The role of the WCC accompaniers is to serve as a peaceful protective presence for residents in Hebron (H2). They were asked to stand witness to the situation in Hebron by Palestinian church leaders in the region. Recent videos by Im Tirzu have not shown anything to the contrary although they have caused incitement to physically harm the Ecumenical Accompaniers.
Rabbis for Human Rights condemn harassment of any kind in Hebron or elsewhere and seek to be a channel for conflict transformation. We stand in solidarity with everyone who lives in fear and insecurity. Our attitude toward the non-Jewish public living in our midst and in our environment must serve as a model for morality in Israel and the world and not as an example of injustice and hatred.
We therefore joined the Ecumenical Accompaniers from EAPPI in Hebron on Tuesday, February 5 2019 in order to understand the situation better. We heard about the hopes and fears of the residents of Hebron. We also intend to meet with the representatives of the Jewish community in Hebron in order to hear their perspectives and try to calm the holy city for Jews and Muslims alike.
Parashat Terumah, which we read on Shabbat, deals with the construction of the Tabernacle. The Hebrew word for tabernacle is "Mishkan" and contains the word neighbor, which refers both to the person living beside you and to the verb "to dwell." We hope that the holy city of the Patriarchs and the Matriarchs will one day be an example of building good neighborly relations based on freedom, justice, and peace as envisioned by the prophets of Israel.