Global, Israel

New Fascism-Tourism Opportunity

From the website of the Jewish Community of Hebron:

hebron_screen_grab_editHebron, the ultimate family experience in Israel!
Isn’t it about time you took your children to visit your great-grandparents in Hebron?
New armored buses, inspiring guides like Rabbi Simcha Hochbaum, Yossi Baumol & David Wilder, Hebron’s historic sites and our pioneering spirit – all come together to make this tour your most moving day in Israel!
Celebrate Jewish history with those who keep writing it!

New armored buses—what else do you need?

21 thoughts on “New Fascism-Tourism Opportunity

  1. Hebron is an important Jewish City. Go David Wilder.
    If the palestinians cotrol the city then no Jewish person will be able to visit Hebron!

  2. David Wilder: do u agree w/what yossi baumol said here:
    Asked if he supports a two-state solution, Baumol responded with a question of his own: “Do you support the two-state solution for America? Should you give America back to the Indians?” After informing me that he was “very good” at these sorts of arguments, Baumol launched into a racist tirade against Arabs that blew my hair back. “Democracy is poison to Arabs,” Baumol said. “Look at Iraq. Saddam Hussein was the best they could have had.” Baumol stated his belief that Israel should annex all of the West Bank and Gaza but that the Arabs (he refused to use the word “Palestinians”) must not be made citizens. “Israel must not give Arabs a say in how the country is run,” Baumol insisted. “You’ll never get the truth out of an Arab. Israel should give the Arabs social rights but not give them a say in how the country is governed.”

  3. What is wrong with Jewish people touring Hebron, a city with millennia-old Jewish connections? You can cruise Rue de Rosiers, the Lower East Side, or even Mitte in Berlin, but the Maarat Hamachpela is somehow verboten? Are you so scared of settlers with different political views than yours that you cannot listen to the tour? And even if you choose not to go, how is it fascistic to go on a tour of an ancient holy site? Sounds more touristic to me.

  4. When I was in Hebron, the little settler kids spat at me and called me names because I was with the Christian Peacemaker Team folks. No, I did not provoke that roving gang of parentless 5-10 year olds.
    If settlers were somehow allowed to remain in all of the West Bank except one place, I’d vote to make Hebron that place, including Kiryat Arba, and send those crazies back to Brooklyn and France.

  5. Why do we have to choose between the Breaking the Silence and David Wilder tours? Taking both would be a pretty interesting (although I imagine emotionally wrenching) exercise in cognitive dissonance.

  6. I’m not willing to give up on my rights as a Jew to my history, and those f#ckers in Chevron are gonna lose it all for the rest of us.
    Don’t they realize you can’t protect the Cave of the Patriarchs with racist violence and intimidation? Maybe if they had been real students of Abraham our Forefather and returned to Chevron with humility, respect and a willingness to cooperate and have good relations with the rest of the city, it would be a given that Jewish access would be respected even under Palestinian sovereignty.
    (Of course, this assumes that the Palestinians of Chevron are any better than the Jews, which I highly doubt. After all, they were the ones who massacred their neighbors in 1929.)

  7. KFJ, when it’s neither your life nor your dirt, it’s easy to have high-minded opinions. When that dirt is your home, and the lives include those of your children, the calculus gets more difficult.
    Hebron is a sad and difficult situation. I’ve always said that I 100% support the rights of Jews to live in Hebron. I just wish that a different sort of Jew chose to live there.

  8. Rejewenator, I didn’t come to that decision lightly. This isn’t an easy issue and I have plenty desire to be there too. I’ve been a half dozen times to Hebron to visit both the settler and Palestinian sides of the city. I made pilgrimage to my holy place and I don’t let go of the city without warrant.
    Tangent: This is going to throw a wrench into the works, but who gets a “right” to live somewhere? This is a very problematic assumption to me. There is no such “right.” It’s a desire. A wish. A want. Not a right. Further complicating this is that such a right can only be actualized by force and theft, which is counter to other, more fundamental rights of property and safety.

  9. Further complicating this is that such a right can only be actualized by force and theft
    Says who? There’s also purchase, negotiation, cooperation, investment, etc.

  10. “Further complicating this is that such a right can only be actualized by force and theft, which is counter to other, more fundamental rights of property and safety.”
    The chabad chassidim of my ancestors’ shtetl in Russia skrimped and saved in order to send a few kopeks over to Hevron to purchase property, beginning in the late 1700’s. Dozens of very significant properties were purchased there on behalf of the Chabad community long before the massacre in 1922 or even the advent of modern Zionism. Most of these properties are in what is now the Arab section of the city, and are entirely off limits to Jews.
    If one believes (as I, and I expect many in this forum do) that a Palestinian who has the deed to property within the green line should have every right to his property, why should a Jew not enjoy the same right?

  11. No one said anything of the sort, Yaakov. We must make the distinction between those who purchased before and after 1967. I believe that was the key distinction all along.
    There are some in the Brooklyn Sephardic community that still hold deeds to lands in Hebron pre-1922.

  12. @Jason The sort of Jews who could successfully find ways to get along with their Arab neighbors. That’s who I want in Hebron.
    @KFJ Rights to property are among the most ancient of society’s advancements. That’s a simple answer. But I wasn’t referring to any Jew’s right to plop him or herself down in Hebron and live there (I don’t believe sucha right exists). I meant that, aside from the issue of securing legal rights to live in Hebron, the Jewish people have history, tradition and culture in Hebron that makes is a city that we shouldn’t have to abandon. That is a separate issue from political sovereignty – I’m simply referring to living there, not ruling there.

  13. I should have mentioned that the first time I tried to visit Hebron was with Peace Now. I’m not a member, but wanted an English-language tour and thought their perspective would be interesting. None of the participants seemed particularly political- anglo tourists, grad students, etc.
    Our bus was stopped outside of the city by police. They said that an earlier tour group (I think Breaking the Silence- yeah, here’s a link with pics: had been assualted by some of the Jewish residents that morning and they they weren’t able to control our safety.
    While we were stopped, a car full of young men in kippot and tzitzit pulled up alongside out bus. The youths got out and started yelling at us and getting in our faces. They appeared drunk.
    In the end, instead of seeing the city and learning about the leftist perspective I just learned that the Jewish community of Hebron acts like they have something to hide. Their behavior created political awareness in a group that seemed pretty neutral at the beginning. (The conversations on the bus ride back were pretty much- “wow, if they treat their fellow Jews like that than they probably do treat Arabs as horribly as the papers say”).
    David Wilder- can you do anything about this? Imagine how different the leftist’s experience wouldbe if they arrived in Hebron and their bus was met by smiling community members? Why not go all out and hand out leis? Okay, that might be overdoing it, but you are missing a great PR opportunity by treating leftist tour groups as the enemy.

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