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Podcast No. 1 
Interview with Yoav Shamir

[1]56 minutes/6,202 words

Audio Version: To listen in a player, click here [2]. To download the mp3, right-click here [2] and choose “save link as.”

To subscribe to our podcasts, click here [3].

Mike Polignano: Today we’re speaking with Yoav Shamir, the Israeli documentary filmmaker who has produced numerous award-winning documentaries, including Checkpoint, which is a film that documented the experiences of Palestinians traveling through Israeli security checkpoints in the West Bank, as well as the experiences of the Israeli soldiers who guarded those checkpoints.

Most recently Yoav has produced Defamation, which is a hard-hitting film on anti-Semitism that challenged many sacred cows. He’s now working on a new film project called 10-Percent, and he’s running a crowd-funding campaign to receive support for the final editing of that film.

So, Yoav, please tell us a little bit about your background.

Greg Johnson: Yes, there are a few people out there who are listening to or will read this who don’t know much about you, so for that 5% could you just give us a little introduction?

Yoav Shamir: Sure, I was born in Israel; my family has been here for many, many years. My parents are teachers. They’re retired now. And like most Jewish Israelis I have been through this very traditional Jewish route of high school, military service, traveling the world a little bit after the army. And I studied history and philosophy, traveled some more, worked as a computer programmer. When I was 30 I decided I wanted to do something different with my life. I started studying film; I took an MFA in Film at Tel Aviv University, and started making films ever since.

Greg: One thing about Defamation that really struck me as interesting and funny is your interview with your grandmother. I thought she was a lady with a lot of character, and I wanted to ask you, are her attitudes about Jews in the Diaspora fairly representative of Israeli Jews of her generation? Or Israeli Jews more generally?

Yoav: She’s like 95 years old, so there are not many people still alive from her generation. But if you think about the Zionist hardcore and how they moved to Israel from Europe when they were very young and had all these socialist ideas, many of them were trying to build something new. It was rebellion against their parents and great-grandparents, and they wanted to start something new. You have to remember it was a revolutionary movement. And you have to remember that Zionism, when it started, was very small – maybe 3% of all Jewish people in the world were Zionists. So it was kind of a fringe movement, and fringe movements tend to be very radical in the way they look at the world mostly. And I think they wanted to build something new, to build a community which is based on hard work and socialism, and some of the thinking was to look at how the Jews in Europe lived, and the way Europe was sort of like degradation, and they wanted to start fresh, with new land, and all these kind of things. So many things which were associated with old-fashioned Jewish life were seen as bad, as corrupted, and in that sense she’s very representative of this school of thought.

Greg: Do you share any of her values today? And do younger Israelis, say under 40, have similar attitudes, or has that changed?

Yoav: Socialism, now, there’s hesitancy to talk about that because – not only in Israel but throughout the US as well and throughout many countries in Europe – socialism started to become a bad word instead of being something which is honorable. For many years money was the king, and whoever made money was highly respected. Capitalism in the US is like a religion. So, I wouldn’t say that many Israelis think like her; that would not be correct to say.

Mike: So how did your desire to create the film Defamation come about, and how did you present the proposition to the Anti-Defamation League, because they really gave you unprecedented access into their organization, and people were able to see how that group functions, and I don’t think they were quite prepared for the way you presented it, but I’m curious about the background of how the film was started, and how you made those proposals to these organizations.

[4]Yoav: The motivation for Defamation actually started with Checkpoint, when Checkpoint was released. I started out making Checkpoint approaching it more as a filmmaker than an activist or a leftie or anything like that. I was drawn to this human drama and conflict, these day-to-day encounters, the psychological insights into them. I’m saying this because I think it’s important to know that Checkpoint was not made by someone with very strong political convictions who wanted to send a message – that’s where I was coming from. I was studying film; it started when I was a film student, and I was fascinated with what was happening, and having been at these checkpoints myself, it was very interesting for me to come back after a while. It wasn’t set up as a political statement. I think, in a way, that’s what made this film as extraordinary as it was. There were Palestinians telling me that they’ve seen the film and have some empathy for the Israeli soldiers; many Israelis were affected by the way it portrayed the Palestinians. I think it touched many people because it was done from this human way of looking at things and not as a film an activist would make.

