“You are the Bridge Photographer,” my girlfriend Avital stated.
Each Saturday, Avital and her daughters “report” to the Rishpon Bridge – a big bridge above Israel’s largest highway, Coastal Highway 2. It’s hot in July and August in Israel, even at 6 PM.
Many people followed Avital to the bridge, many mothers who came with their daughters. The daughters may have preferred to go skating or eat ice cream, see the sunset on the beach, or just stay in the air-conditioned house and eat cold watermelon while watching TV.
But no. They join, or at least tag along with their mothers. They wave the flags to the passing cars down below. Some of the girls are barely tall enough to see above the bridge’s rail, but they are mission ready, fully present.
Black flags, Israel flags, signs with words of protest − the girls may be too young and too innocent to wave them. At home, they ask questions and practice slogans like “Go Home Prime Minister,” as they try to understand what the fuss is about.
But, in the moment of truth, on the bridge, they are there, arguing who will be the first to hop between the shoes they placed instead of chalk to hopscotch.
Protest is not comfortable, as many have said before. But, it may be that for those girls, this one is no longer only a black flag protest.
There may come a day that the girls will remember those hot summer months on the Rishpon Bridge. They may see pictures or hear stories, and they will know that in the summer of 2020, they did all they could do to bring about a safer future.