Photo of the Week: Palestinians Celebrate Eid al-Adha in Israel
Posted on Sep 17, 2016
Every week, Truthdig’s editors seek to present an image that singularly renders the world’s triumph, trouble or toil.
Diversely clad, smiling and conversing in the kind of setting from which state authorities forcibly drove conservative Muslim women over the summer, the image above depicts Muslims and Jews together in a way Americans are rarely shown. What could they be discussing?
The Associated Press says the three Jewish women on the left are from Brazil. The Palestinians are from the city of Nablus, 30 miles northeast of Tel Aviv, where the groups encountered each other on a beach Tuesday during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha. Translating as “Festival of the Sacrifice,” the holiday celebrates the devotion of Abraham—a major figure in both Judaism and Islam—to God, to whom the Old Testament says Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son.
The Israeli government permitted 100,000 Palestinians from the West Bank to travel to Israel’s beaches for Eid al-Adha. In the area of Jaffa, travelers were “ecstatic” to be at the beach, The Jerusalem Post reported. “[B]ut this did not change their negative image of the [Israel Defense Forces].” A visitor identified as Mohammed told the Post, “The army makes it so hard for us to travel and to be here. I’m happy, but the fact that I have to ask the army to see the ocean is crazy.”
The Times of Israel reports that the permits allowed the travelers to stay from 8 a.m. till 8 p.m. Alaa Tahboon, a 13-year-old from the city of Hebron in the southern West Bank, said it was her first time swimming in the sea. “I am really happy,” she told the paper. Others who crossed into Israel spent their time in prayer at the Al-Aqsa mosque atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The mosque is known as Islam’s third-holiest site. A bus driver transporting Palestinians said they used three times as many buses this year as last year.
Even more revelers poured into Jaffa on Wednesday night. “The boardwalk was jam-packed as numerous Palestinian couples smiled for selfie pictures at sunset,” the Post reported. Many restaurants had no tables to spare. Mohammed told the Post: “I’ve visited a lot of cities in Israel and Palestine, but Jaffa—Jaffa is just perfect.”