But then the responses, especially from Jews in the US, were very harsh. In Israel it received pretty positive coverage, and the film made a difference for many people. But then I started reading reviews about the film, and they were very, very hostile. To the extreme that there were journalists referring to me as the Israeli Mel Gibson, accusing me of being an anti-Semite, all of these things that were, for me, unbelievable. It was totally insane to hear these things. Here I am, an Israeli, born and raised, who has done his military service, and have no issues with the being an Israeli and a Jew, is being referred to as an anti-Semite. It kind of blew me away. Then I started thinking about the whole concept of anti-Semitism: What does it mean? Where is it being used? Then you see that it’s all around, it’s so present in the Israeli media, the Jewish media. And if I’m an anti-Semite, then what is anti-Semitism? Something about the use of the word brought up questions. And that was the starting point for Defamation.

As for the Anti-Defamation League – in a very similar way to Checkpoint, I came without knowing too much. Normally, when I work, I don’t know too much about the subject I’m starting to work with, because if you know too much in advance there’s a lack of authenticity, a lack of energy; it’s like proving a point. I like to share with people watching the film this sort of fresh look, this authenticity, these things which are unfolding in front of the camera and that are unfolding to me as well.

You know, it doesn’t take much to Google anti-Semitism; the ADL has always been the biggest organization fighting anti-Semitism. Then I approached them, telling them I want to see, I want to learn what they’re doing, how they are fighting anti-Semitism, and they said “Yes”; they didn’t, you know, run a very thorough background check – maybe they did, maybe they didn’t, I don’t know – they were very open with me about everything. And again I think I was very honest with them. I don’t think I was misleading them in any way. And it was kind of funny, because when the film came out the ADL spokesman (who isn’t working there anymore, obviously) told me that she thought it was a fair film. Foxman took it on a very different level, as sort of a personal offense. But I was fortunate to be able to have this access; that is always a good thing to have.

Mike: Why do you think Checkpoint was received so harshly abroad? Why there was such a difference in opinion between the media outside of Israel and within Israel?

Yoav: Yeah, there is this sort of disturbed relationship between Israel, Israelis, and Jews living abroad. Things are happening here; people have different opinions about stuff. It’s funny I’m saying that, since we have had this terrible shift to the Right in Israel in the last couple of years, and maybe all of these things I’m saying are going to be [obsolete]. People will listen to them in a while and say “Wow, what is he saying?” But at least until last year, Israel was a very open place; you can criticize the government; you can express opinions; we have newspapers from very Right to very Left, and it’s all legitimate; there is discussion.

I think it’s mostly American Jews, you see it also in the UK, but I think that America would be sort of the place where it happens most – it’s also the biggest Jewish society outside Israel – that they feel Israel is maybe like a retarded brother who needs to be protected or something like that. I mean, everything we do is right. It’s sort of like, I don’t know, some kind of psychological mechanism of making sure that you know whatever is happening in Israel is not going to be portrayed in a bad light; if there are problems, they should sort of be like watched internally, you know this kind of thing.

Mike: One of the people you interviewed in Defamation, a lady who worked for the ADL, referred to Israel as a child. In my view on things I think American Jews may view Israel as a child that needs to be defended. And just as a mother would have natural biases toward her own children, I think – would you think it’s possible – that American Jews have a similar dynamic going on, where they feel like they’re obligated to rubber stamp any decisions that the Israeli government makes?

[5]Yoav: Yeah, unfortunately in many [cases] it happens like this. The word which is being used also a lot is “insurance policy,” you know, “Israel is our insurance policy.” And you do have to remember that especially for the older generation the Holocaust is still very much something that is present in their lives. You know, if it’s not themselves maybe their parents are survivors or other family members. And this is something that psychologically I can understand. I can understand how somebody that was – I mean — always it’s easy to take it this kind of analogies from our daily lives so, if someone as a child was beaten up and suffered, you know, he’s going to grow up and maybe teach his kids they have to stand up for their rights and never let anybody harass them. So for many American Jews, they see Israel as someone that needs to be defended and protected if something bad happened, because I think many American Jews feel that they’re living in a hostile place.

While making the film, I was present at this kind of very interesting ritual or game, whatever you want to call it, which Abe Foxman played with his ADL followers, where he would say, “Please think about ten non-Jews who are friends that would save you” – I mean if someone is going to come knocking on the door,  the reference of course is always to an SS officer knocking on the door. And if then they cannot think of ten names, then “It’s okay, tell me five names.” If they can’t think of five, then it goes down to three, then one. It’s this kind of ritual, this catharsis of “everybody hates us” and “we need to take care of each other.” So I think for many American Jews they live under these sort of fears, which we might see as imaginative, but I think for them they’re very real. I mean, because if you’re a foreigner, you really think that someone is after you. It doesn’t matter what the real situation is.

Greg:  I was especially impressed with one of the segments in the documentary where you interviewed Norman Finkelstein. He made the point that there’s something sort of obscene when Jews, who are a very wealthy, very powerful, community in the United States, engage in these kinds of thought experiments and ginning up this kind of feeling of constant siege and hysteria. And he talked about how there’s a kind of shameful narcissism about that, and I was really struck by that statement.

I want to ask you a couple things about Israel and its neighbors. Do you think that it is ever going to be possible for Israel to have peaceful relations with its Arab neighbors? For Israel to have relations with its neighbors like the United States has with Canada, or Finland has with Sweden, where they live in an essentially casual and peaceful relationship, where there’s trade and interaction and basically amity. Do you think that’s going to ever be possible, and how, if it would be possible?

Yoav: Yeah, [laughs] that’s a tough one. I wish I could say “yes.” And there were times when – although it was maybe never as relaxed and nice as the Scanandavian neighborhood – but there were times. My grandmother who’s in the film, we had long conversations. She was born here, and her mother was born here. Her grandfather was a soldier in the Turkish army, and then her father was in the British army, and they used to travel here and travel there, and so there was some kind of peaceful coexistence. People could travel to Lebanon, to Syria, to Turkey, and this reality existed before.

Greg: Right. Regarding this thought experiment that you were describing that Abraham Foxman does with his friends: every people has a process whereby they form their sense of identity, and part of that process of forming their identity is to differentiate themselves from other people. Americans and Canadians think of themselves as different from one another, for instance. But it’s a kind of innocuous difference. And it strikes me that it’s tragic and an impediment to peace when you have very powerful organizations like the ADL or the organization sponsoring these tours to Poland, to Auschwitz and other locations in Poland, that are forming the identities of Israelis and Jews in general in such a hostile way towards the rest of humanity. It just strikes me that it’s going to be very, very difficult to have peace when that kind of enmity and sense of past grievances has such a prominent place in the identity of people today.

To give you an example, I was in India in 2004, in Varanasi. And I made a tour of a temple there, and the place was under heavy guard. There were soldiers with machine guns everywhere, and next door there was a mosque that had been built on the site of the temple. This Hindu was giving me a tour, and he was talking about how the temple had been destroyed by Muslims – and he was describing this as if it had just happened. And at a certain point, I realized he was describing events that happened in the 17th century, as if they were yesterday. And I just thought, how in the world can these people live at peace with one another when they’re re-living these past conflicts like they just happened?

Do you think a two-state solution within Israel/Palestine would be the way to having a more normal relationship with Palestinians within Israel’s larger borders, and with your other Arab neighbors?

[6]Yoav: Ideally I would say “yes.” If it was up to me, definitely. But I think something like that would have to go to a referendum, because I don’t know what most Palestinians think about it. Maybe after what they’ve been through they’d say, you know, “Fuck the Israelis, we don’t want to live with them.” So, I mean, looking at it through a humanist point of view, a justice point of view I would say yes. Realistically, it’s a decision that has to be accepted on a majority basis. And I don’t know who has the mandate to set such a thing.

Mike: I think that there’s a huge discontentment both in America and in Israel and really across the world about our leaders — where our leaders are taking us, and that they’re not really well representing the interests of the people whom they supposedly are leading. I saw something very inspirational the other day on Facebook: it seems that in 2011 with all the Arab uprisings there has been a huge number of Arabs who have adopted Facebook and I discovered a group that had the intention of forming a dialogue between Israeli Facebook users and Arab Facebook users about the peace process — but also about other matters – just to facilitate communication and try to bridge this gap. I think the name of it is Yala Young Leaders or something to that effect. What do you think the prospects are for restarting the peace process through one-on-one direct dialog?

Yoav: Getting to know the other person is a must. In order for you to care about someone else, for you to see him in a way that is not too totally stereotypical; you have to get to know people on a one-on-one basis. That’s obvious. And it’s also taken me to my new film, 10-Percent, which is one of the things which all the activists in the region talk about was how crucial these one-on-one meetings are. And I think the Arab world being open for Facebook is a great thing, because it creates a platform for dialog.

