapped, image, images, intifada, israel, Jerusalem, maliki's legacy, malka roth, malki, memorial, parenthood, parenting, photo, photographer, photographers, photography, photojournalism, photos, remembrance, sbarro, story, suicide bomber, teenager, terrorism, victim, violence, woman


the following mail was forwarded to me by micahel levgur – thanks micha!

the letter and follow up reading i did on the malki foundation site deeply touched my heart.

published here with permission and thanks to arnold roth.

28th June 2007 

Dear friends,

Today’s New York Times carries a review of a film called “Hot House” that goes inside Israeli prisons and examines the lives of Palestinian prisoners. We’re not recommending the film or the review. But we do want to share our feelings with you about the beaming female face that adorns the article. You can see it here.

The film is produced by HBO. So it’s presumably HBO’s publicity department that was responsible for creating and distributing a glamor-style photograph of a smiling, contented-looking young woman in her twenties to promote the movie. That female is our child’s murderer. She was sentenced to sixteen life sentences or 320 years which she is serving in an Israeli jail. Fifteen people were killed and more than a hundred maimed and injured by the actions of this attractive person and her associates. The background is here.

Neither the New York Times nor HBO are likely to give even a moment’s attention to the victims of the barbarians who destroyed the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem and the lives of so many victims. So we would be grateful if you would pass along this link to some pictures of our daughter whose name was Malki. She was unable to reach her twenties – Hamas saw to that.

Though she was only fifteen years old when her life was stolen from her and from us, we think Malki was a beautiful young woman, living a beautiful life. We ask your help so that other people – far fewer than the number who will see the New York Times, of course – can know about her. Please ask your friends to look at the pictures – some of the very few we have – of our murdered daughter. They are at

And remind them of what the woman in the Israeli prison – the woman smiling so happily in the New York Times – said last year. ” I’m not sorry for what I did. We’ll become free from the occupation and then I will be free from prison.

With so many voices demanding that Israel release its terrorist prisoners, small wonder she’s smiling.

With greetings from Jerusalem,
Frimet and Arnold Roth
On behalf of Keren Malki

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pride and shame

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


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