A Photographer's Tale
By Kobi Israel

This photo is a dream... A dream that was shattered...

The millennium in the holy land started with a dream of many young Israelis and Palestinians - a dream of peace.

At the stroke of midnight in the town of Bethlehem, two-thousand white doves were freed into the sky by young Palestinians from the roof of Bethlehem's municipality. Today these same young boys are throwing stones and being shot with rubber bullets.

As an Israeli, I was excited to climb to the roof of Bethlehem's municipality. With the help of Palestinian policemen, I made my way up so that I could capture the magical moment in the same spot where it all started - the nativity church where Christ was born 2000 years ago. I felt it was a historical moment in many senses - a Jew (myself), surrounded by Muslims and Christians in the same place where Christianity began; an Israeli (ex-soldier), standing on the roof together with smiling Palestinian police officers and two-thousand white doves (the symbol of peace), waiting to be freed into the holy lands' sky.

The celebration went on the whole night - young Palestinians dancing and smiling and me, an Israeli photographer, smiling and dancing with them. Today, less than a year after, this night looks like an impossible dream, this photo looks like an impossible dream.

Today I could not even enter Bethlehem - no smiles, no dancing, no white doves - only haterd and bloodshed. Maybe I never took this photo, maybe I only dreamt it ????

Project Photographer Kobi Israel October 2000

Copyright 2000 Kobi Israel / Millennium Photo Enterprises Ltd. All rights reserved.