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  1. This photo hit me hard — a visceral reaction. It took me a moment to realize it must be the paved path to Masada, near the Dead Sea. I climbed that very trail in 1972; it wasn’t paved, but a steep, winding path up the mountainside from the valley of the Dead Sea. But I first saw the photo as a commentary on the Israel/Palestine state of almost war, because of your title: “Never.” Will Israel and her neighbors ever find peace with each other? Never. It made me sad. Yet it is not a hopeless photo. I realize my interpretation is not what you intended, just what I saw, given my background and experiences. The photo looks almost like a painting. It’s beautiful, haunting, and melancholy. Israel these days has too much of a Masada comples, in my opinion. Its perception of being constantly threatened with annihilation justifies its every action. Any person, organization, nor nation who criticizes its actions is too often labeled as anti-Semitic these days. Israel is as militaristic and nationistic as the current U.S. administration. I’m glad I visited it before the hatred and violence had grown to the epic proportions of today. Things were more fluid in 1972 and 1977, and both Israelis and Palestinians were more open to the possiblity of peace, rather than wedded to a state of endless war, as they seem to be now. It is a beautiful photo, and, as you can see, I got a lot out of it.


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