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Last year's eviction of the Israeli settlers from Gaza reinforced the chasm between religious Jews and the mainstream, secular Israeli public. The same complicated arrangement is still found in Hebron, where several hundred settlers live in the middle of over 150,000 Palestinians in the ancient city.

A private look into the Hebron settlers' movement reveals lives split in half with the daily struggle to find a sense of order for their families contrasting with a hard-fast encroachment on disputed West Bank territory which often includes provoking conflict with their Palestinian neighbors. The fight in Hebron takes on a symbolic light due to the presence of the Cave of the Patriarchs, a holy place where Abraham, father to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, is said to have lived and be buried. The cave and city have become a microcosm of the conflict itself with sacred bonds that are shared by the three major religions, which also sadly are the roots of its violence.

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Title design by Khoi Vinh

Edited by John Loomis

View Seltzer's bio

Comments

12/25/07 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fascinating… Politically, now i"m interested in also how Jews are protected in Arab police in Arab countries that make up the other 99.9% of Middle East…

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