‘100 Years of Israel/Palestine Fashion’ Video Captures An Unfashionable Truth

I can’t believe I missed this when it came out in February, but I am human after all.

When Israel and Palestine are in the news together, the last thing that may come to your mind is fashion and beauty trends.

But that is certainly not because there aren’t women in both places interested in expressing themselves through style, and that’s why the pair of states are the subject of Cut.com’s latest 100 Years of Beauty video.

‘No other project brings more controversy, more complexity and more sensitivity than any of the projects we have done so far,’ says visual anthropologist Chris Chan in a separate¬†explanatory video¬†for the project.

Chris also clarifies that the group has no intention to make themselves an authority on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, but rather only look at how ‘claims to political sovereignty are articulated through women and young girls’ personal preferences, tastes, styles and fashions.’

The group looked at how both Jewish and Arab Palestinian women have been frequently been photographed in military garb and holding guns – making fashion take on a ‘militaristic dimension’.

You can see the videos here:

Note the keffiyeh (the symbol of terrorism) worn by the palestinian Arab woman, , which the Daily Mail cluelessly refers to as a “patterned scarf.”

But for me, this was the most interesting part: the dichotomy between these two shots:

Very similar hand gestures, yet they are worlds apart. The Israeli woman is flashing the peace sign, while the palestinian Arab woman is flashing a “V for victory” sign – a call for complete victory over the enemy.

So the videos inadvertently capture something at the heart of this conflict (even though the explanatory video gets so much wrong): Israelis wish for peace and the palestinian Arab wish for our destruction.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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