Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Shuhada Street

In 1994, Baruch Goldstein, one of the settlers in Hebron, entered the Ibrahimi mosque with an automatic weapon. He gunned down 29 people and wounded many others, before being beaten to death by the survivors.

The Israeli government took some legal action against his followers, including banning them from certain parts of the West Bank.

Much harsher punishment was meted out against his victims, the Palestinians. In the aftermath of the massacre, the Israeli Army closed down Shuhada Street, a strip of the city where Palestinians used to have shops open. They were all closed down, and that street is now open only to non-Palestinians. Internationals may cross it. So can Israelis. Also of course, so can the settlers.

Whole families lost their entire source of income after this took place. Palestinians who cross the street risk arrest. Being with an international present does help to decrease the risk of that a bit.

Entering Shuhada Street. What once was a thriving market place is now a ghost town.

Walled up Palestinian shops, and homes. The stars of David are painted on them by the settlers.

An Israeli settler beside his car, just a few steps away from Shuhada.

* I want to make something very, very clear. This is something also that Palestinians in Hebron who have shown me around have told me.

The settlers in Hebron do not represent all, or even most, Israelis.

The settlers in Hebron also do not represent all, or even most Jews.

There are many Jews and Israelis who see how wrong all of this is, and many are volunteering in groups like International Solidarity Movement, Machsom Watch, Peace Now, Anarchists Against the Wall, Jews for a Just Peace, Rabbis for Human Rights, and other groups, who are working to end this.

Many of them come to the West Bank and put their bodies on the line to oppose this.

What is happening in Hebron has nothing to do with what Judaism teaches, and with what most Jews believe and support.

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