Arab-American Journalist’s Kiss Photo with Israeli Boyfriend Becomes Viral Symbol of Peace


As clashes between Hamas and the Israeli armed forces escalate and the death toll climbs with heartbreaking consistency, a photograph of an Arab-American journalist and her Israeli-American boyfriend kissing has gone viral, sparked a Twitter movement, and become a symbol of peace.

In the age of social media, it no longer has to be a photojournalist’s camera that captures the photo that will come to define a particular conflict. In 1967, the photo that became a symbol of peace and ‘flower power’ at the height of the Vietnam War was taken by French photographer Marc Riboud.

In 2014, the world has changed, and the photo quickly becoming a symbol of peace in the Middle East is actually a selfie:

Taken by Arab-American journalist Sulome Anderson and her Israeli-American boyfriend, the selfie shows them kissing while Anderson holds up a sign that says “Jews and Arabs Refuse To Be Enemies.”

That rallying cry has since become a viral hashtag that adorns thousands of tweets and retweets, all calling for peace. In a NY Mag essay about the photograph, Anderson says they “posted the picture without a second thought” to support a then little-known Facebook page.

Ten days later, the response, she writes, “is scary and overwhelming. But we both know that afraid is the wrong way to feel about it.” To read her full essay, head over to NY Mag by clicking here.

Image credits: Photograph by Sulome Anderson via Twitter

  • OtterMatt

    As much as I hate to propogate cynicism, I’m sure /this/ will be the twitter hashtag that /finally/ affects really change.

  • Mike

    Guess what? Shw would be hanged in Gaza or any other sharia law area. Arabs are OK, it’s the extreme muslims we are at war with. They just happen to be Arabs, mostly.

  • Chris


  • docholliday666

    …and now they are in Mossad’s crosshairs…

  • docholliday666

    …and here comes the armchair left/right wingers, mostly.


    Funny stuff. Romeo and Juliet tried that. It didn’t end well.

  • Tobias W.

    This picture and its message are very misleading. What we see are two Americans kissing each other. Two people living in New York. None of the underlying issues that are driving this conflict in the Middle East exist in New York. She isn’t living in the Gaza Strip which Israel embargoes, she isn’t living in the West-bank where Israel is settling illegally and stealing land. He isn’t living in Israel which is facing arbitrary rocket attacks from an Islamic terror organisation which is not only running the Gaza Strip, but has been elected to run it by its population. Hate is not the origin and cause for hate and being enemies. This image is well meant but grotesquely naive – as naive as non-Americans think average Americans tend to be when it comes to foreign policy.

    This conflict can only end when the Palestinians learn that there will be no peace as long as Hamas and other radical terror organisations run their fate on their behalf in their totalitarian war against the state of Israel and its people. This conflict can only end when Israel stops marginalizing Palestine’s right for its own sovereign state with means and resources to support itself. Israel must stop the settlements and destroy all settlements on Palestinian soil.

    This current iteration of war in the region however is only to blame on Hamas who first abducted and killed three young men and once Israel reacted to this act of terror, started unloading wave after wave of rockets on Israel, not caring what targets will be hit, civilian or military. Hamas refused cease fires. Hamas is benefiting from Palestinians dying in scores as the images in the news are driving support for them in other Arab countries, especially after the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt which used to support them while they are now shut off from support in Egypt. To stop Hamas rockets, Israel must destroy military infrastructure which Hamas has deliberately mixed with civilian infrastructure. Hamas is using the population as human shields.

    This is a complex conflict that won’t be affected or ended for that matter by people living in the United States or other well off and safe countries who take selfies.

  • Pickle

    Have they not learned to not put white signs on the internet? People will change the writing to mean things. Also, save this for facebook.

  • RonaldMcFuckingdonald

    It’s pretty obvious that they are a liberal western couple. You on the other hand, seem like just another ranting zionist.

  • Burnin Biomass

    Simple image, good message. Don’t know why everyone else has a stick up their butt on this one.

  • Mike

    Because the message is way too generalized and misleading. Even a bit racist.

  • Stephen Godfrey

    While this is a photo, is this really worth while photography to be sharing on this blog?

  • Kynikos

    One of her Muslim relatives will give her a proper “honour killing” for kissing a Jewish person, or not wearing a veil, or not agreeing to have her genitalia mutilated, or some other muslim thing.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    I don’t mind it. It’s great to talk about gear and techniques, but I guess it’s good to be reminded every now and then that photographs can influence people even if the aesthetics of the shot aren’t particularly outstanding.

  • Tobias W.

    I have no idea what you mean by “ranting zionist”. I don’t even know what a zionist is supposed to be. I am a person with an educated opinion and a sense for reality. I am also a person with a moral understanding of abductions and murder to be wrong, rocket attacks to be wrong and acknowledging the right of self defense. I also understand the relation of cause and effect.

    Maybe you can shed some light what exactly makes me a “ranting zionist”. I am neither Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist. I’m also not following the Flying Spaghetti Monster beliefs.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    So, any Photoshop-proof alternatives?

  • Burnin Biomass

    Let me help you with that stick.

  • Michael Della Polla

    You don even wanna see the x rated tape they also made…

  • Pickle

    Yeah, stop slacktivism.

  • Pickle

    Let it be written that on this day, peace was brought in the middle east because of the hard slacktivitism of these two narcissists. Where negotiations failed, this young and mildly attractive couple’s tongues succeeded. Where bombs failed, this man’s chest hair came through.

  • arachnophilia

    for romeo and juliet, anyways. but their families patched things up because of their deaths.


