In a recent conversation with a friend of mine I was telling him about my interest in wanting to visit Israel, he expressed that he had been there several times and we got into a discussion about sites and cities, a few of which I was familiar with the English pronunciation of. Within one of his stories he told me about an experience he had while on his birthright trip, a trip that is funded by Jewish organizations so that young adults between the ages of 18-25 with Jewish ancestry experience their historical roots in the holy land for 2 weeks. He was telling me about a place named, Chevron (in Hebrew pronunciation), and although I immediately connected it with Hebron (English pronunciation), I continued to listen to his story before asking for clarification on the name. He told me that this was one of the places that he visited and it was a town near Jerusalem, he said, “although the area is Muslim it is opened to Jews once a year to pay tribute to the Jews that were killed in a massacre there a few years back”. I then asked him if Chevron was the same city as Hebron and he thought for a second as though he was searching his memory for a relation of the two or to make sure he had the name of the city correct and he said, “no…it’s Chevron”, in a strong Hebrew pronunciation.
Hebron is a city in the West Bank, a territory still considered Palestine within the state of Israel. The Arabic name of the city is al-Khalil and in Hebrew it is, Chevron (Clarke, p.12). The city remained a Palestinian territory from the first Palestinian-Israeli war of 1948, through the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and until the Six-Day War of 1967. Through the wars an Israeli occupation was established in the late sixties and remains to...
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... including Jewish settlers” (Paine, p.15). What we read, see, and hear becomes what we know, not always factual or objective, but sometimes to ignore that more than one story often makes up the whole can be detrimental to that story. Most tourism into the mixed cities of Israel/Palestine are most likely taken on one side or the other and that one side that is heard or seen has a profound effect on the listener/viewers perspective and the story that they will carry on.
I thought it coincidental, but at the same time somewhat telling of the stories in Hebron, the conversation with my friend. Albeit he was telling me something meaningless, it was clear that the Chevron he mentioned had made it back through a distorted filtering system.
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau
And perhaps, even that too can deceive us.
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