A visit to Hebron which would include visiting the Tombs of the Patriarch would seem to be a non controversial trip. We entered the town to meet a Palestinian lady who immediately was approached by a soldier insisiting that she had not asked permission to walk on that part of the road. She vigorously challanged him and she led us down a road of houses, now deserted after the families had been displaced by the Israeli army. An illegal Jewish Settlement was visible at the end of the road. Our friend could not join us as we walked to yet a further check point in order to look at the settlement. We joined her again to visit those Palestinian homes still occupied, then went into the Mosque in order to visit the Tombs. The building housing the Tombs of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Rebecca are divided into two. One half is a Mosque, the other a Synagogue. iron doors separate the two halves. Later we walked through a near empty market where there now is little business possible. Our guide talked of homes taken, businesses lost. Above us netting prevented the refuse, rocks and human excrement thrown by settlers falling on the market traders. Where is God in all this? Why can’t all the sons and daughters of Abraham live together in peace? An Israeli soldier passed by as we waited. Our eyes met, I smiled and he smiled back. Today I did not like what the Israel was doing to Palestine. But the soldier was someones son. Then I heard the news of what had happened at the Geneva Council. Are we listening to what is happening in Palestine? Do we care?
Our guide around Hebron was asked about how she coped in this situation. “I plant flowers”, She said, ” and I encourage my children to plant flowers too”. Maybe the human spirit in the strength of God can do that which Geneva fails to do.