March 9, 2013

Beach, Gaza

Photograph by Paolo Pellegrin

This Month in Photo of the Day: National Geographic Magazine Features

Gazans swim in the Mediterranean Sea at sunset. An Israeli naval blockade to stop smuggling of arms and other goods into the Gaza Strip—the heart of Palestinian resistance—also restricts Gazans to within three nautical miles of shore. But the sea is one place where they have an open horizon.

See more pictures from the December 2012 feature story "The Tunnels of Gaza."


Go behind the words with a podcast from the story's author »

22 comments
Abed Shurrab
Abed Shurrab

I'm truly amazed by the unusual response to this photo! just because its about Palestine it got all the negative comments, if this photo was bout any other struggling place in the world I'm pretty sure the comments would be more sympathizing and less hateful.

Gal Guetta
Gal Guetta

Dear Nat Geo editors who has chosen this photo as a photo of the day, im an Israeli soldier. i do not hate Palastinians and have nothing aginst them, and by looking at the comment here i see that most people here have NO IDEA what they are talking about.

i'm not saying that there is right and wrong, maybe there is but it is truly is not the topic at the moment. the topic is that your photos used to be about thing that beautiful and uniqe, some places where you can just look at the photo and forget about everything else, just be hypnotized by the photographer's tallent.

after looking at this photo (which is a good one, byt yet not good enough to be a photo of the day) and reading the desceiption i cannot say i wassnt surprised, i never pictured Nat Geo as a political site.

for a few years i used to come back from the army, leave the whole political s*** (soory for the language) behind and for a few minutes at least just relax. after reading the comments and the desctiption i moved on by a few pictures, but now the propoganda stuff is stuck in my head.

I'm soory, but you might have just lost a huge fan.

Bikash Shrestha
Bikash Shrestha

I presume the only interesting thing this photograph has that all the people pictured in it are searching for the reason why this picture has been chosen as the photo of the day....perhaps it's a very bad day....

elad cohen
elad cohen

WOW! amazing shoot!!!! who took it?! or who chooses that photo is "the photo of the day" i think its should to be the photo of the millenium..
100% political picture.

Shabbir Ahmad
Shabbir Ahmad

NO POLITICS HERE PLEASE !  WHOSE IDEA WAS IT TO MAKE THIS A POLITICAL SITE

Thomas Haggard
Thomas Haggard

The recent selections for Photo of the Day have been horrid!  And the explanations for why they were chosen incomprehensible.  But the political diatribe that was used to "describe" today's photo is inexcusable!  Whoever is doing the selection and commentary of late needs to be replaced.... or you will lose a lot of loyal readers.

Jesse Wood
Jesse Wood

"An Israeli naval blockade to stop smuggling of arms and other goods into the Gaza Strip—the heart of Palestinian resistance—also restricts Gazans to within three nautical miles of shore. But the sea is one place where they have an open horizon."

"The heart of Palestinian resistance"??  Give me a break. Like that's not a blatant attempt to force in your political stance, despite it having absolutely nothing to do with the photo. 

Gee, guess it's not worth mentioning that their 'government's' charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the eradication of Jews from the face of the Earth.

But I guess that doesn't help paint the picture you wanted...

Shailesh Sharma
Shailesh Sharma

For the past few days I have noticed that the "Photo of the day" has just been getting better and better. This photo for instance. One of the best pictures that I have ever came across. Seriously.

SamanthaLyn Samuelson
SamanthaLyn Samuelson

@Shabbir Ahmad  It is most challenging in a troubled world to fragment oneself into a "non-politial" place.  For some people, life itself may be defined differently, as life itself is, in FACT, political.  The Old "Different Strokes for Different Blokes"?  Or how about "Viva La Difference"?  What difference is there in reading someone's reaction to an image if that reaction brings into play something someone else does not wish to read about politics at this site?  Images are "supposed" to evoke an emotional response from readers.  Some responses can be considered political or not.  We don't need the word police everywhere so we cannot express ourselves least someone else does not wish to read it here. "The Politics of Existence" is a reality we cannot hide from by NOT being expressive regarding our interpretation of what an image EVOKES within us.    I sense no hostility or threats between readers!  Just difference and a wish to educate others regarding their written stance.

Adam Zimmer
Adam Zimmer

@Jesse Wood

if that charter might call for "the destruction of Israel and the eradication of Jews from the face of the Earth", the facts are the people actually being eradicated is the Palestinians, and the territory actually being wipe off the world map is Palestine. 

This picture, in or without that context, is beautiful.


Jesse Wood
Jesse Wood

@Adam Zimmer

Those are not 'facts' at all. Nobody is 'eradicating' the Palestinians.

And if Palestinians were willing to give up their aim of destroying Israel, they'd have a country tomorrow.

The vast majority of Israelis are perfectly willing to accept a two-state solution -- but over two thirds of Palestinians view the TSS as only the first stage in having a Palestine 'from the river to the sea'.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=124x358320

"Sixty-six percent said the Palestinians’ real goal should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state."

The world is growing wise to your propaganda.

