Jared took me to Hebron today, to see one of the most divided cities in the West Bank. Jewish settlers there have moved into the old part of town, where there has traditionally been a Jewish presence. However, the violence between the settlers and the Palestinians, originating from both sides, is such that the Israeli army has the town in virtual lockdown. There are checkpoints everywhere, and we were blocked from walking down some roads. We did get to see the Tomb of the Patriarchs, where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob and Leah are buried. The cave is covered by a large complex built by King Herod, with a basilica above that, half of which is Jewish and half is Muslim.

"Greater Israel"

The rhetoric from some of the settlers is pretty ridiculous, including this map of “greater Israel”, which extends from the Sinai to Turkey. While it would have made this trip easier, it’s this kind of extremism that makes me wonder how this situation can ever be resolved. It’s also interesting to note that the founder of the modern Jewish settlement in Hebron is Moshe Levinger; probably the most famous owner of our moniker.