Hebron is the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, 30 ks south of Jerusalem , about 200,000 Palestinians and 600 provocative settlers. The army is there to protect the settlers who have free rein. You really have to experience this shocking abuse of the indigenous Palestinians, a nauseous experience I had in 2010.This is an experience fewtourists have.
Richard Gere was in Israel promoting his latest film. His celebrity status gave him access to the bizarro world of life in palestine. visit.Here he was accompanied by the brave soldiers’ group Breaking the Silence.
The soldiers are human beings.They cannot stomach the un-Jewish actions of the true believers,the settlers.They openly tell their mothers.
They escort Gere to Hebron.
Not a Palestinian in sight. Soldiers and settlers roam comparatively carefree. The roads are too quiet. All of the shops are shuttered. Gere is stunned:
“This is the thing that’s flipping me out right now,” Gere stammers to his Hebron guides, activists with the Israeli human rights group Breaking the Silence, former soldiers that now advocate against Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory, “Of everything we’ve seen for two days, the people we’ve talked to, it’s…I mean…I’m…I’m touched by that, I know that story. But this is really bizarre.”
“This is genuinely strange,” Gere adds, before telling his guides, Hebron is like the Jim Crow South:
“It’s the dead city, but who owns the city? And their [the settlers] feeling of ‘I’m protected, I can do whatever I want,’ and that sense of where the boundaries are. I mean it’s like…it’s exactly like what the what the Old South was in America. Blacks knew where they could go, they could drink from that fountain, they couldn’t go over there, they couldn’t eat in that place. It was well understood. You didn’t cross it or you’d get your head beat in or lynched,” Gere said.