National Geographic : 1985 Jul
On Assignment ii NEVER TURN AWAY from my subject. I Might miss something," says National Geo graphic photographer James L. Stanfield. "You have to keep watching. The more time you spend with people, the better off you are." Jim practices what he preaches as he photo graphs Jews at the Western Wall in Jerusalem (right) for our Israel story (pages 2-39)-his 36th photographic byline in the magazine. Getting close to his subjects for other stories, Stanfield has lived with Bedouin in tents, with the monks of Mount Athos, Greece, with a Mongolian family in a yurt, and with a hermit on a Potomac River island. For a memorable coverage of rats, he stayed up all night in a Bombay grain warehouse to photograph ro dent depredations. Writing member of the Israel team, PriitJ. Vesilind (below) interviews a Jewish woman who moved with her family to Hebron on the West Bank, where many people think the Pa triarch Abraham is buried. Here in 1929 Arabs massacred 67 of the town's Jews. This woman is part of the Gush Emunim-"bloc of the faithful"-who say they have a God-given right to reestablish a Jewish presence in an cient Jewish lands. "I think I can understand how Jews feel when they come back to Israel," says Vesilind, who revisited his roots in 1980 for a story on his native Estonia. He had fled with his family as a youngster when the Soviets occupied the country in 1944. "I felt I was among my own people," he remembers. "There were lots of Priits there. It was the first time in my life I didn't have a funny name."