It’s very natural, given what happened to the Jews at Nazi (and Communist and Muslim) hands in just the last 75 years to think of them as victims. But they’re not. They’re survivors, and fighters, and people who have created one of the most stable, dynamic, free, creative, prosperous nations in the world. PopChassid has assembled 20 amazing photographs showing the fierce will to live — before, during, and after WWII — that burns in Jews.
Let me throw in a few wonderful photos to add to that narrative.
As early as 1930, Tel Aviv was a beautiful, cosmopolitan city:
Vibrant young settlers on a kibbutz, late 1930s/early 1940s:
Exhausted, but still jubilant Israeli soldiers at the Western Wall in 1967, after having liberated it from Arab control (which denied Jews all access to Jerusalem’s Holy Sites):
In a Middle Eastern region distinguished by frequently sadistic, and always demoralizing, misogyny, this is a picture of some candidates in the Israeli Defense Force’s Officer Course for Infantry Command:
Of course, there’s nothing new about that. The Haganah already had women in the armed forces in 1948:
In a Middle Eastern region in which gays are routinely tortured, sodomized, whipped, and hanged, Israel has a dynamic gay community, which celebrates with an annual pride parade. Gay Muslims from all over the Middle East try to sneak into Israel to live without fear:
If you have images you like, let me know. I’m not a terribly visual person (words are my thing), so I don’t always know where or how to look for the best images.
UPDATES FROM SADIE: Enjoying folk dances every Saturday at Haifa Beach:
The Haifa International Flower Show in 2012:
Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem: