Yes, it's winter, and it was raining when they landed. I took the pictures on the bus from the plane to the terminal. My feet were cold, and I was in boots, so you can imagine how cold they must have been.
Thirty years ago, it was common to see Israelis in such sandals, even simpler ones, in the winter. Today it's rare, and the Israelis who dress like that have foreign accents.
Israel has become a very materialistic country, very nouveau riche. In this Friday's Jerusalem Post there's an article about picking out the perfect boots. The stores and brands the writer mentions ALDO, Kenneth Cole and Nine West are not for the frugal, even by the "Yuppiest" standards.
One of the big mysteries, which I haven't been able to solve in our 36 years here is:
How can Israelis afford it?If Israeli incomes are as low as some people say, how do Israelis live so well?
Maybe we all just perceive everything differently. It's not just how consumer-oriented Israeli society is. It isn't just the frequency the "average Israeli" travels abroad.
And how is it that simultaneously we keep getting these terrible reports about rising poverty here in Israel.
Do we have two disconnected, unrelated societies?
Is this one of the reasons that "your average Israeli" didn't care about the thousands of fellow citizens who were forcefully exiled from their homes due to Disengagement?
Is this why they weren't outraged at the brutal police violence against Israeli children in Amona?
I have no idea who the young immigrants are whom I photographed as I tried to warm up after escaping the rain. I don't know what their plans are, where they're going or where they're from.
For me, their simple sandals and wet socks symbolize the idealism I still treasure. That's why I just had to photograph their feet.
I wish them luck in all of their endeavors, and even more than that. With G-d's help, they shouldn't lose their idealism, no matter what challenges they face.
Shavua Tov--Have a wonderful week!