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Sunday, October 14, 2007

 

Emily Jacir's Photo Essay of the Bethlehem Ghetto [Final]

He was shocked by what he was told about conditions in Hebron and diplomats say he was genuinely taken aback by his trip to the West Bank sector of the Jordan Valley – where Palestinians are allowed to dig wells only a third as deep as Israelis – at the exploitation of resources by the rich Jewish agricultural settlements at the expense of closed in Palestinian farmers. Daniel Macintyre on Tony Blair in "Blair admits he is shocked by discrimination in the West Bank."


We backtracked and walked along the road in the direction of Jerusalem until we reached the wall. (Emily Jacir)
This is the south side of Rachel's Tomb. Rachel's Tomb now has two settler families living in it. They are building a yeshiva and plan to have 400 apartments for Israeli settlers. It won't be long until Bethlehem ends up like Hebron. (Emily Jacir)

This is where Palestinian ID holders have to line up to enter or exit. There will only be two entrances in and out of Bethlehem. (Emily Jacir)


We went back up to the car and found our way back to the Jerusalem-Hebron Road past Rachel's Tomb, but to get to Hebron we made a right at Bab Al-Zaq and headed to Beit Jalla instead of going straight. There was no way to stay on this road as it was cut off again before Deheishe Camp. We stopped at the top of Beit Jalla to see the olive trees the Israelis had chopped down. This marks the route of the wall as it snakes its way up here. All of Beit Jalla's agricultural lands will be on the other side cut off from her people. The next time I stand here I will not be able to see this vista; I will only see grey concrete.
(Emily Jacir)




This is Hebron's old market. The last time I was here was in 2000. It was a bustling commercial and cultural area then. Now it is a ghost town. The city of Hebron is surrounded with checkpoints, road blocks and military barriers cutting roads leading to other parts of the city. The most violent settlers in the West Bank live in the center of Hebron in homes they stole from Palestinians. They routinely attack Palestinians in an effort to get them to leave. They are heavily guarded by 2,000 members of the Israeli army. (Emily Jacir)
This photo essay was taken the day I tried to follow Bus Number 23's route, my father's daily commute to Hebron.
He was right.
They have completely encircled us, not only by the settlements, but by the wall and the by-pass roads.
Bethlehem is a ghetto.
Emily Jacir is a Palestinian artist who lives between Ramallah and New York City.
Links for Emily Jacir's Photo Essay of the Bethlehem Ghetto Part I, Part II, Part III.





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