H2: The Occupation Lab

H2 is the name given to the eastern section of Hebron, the only Palestinian city with a Jewish settlement within it. Once a bustling commercial district, in the present day the Israeli military controls the street that leads to the holy Tomb of the Patriarchs where Abraham, the father of both Jews and Muslims, is buried. An ancient religious site, there had always been a Jewish presence in Hebron until the 1929 massacre brought that to an end. Following the 1967 military victory of the Six Day War, efforts were made by Palestinian leaders and Israeli commanders to coexist. Those hopes were thwarted in part by Jewish religious zealots' attempts to reestablish a community, initially with 20 families. Now 250,000 Palestinian Arabs surround an enclave of 800 Jewish settlers with the protection of the Israeli military. The filmmakers Idit Avrahami and Noam Sheizaf come with their own personal experiences: Sheizaf was there as an army officer in the 1990s and Avrahami’s family had lived in Hebron for generations. With extensive research, archival materials, and news footage, they present a clear-eyed case study of the Israeli occupation and how H2 has become a test site for the methods of control that Israel is implementing throughout the West Bank.

Bay Area Premiere

Idit Avrahami is the director and co-creator of several documentary series and films that have been screened in Israel’s leading TV channels and gained critical acclaim. Her short documentary ‘Institutional Abduction” (2019) showed at the Venice Biennale 2019. Idit was a journalist and newspaper editor, serving as a reporter and as the head of Haaretz news desk. She graduated with honors from the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem and currently teaches Documentary Film Direction there.

Noam Sheizaf is a documentary filmmaker and scriptwriter. Noam was the director of “Meshulam”, head of research and content for Dror Moreh’s ‘The Corridors of Power’, ‘The Human Factor’; and scriptwriter for ‘Lieberman’ (Dir. Nurit Keidar). Noam was an editor and writer for Israeli daily papers, and the founder of the online magazine “+972”.

Sponsored by Frederick Hertz and Randolph Langenbach


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