Video: Writers witness Israel’s apartheid system in Hebron

This week, Israel permitted Jewish settlers to take over the building of the Rajabi family in Hebron after a long legal dispute which Israeli courts decided in the settlers’ favor.

The Rajabi building is seen as a strategic point which will allow the settlers to consolidate their control of a swath of territory linking the large settlement of Kiryat Arba on the outskirts of Hebron with settler enclaves in the heart of the city.

Settlers in Hebron are notoriously some of the most violent and racist against Palestinians.

To help understand the context for what is happening in Hebron, the Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest) has released this short video.

“The 2013 Palestine Festival of Literature took place across historical Palestine, with events in Jerusalem, Gaza, Nablus, Ramallah and Haifa,” the video’s description explains.

“In this video, one group of the festival’s international participants are shown around al-Khalil/Hebron, where Israel’s apartheid system is at its most explicit.”

One of the participants, Gillian Slovo, says: “I was born into the old South Africa. What I’ve seen since I’ve been here … is a similarity in the sense that a state is treating people differently according to who they were born to and where they were born.”

Slovo, a writer and novelist, is the daughter of Joe Slovo and Ruth First, two legendary fighters against apartheid.

In Hebron, Slovo observes, “you walk down streets where only foreigners and settlers can walk. And yet these are streets around which many Palestinians live and used to pass through. And that does feel to me like an apartheid system.”

The brief video is by Murat Gökmen who acknowledges the support of Issa Amro from Youth Against Settlements and Walid Abu Alhalaweh from the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee.

It features music by Stormtrap Asifeh.