"We came to show the Israeli public that the violent legacy of Goldstein is alive today in the price tag attacks, and in extremist settlers, like those here today." (Peace Now's Yariv Oppenheimer, pictured left with MK Zehava Gal-On)
Director General of Peace Now Yariv Oppeneheimer and Meretz MKS: MK Zehava Gal-On, MK Nitzan Horowitz and MK Esawi Frij, made it clear why we came to Hebron. 'We must fight the extremists here and those who have power in the Knesset who continue the violent legacy of Goldstein and Kahane. We must proceed with the peace process and evacuate Hebron. Above all, we must continue to visit all places that we are needed, in order to fight for peace.'
The visit began in a park known as Meir Kahane park, where Baruch Goldstein's grave is located. There we were
greeted by a small group of settlers chanting, "Peace Now, a knife in the back", "Traitors", "Anti-Semites" and
more. These extremists are part of the 800 settlers who roam freely in the occupied city of Hebron, who receive IDF
security, government benefits and who act with impunity for their violence, harassment and illegal
We saw once again, how a handful of extremists can limit the freedom of movement of Israelis and Palestinians. Our tour was unable to meet with the Palestinian families who wanted to speak to the group, and the police forced the tour back to the bus after the settlers had created a confrontation on Shouhada St.
Hebron represents how Jewish terror can become Jewish power. However power based on terror cannot last. Peace Now continues to fight against these extremists and will continue to struggle for the evacuation of Hebron as part of a two-state solution.
Background on Goldstein Massacre :
On February 25th 1994, American born, Jewish-Israeli, Dr. Baruch Goldstein opened fire into the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. On that day he killed 29 Palestinians and over a hundred were injured. In response, the IDF put Hebron under a strict occupation/closure in fear of Palestinian retaliation to this attack. Hebron's city center was once home to a vibrant Palestinian economy and culture. Since the massacre Hebron has been broken by hundreds of days of curfews, restrictions on freedom of movement, the closure of shops, daily harassment by settlers and IDF and more.
The city of Hebron was supposed to be free of the illegal closures imposed upon it in 2004 based on a High Court decision. In 2006 the Legal Advisor to Judea and Samaria responded to an inquiry in which they questioned why the High Court Decision to open the main road, Shouhada Street had not been implemented. The response, "the road has been erroneously denied pedestrian movement". Today, Shouhada Street and its shops remain closed to Palestinians. Palestinians face daily harassment by settlers and the IDF.