Imprisoned: A Tale of Two Households in Hebron

Guest post by Gary Fields
Dept of Communications
University of California at San Diego

Al-Khalil (Hebron) is the paragon of Israeli apartheid, exemplified by the Abu Eisheh family and Zlekha Mutaseb and her mother. Both families were kind enough to spend a few hours with me telling me about their life in the Old City. It would take a lengthy explanation to provide enough context for their similar predicament but let me just say that both households are victims of the outrageously violent settler community in the Old City and the State of Israel that defends them.

What is different in Hebron is that the 500 Israeli settlers here have colonized the core urban space of the Old City through property theft and live literally next to, and even on top of the 30,000 Palestinians who reside in the same space. What the Israeli apartheid state has done for these settlers is create gated communities for them by prohibiting Palestinians from accessing large areas of the Old City that they have used for generations. In what is shocking even to South Africans who come here, Palestinians are literally forbidden to walk on certain streets in the Old City because they are Palestinian. If that is not apartheid, nothing is.

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Another Day, Another Assault: Everyday Life in Hebron

I’m practically counting the days until I can get on a plane and head back into stuff like thisIt sure beats grading! Of course, the problem is that I’ll have a lot of grading to do, too. I just hope my pedagogical responsibilities don’t interfere with my tourist activities (NB: tourist, not terrorist). 

Yes, don’t worry: I’ll have a camera, so I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures, maybe even do some filming! A PoT exclusive: you can watch me get beat up by young men who really ought to be doing something more productive with their free time than assaulting people for fun. Instead of doing that, why not register for my political philosophy seminar at Al Quds U? You have permission to audit the class if you behave. But leave the dog at home.

Moral of the story: the Israel Defense Forces aren’t occupying Hebron’s H2 zone to protect wogs. The’re in Hebron to protect thugs. Just so that we’re clear on that. Continue reading

On My Way to the Promised Land (Hebron Edition)

I’ve been traveling these last few days, and I’m off to Hebron now, so I’ll be away from the blog for a bit. Commenting and comment approvals will be slow. Hope to blog a bit on it at some point when I get back. Patience is advised.

Meanwhile, here’s some background material on Hebron from a variety of perspectives. They’re intended as background; I don’t necessarily endorse what any particular author or speaker says here.

Print resources:

I’ll be taking my camera with me, but I can’t hope to capture Hebron on film the way Jackie Hadel captures it on her travel photo blog, Tokidoki. Highly recommended.

The official Israeli perspective on Hebron, care of the Israel Defense Forces:

Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation, as experienced and described by a Palestinian:

A longer video from a left-dissident Israeli perspective:

Interesting perspective from Vice:

And, of course, the soundtrack:

By the way, in Arabic, “Hebron” is “Al Khalil,” making Hebron, roughly, the City of Friendship. Cue up irony.