We went to the Old City today to check out the International Conference on the Rehabilitation and Economic Revival of City Centers.
The picture exhibit was striking. A particular photo is forever ingrained onto my mind. It showed a street demonstration in support of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. One particular placard read, “Hebron was a Jewish town when Europe was a swamp.”
There was also a map of Hebron at the exhibit. Among the many consequences of the occupation was the forced closure of Arab stores. Whole streets would be emptied out, all because the Israelis deemed it a “security risk” for Arab stores to be open in these “security corridors.”
I was appalled. How could anyone living in the settlements not empathize with the many Palestinians whose livelihoods were destroyed by the occupation? How could one’s right to settle in the land be at the expense of another’s freedoms and rights?