266 PICS

Peaceful Coexistence in the Arab-Israeli World

When asked about his peace plan for the Middle East, an Israeli rabbi once said, “All I can do is to teach my son not to hate.”
As a photographer, all I can do is document instances of peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs.

When asked about his peace plan for the Middle East, an Israeli rabbi once said, “All I can do is to teach my son not to hate.”

Day in and day out since Israel was established as a nation, the “Arab-Israeli conflict” has been a focal point of religious tension in the world’s daily news headlines. A nation-state no larger than New Jersey with a population less than that of New York City, the media has made Israel front-page news since its formation in 1948, suggesting it is the most tumultuous nucleus of religion in the world.

Two weeks after my 23rd birthday in May 2008, I unexpectedly found myself traveling to and living in Israel for 5 months. Initially touring what I had always perceived through the media lens as a deeply dichotomous country, I forced myself to remove all previous bias and experience Israel through fresh eyes, which eventually led to my studying Judaism in Jerusalem.

During my time in the Holy Land, I acquired an appreciation for the symbolism of the Old City of Jerusalem, especially the signs of inherent conflict. For Jews, the Kotel (Western Wall) where the Second Temple Mount once stood symbolizes the historical and biblical heart of this faith. However, directly on the other side of this wall is the home of the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque; two of the holiest sites in the Islamic faith.

Nevertheless, the Old City also exemplifies the capacity for these and people of other faiths to live peacefully within its walls. Divided into four quarters – the Muslim Quarter, the Jewish Quarter, the Christian Quarter, and the Armenian Quarter – Jews and Arabs, as well as many others, live harmoniously or certainly give the appearance of doing so every day.

The Old City is not an isolated example. Just north of Jerusalem lays an Arab village on the Israeli side of the West Bank where both they and Jews coexist together on a daily basis. On the Mediterranean due north of Tel Aviv, the Shuk Talpiot (Market) of Haifa, commonly referred to as an “urban melting pot,” sees Arab and Jewish vendors working side by side, peacefully selling various goods.

And this situation is not limited to Israel’s borders. In 2007, the JTA (Jewish & Israel News) reported that Panama’s Jews and Arabs “are almost symbiotic” with Panamanian Jews patronizing Arab-run restaurants and both groups partying at nightclubs together.

My goal is to use my passion for photography to capture these and other examples where Arabs and Israelis have created a peaceful relationship between them and refute the proclivity of the media and others to promote and encourage division between these people. Please help me make a difference through my photography in furthering the cause of peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Israelis.

Rank: 59



please visit my website at www.JeffHandel.com to view a sampling of my work

& thank you for your votes!


Some great ideas like yours are getting lost in the wave of network votes so if you like my idea please vote for me, and I will in turn vote for the ideas that have the heart of inspirational photographers .
Good luck, and thanks for your vote/comment... Jkava888


Oh if this could happen! If people could see each other as related through Abraham. I voted for you. Take a look at some of the many fantastic dreams other people have and vote for the ones you like best. Don't forget to vote for yourself!


A great idea to use art to bring two worlds together in the hope of creating piece. It's a beautiful project...one that I hope truly makes a difference in people's lives. You have my vote! Good luck!


I came back and read this again. It may be my favorite among the many great dreams out here. Patch Adams said we choose to clothe ourselves with religion, politics, culture, and other things, but at our core, we are all the same - loving, laughing, singing, being. Wish I had 30 votes.


Awesome Jeff, really good stuff


it's a great dream, jeff. if you can make it come true, you'd be moshiach. i hope you win, so you'll return to holy land, and i can have you over for shabbos dinner again. all the best.


Father John asked me to come vote for this idea. Its a good one. Here you go.


good luck Jeff!


BLESS YOU! This is what the world needs -- documentary of PEACE!!! You've got my vote and if I don't win :) I sincerely hope you do! Check out my link and vote for me!


I love this idea! check out mine and Pic it if youd like! Congo here I come...


Jeff this is absolutely amazing. I think you definitely have the most original idea I've seen. Love it!


I love this idea! check out mine and Pic it if youd like! Congo here I come...


go Jeff!


everyone tell all your friends


Very moving...great work !!


Amazing, you have my vote!


thanks, like it,certainly some good ideas getting lost in the mix amongst all this computer network votes..and if you like mine,about orhpans in USA and Africa, please return the vote!


What a wonderful idea! Good luck! Very moving.


You're right. Your idea is fantastic, well thought out and planned. If you win, I want to see your photographs and hope that you will document your trip well. Good luck!!


Thank you!
Love your idea as well since my background is from that part of the world.
You've got my vote. ;)


Hey - Fantastic idea!

You've got my vote ... Will you check mine out and give me a vote? Hang in there!

Keep shooting ... D


yes, photo can show people they're not so different and maybe bring peace!
i voted for you,
have a look to my dream (remote temple in Tibet) and choose if you like it.
good luck!


Your idea is awesome! Course I have a vested interest since my husband is from Israel, but I think we can all agree that Peace is a much needed solution!


Great Dream


good luck and thanks for voting for mine!


wonderful idea. Good luck.. Please check out my dream assignment and vote/comment.


Thankyou so much for your wonderful support. You can see my photos at www.awomansview.net I gave you a vote because I think you cause is very powerful. Best to you.


