Decomposing history : Herodian castle in Bethlehem 

You drive through the West Bank with lots of huge red signs that cautions Israelis from the danger of entering a Palestinian village -God  forbids- by mistake. But as you drive along the settlement block of gush etzion you are in the heart of Palestinian villages who are now nothing but a marginalized segregated primitive communities of the so – called locals , and they are Arabs of course . 

Herodian , or fradis , mount fradis as the locals call it , is a huge fortress that herodes left behind more than two thousands years ago . 

By all means the fortress is a piece of heritage to this land . You cannot but be driven back in time thinking of how great this place was intended to be . 

But you stop in time with the local who are dangling in the surrounding of what is considered a national park today , some houses are actually inside the site , and you think: are they left from that history or they are decomposed to form the current story the newly made history is trying to make? Or are they simply miserable people who are caught up in survival life under occupation day by day ? 

Before you even start thinking of the importance of a national park and the need to find solutions to houses there , you are obstructed by an army base that is in the middle of what forms the park .

A police system that enclaves the place from outside and within . The person who  sells you the ticket to the site is armed . People walk around with armed guards .

You watch a movie that practically brainwashes you about history … Let’s ignore herodes and leave him peaceful in his great tomb , and we will focus on the locals of those times … The local Jews who fought for their land….rights…. And had a revolution … Those Jews who looked exactly like the locals scattered around in the area … But this time they are Palestinians ..

To the benefit of the marketing product of the park … They feed the eyes with a continuation of what the movie stopped at … Locals …. 

Who are oppressed, marginalized , threatened by a regime that is not less tyrant than that of herodes … Two thousands years ago 


  1. You are so lucky to live in a land suffused with such rich history. Here in the USA, I was able to visit the oldest continuously inhabited village in this country, Oraibi, in the Hopi Nation. It’s estimated to have been founded in 1100 CE. Your photos of the brick relics reminded me of Oraibi. People live in houses built like it!

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