Hebron, Mon 9.4.12, Morning

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Hana Barag (reports) and Gide'on Diouk-Cohan (guest)

Translator:  Charles K.


A holiday for the Jews – “khaga” (mourning) for the Palestinians.

The streets of Hebron were filled with tens of thousands of Jews during the intermediate days of Passover, and not a single Palestinian could be seen!


The entrance to Hebron via Kiryat Arba has been closed.  True, they asked me whether I’m handicapped, so perhaps the combination of Jewish and handicapped would open the “Garden of Eden”  for me, but that solution didn’t appeal to me.  So we drove to the parking area in the southern part of the city and rode the (free) bus provided by the Gush Etzion regional council to the Cave of the Patriarchs.  On the way we saw many stands offering everything from huge yarmulkes to tefillim, amidst them one accepting donations to “Beit HaMachpela,” which “is ours, purchased legally and legitimately.”  Signs everywhere reminding that “Hebron, City of the Patriarchs, Ours For All Eternity.”


A young boy with long earlocks sat on the bus in front of us, screaming excitedly: “Dad, look, here’s an Arab – why don’t they kill him?”  Many stickers reading “Kahane was right” had been pasted on our friend’s souvenir shop.  The shop was locked, of course, the windows of the residence on the upper floor shuttered.


We walked to Tel Rumeida.  Dozens of soldiers and police with drawn weapons filled Shuhadah Street and the other alleys.  The soldier at the intersection leading to the settlers’ houses tried valiantly to explain to our guest how dangerous and important his job is.  In basic English he recommended “don’t listen to this woman” (me).  We know these old women, he said, all they want is to interfere and snitch on us.  We stood looking at H1; the settlers appeared immediately and in a few minutes the atmosphere grew so heated that we hurried away.


On our way back we met a Palestinian family, father, mother and a small boy, who wanted to walk along Shuhadah Street and go through the checkpoint at the detour around the Cave of the Patriarchs.  The soldiers refused, nor did our intervention help.  “After Passover – now Hebron belongs to the Jews.”


Huge crowds at the Cave of the Patriarchs.  A pregnant settler asked not to pass through the scanner; they agreed, of course, without her having to prove anything or get someone to intercede on her behalf.  The soldier explained to his colleague that the scanner is dangerous for the fetus – from which we learn that Palestinians may already be endangered while still in the womb, but not settlers, God forbid!


The Cordova school bell rang but we saw no pupils.


Only fools choose to visit Hebron during the intermediate days of Passover.  It’s always hard – but today was particularly difficult.


We drove south to Umm el-Hir and Tawwani – everything’s quiet.  Maybe the settlers are too busy in Hebron?!  Construction at Tawwani proceeds with impressive speed