March 23: Along the Road to Bet She’an

Touching Photographs


Gavriel is the one running, the one with the flowing hair. He looks like he might be at home in a coffee shop with a guitar on his knee, passing a joint. I remember Gavriels like him from my adolescence, non-violent activists who sang of peace. As we shall see, I believe even this Gavriel may see himself as a messenger of peace.

It is a short day for most of us. When we arrive in Na’ama, Gavriel and the other settlers are already scattering flocks belonging to Beduin shepherds. Na’ama is next to Auja, in the Jordan Valley. Israel recognizes this settlement, unlike Omer’s Farm on another side of Auja. I have been to Auja several times with Ta’ayush, an all-volunteer Israeli NGO that seeks to help Palestinians and Beduins win back land taken from them by settlers in the occupied territories administered by Israel. The international community treats…

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About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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