    It was just a story.

  • RonaldMcFuckingdonald

    I just said you ‘seem’ like one, and maybe I was a little presumptuous, given that you do indeed have a titled Jewish name.
    So, if you were a creature trapped in a corner getting poked with a stick, what would you do? It’s kind of unpredictable isn’t it? Especially if you’re a creature under the delusion of a righteous religion, getting teased by another who think’s their religious rights to the corner you’re stuck are superior.
    I agree Hamas is extremely disturbing, but they are a result of dire oppression.
    Equally disturbing is the the USA, UK and Jewish Zionists mutually and perpetually licking each others anuses.
    If you don’t know what a Zionist means or let alone the origins of your name, maybe you should look it up before blurting one sided opinions.

  • Thekaph

    Stop watching movies.

  • Michael Andrew Broughton

    the hell i don’t! she’s hot! :P

  • Eponymous_Jones

    Respectfully, that relationship is doomed. One look at his face and it’s obvious that guy doesn’t want to have anything to do with kissing her. That is a first-class wince. He looks like he is mentally in the Bahamas.

  • Tobias W.

    I know you are not trying to justify Hamas terror acts but you are rationalizing them. The people of the West Bank did not vote to have Hamas lead them, they chose the more modest but equally corrupt Fatah to govern them. While Gaza and the West Bank face the same principal oppression and issues with Israel and both areas had the choice between Fatah and Hamas, Gaza chose Hamas. They now reap the results from this. Israels grip on Gaza has tightened ever since Hamas won that election. Hamas founding principle is based on the pronounced desire to destroy the state of Israel. How exactly is that a creature trapped in a corner? Hamas is what Hamas chose to be: an Islamic terror organisation with the sole aim of destroying Israel. No government negotiates with terrorists. Every government has the right to defend its people from terrorist attacks.

    Again, the more civilians in Gaza die, the better for Hamas. They gain more support for their cause. Iran will deliver more weapons. Money will flow from Arab states to Hamas’ cause. This is why Hamas places weapon depots in schools, civilian houses and uses civilian property for constructing tunnels into Israel which is uses to stage attacks on Israel territory.

    I do feel compassion for the civilians in Gaza, but I also do hope they will remember who caused this war and chose to continue this war, the next time they have to choose between Hamas and Fatah (or someone else).

    Regarding my name: Tobias is a wide spread name among many western countries, all over Europe from Greece to Portugal and literally all over the American continent. Drawing a conclusion from a name is probably not a wise action.

  • Thompson

    White guy kissing a slightly brown girl. What a statement!

  • RonaldMcFuckingdonald

    I was referring to Palestinians in general as the hypothetical creature in the corner.
    And the contentious issue remains, who is at fault? Both sides are accused of having blood on their hands.
    The term, terrorism is open to interpretation too. An overly bandied post-sept 11 word by the press, USA, Israel, etc.
    Yet, which side is currently receiving the worse kind of ‘terror’?

    Maybe you’re right that the photo above achieves nothing. But its message is good and well intended. Which is more that can be said for the current climate in the middle east.

  • Guest

    Her dad is Terry Anderson, an American journalist, and from her mom’s name which I guess is a Lebanese-christian (so, Arab christian). and FYI, not all Arabs are Muslims, and not All Muslims are Arabs… so, stop being ignorant and go read something.

  • Tobias W.

    Well, apparently Palestinians in general is a tricky statement as one group in Gaza chooses to be governed and led by an internationally recognized terrorist group while the Palestinians in the West Bank chose differently.

    Of course both sides have blood on their hands in this never ending, eternal conflict. But looking at this current iteration and the ongoing hostilities, clearly Hamas is to blame for kidnapping and murder of three Israeli citizens and starting rocket fire against Israel. It’s pretty obvious Hamas is cause for this bloodshed at the moment.

    And sorry, some things are not open for interpretation:

    Kidnapping and murdering people: terrorism.
    Shooting hundreds long range rockets into Israel: terrorism.
    Placing rocket launch sites and weapon depots in civilian property: terrorism.

    By asking which side is currently receiving the worse kind of ‘terror’ you are not granting Israel the right to defend itself against the Hamas rocket attacks and attacks through tunnels into Israeli territory. All terror originates from Hamas. Hamas is also fully responsible about what happens to civilians in Gaza. Hamas can choose to stop their rocket attacks against Israel at any time, ending the necessity for Israel to attack targets in Gaza. Yet Hamas chooses to continue these senseless rocket attacks which have no meaningful offensive or defensive purpose from a strategic military perspective. What is the alternative for Israel to not attack Hamas in Gaza? Endure hundreds more rockets without fighting back? No country has to endure attacks without self-defense.

    I stated that the photo is misguided because it suggests that all that is needed to end this conflict is good will from both sides. That’s BS. No good will can end this conflict. Hamas needs to be destroyed or become an irrelevant political power and Israel needs to remove all settlements from the West Bank (as they already did in Gaza). Palestinians needs a sovereign state. Feel good pictures will not change these facts.

  • Chang

    The key part of this is that it is two Americans, regardless of background.

  • disqus_AcTOnbqmqh

    Yeah and you’d be the expert on Islamic Law wouldn’t you? And for the record,. no she wouldn’t. I’d say get your facts straight but i venture to say facts have never really mattered to people like you.

  • KelliAFranklin

    Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail

    ✒✒✒✒✒✒ JOBS7000.CO­­­M


  • Chang


  • Chang

    All those things are well documented, and while they are not specifically Muslim, they are quite prevalent in tribes that are majority Muslim.