But then again, without leaders that would be able to do something with it and take it forward, nothing is going to happen. So dialog is great, but all of us are really very impatient. Even if dialog were to start now, we don’t want to see peace in 50 or 100 years, we want to have peace now. So for that to happen, there needs to be some kind of a leadership which is firm in the way they see things, the way they are willing to take risks, to take chances, to believe in peace, all of these kind of things that can only, realistically talking, only happen through some kind of more conventional political systems.

Mike: Do you see the social justice protests that have taken place across the globe against crony capitalism and, here in America, the Occupy movement against “the 1%” – I know there was also a summer movement in Israel along the same lines – do you see those movements as facilitating the peace process, a greater desire for accountability from leaders to move forward on initiatives that are started through dialogs between peoples?

Yoav: Taking the examples of Israel and the US, these sorts [of protests] taking on capitalism seem to be sort of futile in the US. You really have to break down everything and restart it. I mean, your whole society is not based on this kind of structure of socialist society like you see in North Europe, or like it used to be in Israel. So for this to happen, it’s a huge thing. It’s great that people are out there protesting, but I don’t know. I really want to be so optimistic and think that it will lead somewhere, but I know that doing that is going against—it will almost require a revolution. And I don’t see a revolution as happening in the US.

Same thing in Israel. We had all these protests, and nothing happened with it. It started with protests about the price of housing, and you know, you just keep going up. It was almost a way, like a cynical way of the government of letting its citizens ventilate or take out some steam. And now what? What will happen in the US, what will happen in Israel with this? I hope something good will come out of it, but . . .

Greg: My feeling about the Occupy movement is that it really does seem to be designed only to let off steam, because it doesn’t really have any goals or program over and above just having camps and having protests. It seemed to be a great way of getting people to expend a lot of energy and get a lot of anger out of their system without actually changing the system.

I wanted to ask one more question about Defamation: did anyone accuse you or criticize you for not trying very hard to actually interview anti-Semites? Because there are some very articulate American critics of Jews; for instance, somebody like David Duke or Kevin MacDonald; and there are legions of colorful kooks out there on the internet that you could get a hold of fairly easily. Did anyone say, “Well, you didn’t try very hard”? Because the only actual anti-Semitic characters that appeared in the documentary were the black people that you interviewed in Brooklyn. And that was a very interesting segment, by the way.

Yoav: And my grandmother.

[Everyone laughs]

Greg: And your grandmother, yes.

Yoav: Yeah of course, that was one of the main criticisms that I had, and you know what, it’s kind of funny, because if I wanted to make a sequel about Defamation, I became like a target for many anti-Semites to share their views with me, all those that say the Holocaust never happened. I just had a funny email, a very sad email, from a Catholic priest like one of these evangelists that explained to me I would rot in Hell if I don’t convert, and you know . . . In a way the research was very easy, but I had to do the film first.

Greg: Right.

Yoav: Also people were asking me “what do you think of the Arab world?” But in a way it wasn’t about this kind of militant fringe. It’s an easy target, you know. They come; give them a camera; they like to be provocative. But it would have been too easy a task. The film was mostly about perception, and about how we perceive and how we choose to perceive. I mean, personally my own view is that, honestly there are anti-Semites out there; but I think there are many more people who hate Blacks and Muslims than there are people who hate Jews. That’s also, I think, a reality, if you want to really set the record straight. But the question is: How do you choose to deal with the world? How do you choose to relate to things?

I had a very interesting conversation with a Syrian guy living in Vienna. There’s a huge Muslim community in Vienna, and if you compare the anti-Semitism that exists in Austria to the Islamophobia, their situation is much worse than what the Jews are experiencing. I asked him why don’t you have this kind of system of reporting or monitoring – everything that the Jewish people do so well – why don’t you use all these methods to fight Islamophobia?

He told me “I think it would be counter-productive to do it.” And he gave me the example of like someone going into the grocery store. Ordinarily if Jews come in, some people might want to say something, but they’re not going to say anything, because [they are intimidated], so there’s not going to be a straightforward confrontation. And sometimes confronting things will result in getting over things.

And it’s very hard—how do you choose how to be portrayed? Do you choose to be portrayed as a victim? Do you choose to put your victimhood on a pedestal, or do you want to get on with your life, and move forward? You can look at it as a philosophy, as how do you want to deal with the world. The way I like to deal with the world is that sometimes you just have to move forward, and maybe it’s better to swallow, to take a hit once in a while, than to become this person or people that defines their whole existence around it. That’s just my view.