Good luck Jeff


Dude awesome photographs! Good luck

Jason Adler


Great idea. Thanks for the vote. Good luck.


Wonderful thinking and beautiful pictures


I did pic your idea as well. How wonderful would it be if we could all learn not to hate!


Thank you everyone for your support!


Another great Idea!


Excellent idea! Maybe you can get them rolling on the road too peace, they need it. Thanks for your pic, you have mine!



Thank you for "PIC"-ing my idea.

You have an amazing and wonderful idea and for that you have my "PIC".

Good luck!


Brilliant idea! I don't think that displaying hate will end the hate, displaying coexistence and peace will encourage coexistence & peace. Good luck! I voted for ya.


To picture peace you need to picture justice and truth -- I hope you'll visit the West Bank and Gaza and open your eyes. Also, go to the website www.ifamericansknew.org


Great idea, Good luck and God Bless. You have my vote.


This is a wonderful idea, I've pic'd you!


great idea! we definitely need peace in that part of the world.


I was a little unsure about your idea...I thought it might be a little idealistic, but after looking at your website I say go for it! You know what you're doing.


My family goes to an event every year where Arabs and Jews eat, sing, and fellowship together. Your idea of showing peaceful coexisince between these groups is awesome you have my pic.


In Southern California, the last three years it has been at Life Bible Collage in San Dimas. I think the next one will be in May. Have you heard of Hope for Isreal or Hope for Ismeal they are 2 awsome groups that work on reconsiliation between between Arabs and Jews?


Good idea..thanks for the vote..right back atcha!


send some people to vote for me and great idea


This is definitely a huge problem. It takes a brave person to be willing to take this on. You have my vote!


You have my admiration!


goood luck!




Nice positive dream. You have my vote, if you get the chance, please go check out "From Australia with Love" and vote for it if you like it.




a great idea, I returned the vote, good luck


A cause dear to my heart. I voted! You are right that the answer lies with the upcoming generation. Good luck!


brilliant Idea best of luck to you!


Good Luck, I voted for you!


Great Idea! Good luck!


Photography for peace. Best of Luck!


I think this is very good, we need to see positive reports, so often sensationalist media only wants to show the negative. I know there is alot of negative to show, but it's refreshing to see a different perspective.


best of luck!!!


It must have been great to be in Israel. You have a great plan and I hope you get to accomplish it


This is a really good idea, everyone should vote for it.


love your idea! Good luck with the contest and with showing the world true love through the lens of your camera. Keep going no matter what. The world needs people like you.


yeah! lets work on this! add me up on flickr too, my username is ronangara


thanks for your vote!! I think you've got a great idea too and voted for you. Good luck!!! It's amazing what can be captured and shared with a camera lens.


This by far the best idea! I love it!!!!


Good luck Jeff!


good luck Jeff


Peace is definitley a good dream! I wish you luck!


oh, if only. Please let it be so.

I hope you win :)

good luck!


Thanks for the vote, Jeff! I just voted for your idea as well. By the way, I really like your idea. I've been to Israel myself, and have seen Jews and Arabs peacefully living together. I think this would make a great picture story!


Your mom recommended your site, but your idea was what sold me. You've got my pick! Hope you win!


All I can say is, wouldn't this be nice. You've got my vote. And thanks for yours.


A wonderful idea. Good luck! You have my vote.


I have spent a lot of time in the old city. Best of luck. Voted.

Check out my project on innovation and technology as change for the developing world and my portfolio here: http://maclellanimages.com/blog1/galleries/


I like this very honorable thing to do! Thanks for the vote too!


What a wonderful idea - whether you win this contest or not - this should be done! Good luck! :)


Great Idea Thanks For the Vote..:)
All the Best to you


If only people knew more about the origins of this conflict... Best of luck to you. You get my vote. If you get to do this, I would also highly recommend that you visit the following site and benefit from this woman's experience in the Holy Land: www.holylandunveiled.com.


Fantastic. And when you win this, get your butt back over here to the middle east. :)


Thanks for your vote for my dream assignment. I gave you a pic, too.


Best of Luck.
This is extremely important.


I would love to see this documented. Fantastic idea. Best of luck!!


Thanks for your vote. Here's mine. Peace, peace, peace. Yes!


you had my vote..please vote for mine


this is probably the best one I think.


That is good idea too.I think that coexistence can be real if people want it to be.Voted.


I voted for you. Good luck!


Pic for you! Great objectives. check out my dream! Good luck!


I voted for you. Good luck.


Your idea sounds good, the judges will like yours if you reach the final.
the judges are mostly documentary photographers which is not to my favour.. coz my project is conceptual. I really believe in my project but i don't think it'll do well with the judges.

anyway.. good luck


I have been dreaming about this for a lifetime. I hope you win.


you've got my vote~and thanks for voting for me! :)


What a wonderful dream - good luck!

You have my PIC. Please stop by and check out my idea... leave a comment and a PIC if you'd like.

I'm a photographer trying to change the world... starting with my community!

Take care!


As someone with Jewish heritage, this sounds like just what the Middle East needs right now.

You got my vote.


I love this idea! Good luck. Hope that you will vote for all the ideas here of other photographers who share your ideals and knowledge of subject matter.


I like your idea, check out mine and vote for me if you like it. Its about poverty and society in 3rd world countries and how they are controlled, devastated by their governments and western industrialized nations.