Thursday, January 12, 2017

Another Demonstration At The UN

A photograph can be a very powerful tool to express the shooter's feelings and put forward his message. The most powerful photographs are a combination of beautiful artistry and craft that catches the viewer's eye, and powerful message to engage the viewer's curiosity and invite him to question his response to the subject of the photo.

I'm a proud Jew. I'm a firm believer in Israel's right to exist with the defensible borders it established after it's 1967 defensive war against the Arab coalition that sought to destroy the State of Israel. I seek out opportunities to photograph Jews at worship and Zionists living as proud Jews, rallying and expressing their voice in support of Israel. I don't work for a newspaper or news agency, nor do I pretend to any kind of neutrality or evenhandedness in my documentary photography work.

My favorite Israeli politician and my hero is Menachem Begin. He was the commander and leader of the underground organization called IRGUN which, along with the Stern Gang - run by Itzhak Shamir - were principally responsible for encouraging the colonialist British to quit their 'mandate' government in the Middle East. Begin's and Netanyahu's hero was Zeb Jabotinsky, whom I also admire.

My two favorite quotes of Begin's follow.

1) Said to then Senator Joseph Biden (the same) when he threatened Begin with cutting off US aid to Israel:

'Don't threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our own country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again with or without your aid.'

2) Said to the US ambassador to Israel when called into the Prime Minister's office:

'Now you once again declare that you are punishing Israel. What kind of expression is this - "punishing Israel"? Are we a vassal state of yours? Are we a banana republic? Are we youths of fourteen who, if they don't behave properly, are slapped across the fingers? Let me tell you who this government is composed of. It is composed of people whose lives were spent in resistance, in fighting and in suffering. You will not frighten us with "punishments". He who threatens us will find us deaf to his threats. We are only prepared to listen to rational arguments. You have no right to "punish" Israel - and I protest at the very use of this term. You want to make Israel a hostage of  the memorandum of understanding. I regard your announcement suspending the consultations on the memorandum as the abrogation (by you) of the memorandum. No "sword of Damocles" is going to hang over our head. So we duly take note of the fact that you have abrogated the memorandum of understanding. The people of Israel have lived 3,700 years with a memorandum of understanding with America - and it will continue to live for another 3,700.'

At the end of December, 2016 I attended a Pro-Israel rally at the UN protesting Obama's stab in the back of Israel. That blogpost can be seen here. Another Pro-Israel rally popped up at the French embassy, so I eagerly attended that one also.