'The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey' is a photo series by Jerusalem-based photographer Yaakov Israel. The series is a personal photographic examination by Israel of what being Israeli means to him. Its strange title came about after Israel took a picture of a Palestinian man who happened to ride by on a white donkey. The significance of this scene lies in the fact that Orthodox Jewish tradition proclaims that the Messiah will arrive riding a white donkey.
The images in the series comprise portraits and landscape photos; however, there is a dreamy and mystic quality to the work which represents Israel's perception of the concept of time in his country. He points out that in Israel, evidence of the past is strongly intertwined with the present and questions about the future.
"This is why it is sometimes possible to see the past, present and future revealed in front of one’s eyes at the same time," he says.