U.S. Consul General Donald Blome launched a hiking journey across the entire West Bank this week as he follows the 321 kilometer Masar Ibrahim Al-Khalil trail. The journey, which will span from north of Jenin to the Old City of Hebron, provides the opportunity to explore the unique culture and natural beauty of the West Bank while encouraging tourism and sustainable development.
The inaugural hike kicked off on May 14 in Rummana village northwest of Jenin, famous for its hilly landscape and olive trees dating back to Roman times. It ended in Burquin village at a community center renovated recently with support of USAID. This first segment covered 18 kilometers and will be followed by 21 sequential hikes the Consul General will walk to complete the Abraham path in the coming year.
Consul General Donald Blome was joined by local officials and members of the Masar Ibrahim Al-Khalili organization as he explained his reasons for launching the journey: “This journey is all about exploring the connection of the people with the land – deep roots formed through nature, culture, art, and agriculture.”
The webpage of the Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil makes it very clear that this isn’t about real history or culture, but about Palestinian propaganda:
Masar Ibrahim Al-Khalil is a trail that runs through the West Bank from the Mediterranean olive groves of the highlands of the north to the silence of the deserts in the south, from the area west of Jenin to the area south of the Sanctuary of Abraham (known in Arabic as Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi) in the city of (Hebron).
It is more than just a hiking trail, it’s a path that leads deep into the memory and heritage of Palestinian people, inviting you to discover the family life of the villages, the proud ways of Bedouin tribes, and the age-old traditions of hospitality that lie at the heart of Palestinian life.
The word “Jewish” is completely absent from their website.
To pretend that this hiking trail based purportedly around a Biblical figure without mentioning Jews even once shows that this initiative is not about teaching culture and history – but about erasing it.
Donald Blome, who has spent years working in and concerned with Arab countries, knows this all quite well.
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