Mike: I heard something recently that I thought was very wise about forgiveness. I grew up Roman Catholic, and eventually I got pretty tired of “turning the other cheek.” I viewed it as a form of weakness, of making yourself submissive to your attackers. But a different way of looking at it is that we forgive somebody, not to justify the wrongs they’ve done, but rather to prevent them from tormenting you in the present, to put them out of your mind and free yourself from emotional and psychological torments that prevent you from acting and thinking accurately about what you need to do in the present.

I’m curious now as to your new film 10-Percent, if you’ll tell us a little more about that and what you hope to accomplish?

Yoav: 10-Percent is my new documentary, and basically it’s a film that asks “What makes a hero?” We see situations around us, whether it’s war, terror, or you notice a situation where people are in distress, and there’s always a minority that helps, while most people don’t help. So, what makes the difference? Is there something different in the way these people grew up, or is there something in their personality, their genetic code, whatever?

Examples I grew up with would be the Germans who helped Jews during the Holocaust, what we call in Israel the Righteous Gentiles, or if you think about White South Africans coming from an upper class family, most of the society was very pro-Apartheid, but a few of them joined the ANC. So why them, while the majority didn’t? You can look at it as like someone is drowning in a river and there might be 10 people watching, but only one person will jump into the river and save this person. So this is kind of like the basic question: why some people are different from most people. What makes them the way they are?

The film has a few storylines, but one of the main storylines is following the research that is done by Professor Philip Zimbardo, who is the person that did this type of prison experiment, which was based on the Stanley Milgram obedience experiment. And these two psychological experiments from the 60s and 70s showed how the majority is easily seduced to evil, or to authority, and was sort of like extremists, and that really made people wonder about the nature of evil, about all of these situations.

But what they overlooked were the people who did not go for it. And so Zimbardo set out on a new research project, to try to explore this minority, what they call “the 10%.” And he’s doing it with a team of Palestinian and Israeli psychologists, and they’re examining three focus groups. In the US, it’s ex-gang members that were once part of a very violent gangster life and now they’re not only quitting it, but they’re trying to help other young people get out of the gang. In Israel they’re talking about people that could be very terroristic and maybe some of them coming from families of settlers or these type of people, who are now joined with the radical Left peace movements, and in Palestine with people that used to be part of the armed struggle, and are now into cooperating with the Israelis and doing it in a nonviolent way.

So I’m following the research and setting out on different, very interesting detours on my own. And as it is with most of my films, I have a lot of questions and am challenging the research and the researchers. But in a way, it’s an exploration into the human soul, into what makes us good or what makes us bad. And so far it’s been a fascinating journey.

Greg: So where are you filming this? Are you filming this in various places around the world like you did with Defamation?

Yoav: Yeah, a lot of it is shot in the US, Palestine, and Israel, but we’ve been to South Africa; we’ve been to Congo; we’ve been to quite a few places. Probably the easiest way to find out is to check out our website. If you go to our website there are clips and trailers that give you a better understanding of what we’re doing.

Greg: What’s that web address?

Yoav: If you go to IndeGoGo, http://indegogo.com [7], and search 10-Percent [8], that will take you there. You can also look me up on Facebook [9] (Yoav Shamir Films). I’m quite easy to track on Facebook, on Google. I’m pretty available, as you guys noticed.

Mike: I’m curious if a low degree of social conformism – what Nietzsche referred to as the “herd instinct” — is a trait of the “10%” that you’re researching? Have you found that to be the case?

Yoav: We’re looking at a specific group of people that under my definition are heroes. So these are people that are willing to risk their lives or pay a considerable toll, and they’re doing it in order to help someone of another group. The psychological term is “outgroup.” You know, we have our ingroup, which can be as small as our nuclear family, and includes our friends, our social circles, even our country, and you have your outgroup, the people outside of this group. The enemy normally is an outgroup.

It’s especially interesting to look at people that were once members of a very defined group. Let’s take South Africans of Afrikaans background. These people during the Apartheid era were a small, close community, with very strong convictions about the world. Supporting Apartheid was a major part of their identity. So to grow up in such a place and to be able to identify with your enemy; and not only your enemy, but someone you see as inferior to you, as not worthy, and manage to take this step and risk losing your friends, risk exile, risk going to prison, risk losing your life in order to help people from this other group. For me, this is heroism. It’s sort of the ultimate expression of altruism and these are the people that I’m interested to find out about in the film.

