Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Arc Of Hatred

I haven't been able to get this image out of my head since I first saw it, and it's one I won't likely forget. It's not a particularly great photograph, a quick snap taken with a long lens. And yet, there's that particularly graceful crimson arc highlighting an otherwise static composition. That ephemeral arc of malice and hatred forever frozen in time, echoing the very deeds that were committed in ghettos almost a century ago now. Oh, you can argue that this seemingly casual, nonchalant "prank" in no way equals the magnitude and ferocity of Nazi genocide. Fair enough. But witness the mindset in this soon to be man that will permit him to just as callously press a button that will launch missiles that wipe out shelters and hospitals, drops outlawed flesh searing phosphorous armaments over schools, or turns a blind eye to those who would commit mass murder under their auspices as occurred in Lebanon.

The point is- this is how it starts, we know where it leads, and we should really all know better...

Photo by: Rina Castelnuovo/The New York Times

1 comment:

hieronymouse said...

Probably the young man in the picture never went on to pilot planes that bomb Gaza or Lebanon. Those fellows are usually from different strata in Israeli society. You won't find them in Palestinian cities, dressed in civilian clothes, and they wouldn't dream of going up to a Palestinian (as a civilian) and perpetrating any kind of evil. Instead, they will be walking the streets of Tel Aviv or Haifa fashionably dressed, warm, friendly, and self-assured. Nothing special about them. Their only real difference from other human beings is their unique outlook as Jewish Israelis. According to this perspective, it is perfectly legitimate to inflict any amount of suffering on Palestinians, if that's what it takes in order to protect the interests and security of Israel and her people. Most Israelis are only dimly aware that their government is committing crimes against humanity and subjecting Palestinians to misery and humiliation on a daily basis. And if they are aware, they can easily justify it to themselves. Perhaps in this they are not so different from people in other nations torn by conflict.

Rina Castelnueva is a fine photographer and a kind person. She visited our village a few years ago, took a series of photos, and later made sure to give us all the material she didn't publish.