Hebron has become the front line of settler colonialism in Palestine. For Palestinians, the city is called خَلِيل (al-Khalīl). The renaming prefigures the intent not just to dominate but to occupy the city. The settlers are expanding, street by street, using their mix of the carceral state, religion and military force. To visit Shuhada Street, formerly a shopping hub of the Palestinian neighborhood, you have to pass through a forbidding checkpoint. The street is closed, all Palestinian shops barred and sealed. Settlers and soldiers patrol to make sure you know who’s in charge.
Although the street has been closed for years, it was nonetheless disturbing to see Stars of David painted on the closed doors, as if in active forgetfulness of those other times and places where such Stars were painted on Jewish shops to different ends. More disturbing yet was the thought that perhaps the ends were not that different after all.
At that moment, a settler started to film us from the other side of the street. Losing my temper, I walked towards him, holding my phone so as to film him (watch here). He retreated, only to return with a soldier (here) a few moments later. Nothing was said but the point was made: we were photographing on their suffrance. We left in short order