Jesse Wood
Jesse Wood

@Adam Zimmer

The only person spreading lies is you.  I stated a number of facts about how Israel has made territorial concessions.  You have said nothing to address that, save for restating your original, unsupported assertions. 

Subjecting readers to such 'hawkish nonsense'?  All I have done is provide a series of facts -- all of which contradict your wholly prejudicial and unjustified worldview -- and because you have no rational argument in response, you spout naive, simplistic slogans in a vain attempt to lend credibility to your otherwise meaningless ideas.

Again, you say Palestine is being wiped off the map and, yet, it is abundantly clear that it is not.  Gaza and the West Bank are Palestine. They are right there on the map.  And Palestinians live there.  How exactly are they being wiped off the map?  How exactly are they  being subjected to genocide?

You, sir, are a liar.  You intentionally misappropriate inflammatory rhetoric to characterize the conflict in qualitatively false terms and to demonize Israel in general.   Because your basic premise, regardless of actual facts, is that Israel should not be allowed to exist. 

Perhaps you are unable to even realize your rational failures.  But perhaps you are simply unwilling to look at arguments on their own merits.

And I don't really follow you with the 'cut and paste' comment.  Perhaps the idea that someone could actually form a thorough, cogent argument is something you find impossible -- thus, I must have copied it from somewhere else. 

That wouldn't surprise me, considering your entire persona is cut and pasted.

Adam Zimmer
Adam Zimmer

@Jesse Wood 

(I apologize to the Photo of the day viewers for i enabled a tribune to such hawkish nonsense).

You're not fooling anyone. At least not anymore.

Whatever you copy/paste can not twist the fact a glimpse at a map from 1948 versus now reveals, unless you're blind or blinded by some obscure ideology.

In modern times, no country is allowed to gain territory by force.

What Israel is doing: illegal colonization.

Thus it is Palestine which is being slowly but surely wiped off the Earth surface and Palestinians scattered if not cleansed in the name of holy war against terrorism.

Some extremists from a divides unrecognized state bark they dream of destroying a powerful recognized state? really? so what, when the powerful recognized state is actually doing it without saying it out loud plus a peace sign...

So maybe it's time to remodel your "knowledge of the truth. Looks like it's not working so well when more cities organize their Week against israeli apartheid, and more and more people dare to publish material that goes against the image of Palestinians being the ultimate bad guy unworthy of being treated as human beings.


Jesse Wood
Jesse Wood

@Adam Zimmer
Take a look at the thread above.  Who ever said this picture should be censored or people should be fired?   I objected to the blatant politicization of an otherwise apolitical photograph.  And I stand by that.

Unfortunately, the reality here is that you, and many of your ideological brethren,  see and hear only what you want.  You project your lies and falsehoods onto others because you are ill-informed and naive.

Let's look at Israel's 'moving borders', shall we?

For example, look at Israel's borders in the late 70s.  Clearly they were larger than they are today, having fully incorporated the WB, Gaza, and The Sinai desert into the state post 1967 -- territory it gained in a defensive war after enduring twenty years of hostility from its neighbors. 

But what happened then?  In exchange for a peace deal, Israel returned The Sinai to Egypt -- and it removed all settlements. 

Well, that sure doesn't sound like territorial expansion, does it?  It sounds like they were forced to insulate their population from the constant threat of annihilation -- which occurred daily.  However, in exchange for the promise of peaceful coexistence with this former enemy, they willingly returned it. 

So tell me again about your notion of moving borders.

And with the Olso Accords in the 90s, Israel again willingly ceded land -- in the form of control over Gaza and the WB -- to the PA. Meaning, yet again, Israel returned land in exchange for the promise of peaceful coexistence.  And in Gaza, they completely removed all settlements before pulling out. 

Well, that sure doesn't sound like territorial expansion either, now does it?  So, again, tell me about your notion of moving borders.

Of course, this gesture towards peace-building was met with constant rocket attacks from Gaza -- the result of a belligerent population electing a government who espouse only the most hateful and racist rhetoric, who (as stated in their very charter) seek to eradicate an entire people from the face of the Earth.  

See, ultimately, people like you are unwilling to acknowledge the simple fact that Palestinians, by and large, do not support a two state solution, because they view the entire conflict as a zero-sum game.  Many would rather sacrifice Palestine to see Israel destroyed.  It is the very notion of peaceful coexistence with Jews that they find so very offensive.

Tell me: What exactly this 'resistance' is resisting?  Because, even though your programming will not allow you to understand this conflict in anything other than naive, axiomatic terms...

the only thing they are resisting is peace.

Adam Zimmer
Adam Zimmer

 @Jesse Wood  

no one is "eradicating the Jews" nor "destroying Israel".  

No propaganda needed to verify the facts i am just recalling: just look at the map since Israel creation, just look at its moving borders, and who lives as refugees.

Implying that this picture must be censored or that people should be fired, i think this is kind of extreme. 



a m
a m

@Jesse Wood @Adam Zimmer Israeli occupation of Palestine will end one day. Nothing last forever. Everything has a beginning, peak, and fall. Israel is not an exception. This is a historical fact.

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