Hebron

Gosh, what to say about my day in H2. It could not have been a more miserable day regarding the weather. That combined with busses breaking down and a long journey in the gloom solidified the mood I anticipated going into this tour. I participated in what is coined a dual narrative tour. We spent the first half of the day with our Palestinian guide and the second half with an Israeli settler. I was really curious about what we would hear and tried to keep an open mind. We heard stories of the mesh netting over the Palestinian market trying to protect them from thrown objects from the settlers above. We heard that sometimes people kick stones by accident, as one does while they’re walking, and that maybe sometimes things get blown out of proportion. We heard of people climbing out of back windows when the front part of their home no longer becomes their territory. We heard of curfews and massacres and the stories of disheartened people who have been tainted by the history of their ancestors. We also heard of people’s willingness to live in far less than ideal conditions to be with their family, to be near to a holy place sacred to them, we heard of hope to find a solution and stories of unlikely friendships. We heard from soldiers, mothers, sons, friends…people just trying to get by and do their work, live a good life and hope for peace. I think i was most surprised to hear most people say they wished for co-habitation whether one or two state. In practice, however, even the locals feared radicals and shared that the history of mistrust amongst neighbors has significantly weakened any ability to bridge the current divide. With limited surprise, we all learned that life in Hebron is all much more complicated than you could ever grasp in one day.

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