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Why can't Israel accept other religions and cultures in the Holy Land?

9 29 119

Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian journalist and former Ferris professor of journalism at Princeton University.

As a young boy growing up in Bethlehem, I was often excited when our family had company. My dad, a Christian clergyman, loved to take us and the guests to Hebron. Dad would take us to the Cave of the Machpela, situated within the Ibrahimi Mosque, where Abraham and his family are buried and would tell the story of how Abraham obeyed God’s calling even when it came to the request to sacrifice his own son. He would also tell us that the son in the Biblical story was Isaac, son of Sarah, while in the Koran the story refers to Ishmael, son of Hagar.

For us kids, the visit to Hebron, or al-Khalil in Arabic (the Arabic name means “companion,” in reference to Abraham being God’s companion), was never complete without purchasing some of the amazing grape products. Not only did we often buy grapes when they were in season, but Dad, who had a sweet tooth, always bought some delicious treats: dibess (grape molasses), quttain (dried figs) and my personal favorite, malban (dried sheets made of grape juice that stay tasty all year). We also loved the glass-making factories where skilled Hebronites made amazing glass creations while we watched.

For me, the holy site and its cultural connection to Hebron are enough reasons to justify its recent........

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