On November 12th, the Emet for Israel group at Cal State University Long Beach, 49ers for Israel, hosted Gil Cohen-Magen, a prominent Israeli photojournalist. His works have appeared in The New York Times, as well as other leading newspapers and magazines. The event drew a large crowd to his Thursday night lecture and was well received by a variety of CSULB students.
49ers for Israel aimed to raise awareness of the Arab-Israeli conflict in general, engage the student body, supply unbiased information, and leave a lasting impression in everyone’s mind with the hope that they would share with others.
Gil primarily focused on his photographs taken during Operation Protective Edge, but also showed the students his impressive portfolio, which ranged from horrific war scenes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to the secretive world of ultra-orthodox Haradeim. Gil enlightened the students with details of the Israeli side, their struggle, and the impact of war on all groups involved. The humanity demonstrated by IDF soldiers who picked up tiny remains of suicide bomber’s bodies to give back to their family members especially stood out to the audience. Many students openly wept and turned away in horror at the sight of both Israeli soldier and civilian funerals, as well as gruesome murder scenes he captured. At the end of the evening, students were eager to approach and thank Gil for all the work he has done to inform outsiders and humanize this ongoing and tragic conflict.