I’m examining different types of heroism, but eventually these are the people that I’m most interested about, because I think eventually these are the people who change the world, who make the world a better place. These are the people that I think need to be examined and learned [from]. I think it’s interesting to have this tool that psychology or science provides us to question their motives and to see whether there is a psychological blueprint or a genome or common patterns that will help us understand something about these people. In the film and in the research there are some very, very interesting answers.

The great thing about the film is you also have these groups which you’re looking at which are operating now.  So we’re not only looking at people that experienced it previously, we’re looking at people who are experiencing it now. It’s great as a filmmaker to be able to follow things as they happen, and also it’s good for the research, because everything is still going on and the situations are real. So it’s a great challenge for me as a filmmaker, and it’s a great pleasure as well.

Mike: I’m curious about this dynamic between the ingroup and the outgroup. Here in the US, and I imagine across the world, there is a tendency among the liberal left to say that we’re all human beings, and differences between individuals and between groups, between races, between religions, that those aren’t very important. I take a different view. I think that it’s important to maintain a healthy sense of identity. And to love yourself, love your group, your family, your people, and I believe that because when you look at individuals who have a healthy sense of self-respect and self-esteem, their capacity to love and have positive interactions with others is increased, rather than decreased. So, I ‘m curious as to your thoughts on that, also, the history of the Jewish people is one of a high level of ethnocentrism as well. And I’m curious as to whether you think that is a healthy thing or an unhealthy thing.

Yoav: It’s not so important whether it’s healthy or not healthy; it’s just the way it is. Like people are fans of sports teams and you refer in a different way to someone that you know that speaks your language, that you grew up with, you have similarities in your group and in your thought. Yeah, we’re all humans, we all should love each other, but realistically there will always be people who divide themselves into groups. It doesn’t matter what I think about it. It exists and I think it will go on until we face a common enemy that will be strong enough to unite us together. We need some extraterrestrials to do that. Until they’re attacking us, there’s going to be people looking at themselves in groups, in tribes. I think this is just the way things are.

Mike: So it’s not a problem per se that people have this natural tendency to divide themselves; rather, how people deal with it, is what you’re focusing on in this film?

Yoav: Yeah, I’m just asking in this film how come very few people – 10% is probably a very optimistic number . . .

Greg: That was my thought actually.

Mike: Especially here with the 99% versus the 1% in Occupy.

Yoav: But I knew that the interesting thing is why certain people will stand up. What makes them different? And I wish everybody would stand up, everybody would say something different but unfortunately that’s not the case. I wish I call this film 50/50 or 70 or 80 or whatever. But with 10% at least I’m not being totally pessimistic about it. But I think it’s very interesting to ask why? It makes you challenge yourself: what should I do in a certain situation? How would I react? What would be my response?

I’ve never seen myself as a huge altruist or as having an altruistic personality. I try to be a decent person, but I can tell you that making this film forces you to deal with things, to think about them. I think it’s a very important step even to be thinking about these things, to make a movement, to make a shift. I don’t know what’s going to happen with Occupy Wall Street or all these demonstrations that are happening in Israel or other places, but at least it’s out there, you’re talking about it, you’re discussing it, it’s a first step towards a change. And in that sense, it’s great.

Greg: We are seeing constituencies form, but the question is will there be people to come along and lead them and actually make change out of them.

What is your pet theory about why people are willing to stand up to social pressure and social conformity, based on your own experience? Because obviously you’re a person who’s been willing to stand up and take some heat. What makes that possible for you? What makes you tick?

Yoav: I think the main thing that—and I don’t want to give too many spoilers from the film because I do want people to eventually watch the film – when there is enough of a dissonance between the way you look at the world, the way you perceive the world, and the way the world is. When the clash is too big, some people can’t live with that. They need to do something. They cannot not do something about it. And with the group that I’m documenting, this is the thing that leads to action. This dissonance between how you perceive the world, and how the world is.

The question is why certain people develop this quality. A healthy way of looking at the world without being influenced by a certain conduct of behavior, or the way that society is expecting you to behave, and they manage to break out of the circle. This is what leads people to act. When you see something, and there’s a voice inside you that’s strong saying “I can’t stand it, I can’t not do something about it.”

Greg: Well I don’t want you to give away any spoilers either, but you’ve certainly given us a lot of teasers, and I’m really very eager to see the final product. So, Yoav, thank you so much for giving us your time and your ideas and your insights. I really appreciate it.

Mike: Yes, thank you very much Yoav.

Yoav: Thank you, it was a pleasure talking with you guys.