Since the year 2000, over 4,300 Palestinian and 1,000 Israeli lives have been claimed by the escalating conflict in the region. The situation grew markedly worse in 2006, when Israel responded to the election of Hamas by sealing off the borders, ending the free-flow of people and goods. Palestinian militants reacted to the siege by targeting Israel’s civilian population with deadly rocket strikes; the Israeli Army countered with air strikes, targeting militants but often claiming the lives of innocent residents.
In 2007 it emerged that a small group of young men were surfing in Gaza, sharing battered surfboards they had attained prior to the siege. Word traveled north to Israel, and that same year, a mixed group of Israelis and Americans delivered a dozen boards to their Palestinian counterparts.
In the spring of 2008, they would attempt to deliver another 23 surfboards into Gaza. By this time the situation in Gaza had deteriorated further, the border still sealed, with military activity a near daily occurrence.
“God Went Surfing With the Devil” charts the difficulties and dangers encountered by surfers in the region. Along the way it speaks to Israelis, Arab-Israelis, and Palestinians affected by the violence, charting their daily struggle to supersede the conflict through the joys of surfing.