Afterwards I drove up to the nearby settlement of Qiryat Arba, where Goldstein is buried. A guard nodded me through the entrance gate.
Israeli authorities did destroy a shrine and prayer area that had been built after the Knesset passed a law prohibiting monuments to terrorists. The grave and plaque with the engraving, however, remained.
I found the grave behind a row of shops in a public park. Part of the Hebrew inscription read: “To the holy Baruch Goldstein, who gave his life for the Jewish people, the Torah and the nation of Israel.” Beside the grave, a glass container contained two candles and some spent matches. Mourners had also individually laid many small stones, part of the Jewish mourning tradition.
I walked back to the shops and tried to talk to settlers. Most worked in the military or the police. They courteously refused to answer my questions.
I found a woman who said she had known Goldstein. ″He was my doctor,″ she told me. ″He was a wonderful man. He was an amazing person who took care of the Arabs and the Jews as well.″
She said that she had come from the United States to Qiryat Arba as a child and that she was ″against violence on both sides″. As for Goldstein, she felt ″there was something that pushed him over. There was a lot of violence on both sides at the time.″ But the woman insisted that there was nothing ″symbolic″ about Goldstein′s grave in Qiryat Arba. He was buried in the settlement, she said, because he could not be buried in nearby Hebron.
It needs little imagination to gauge how Israelis would react if a Palestinian who had shot dead 29 Jews in cold blood was given such a prominent resting place in a West Bank town or village. Bear in mind many Palestinians killed in attacks on Israelis are buried in secret cemeteries with unnamed (but numbered) graves. This means that the families of the dead cannot visit their loved ones.
Yet the religious terrorist and mass murderer Goldstein rests in peace in an honoured place in the Israeli settlement where he lived. This is but one example of the dual system in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Palestinians are subject to military law. Settlers are Israeli citizens, with all the protections of civil law.