Israel is a country that exists in a paradox of being under constant media attention while remaining a widely unknown, almost enigmatic society. Shaped by sixty years of war and waves of immigration from Europe, Africa and former Soviet Union, Israel is a state in constant mutation, with a heterogeneous nation united behind a flag a common enemy, and an ideal, zionism. As deep divisions between national religious and secular Jews, have emerged, about the future of this country, it appeared to me essential to grasp the complexity of this nation and look at the issues at stake. Young people, the present and the now of any society, seem an ideal prism through which to define the edges, sometimes blurry, of this multifacial society.
This essay is a journey from the trendy secular youth of Tel Aviv to the ultra-orthodox communities of Jerusalem; from the radical West Bank settlers, to the left wing militants aspiring to a peaceful relationship with their Palestinian neighbours. From the new age hippies, to the development town junkies. This essay also addresses the issues of the various minorities that comprise Israël, from newly established Russian and Ethiopian immigrants, to the larger “Arab Israeli” community. Finally, this project looks at the army, the cornerstone of Israeli society, a compulsory part of every Israeli life, an institution that they never fully leave. Tsahal; a crucial unifying factor in a country increasingly divided.
Julien Chatelin. Israel Borderline. Images en manoeuvres, 2008.