I am honored to have international readership and criticism.
The following is David Wilder's response:
2. " Every adult on the compound carries a gun on them" – Simply, not true. What evidence does the author have for this statement?
3. " Wilder’s discourse – like his weaponry – was straightforward, curt and tense." – I interview for hundreds and more journalists. My discussion is not curt or tense. It is straightforward. My answers are not 'one-liners' and I also tend to smile and laugh. However, I am serious.
4. Issa conducted a tour with the author. I was not requested to do this. He is portrayed as a nice guy who is scared of Israelis. " Issa does not dare walk down Shuhva Street for fear of being maimed or worse." – First of all, it is "Shuhada" street, meaning 'the street of the martyrs.' – named after Arabs who have killed Jews. When was the last time an Arab was 'maimed or worse' by Jews in Hebron? However, Jews have been killed by Arabs on this street – an Arab exploded himself, killing a couple from nearby Kiryat Arba. Other Jews have been attacked, stabbed and shot at on this street.
5. " smash windows, destroy water tanks and throw stones" – not true
6. " Many of these homes, including Wilder’s, are situated above a crowded Palestinian community, which has been pushed, quite literally, underground" – False- the Kasba and Shalalot neighborhood are 'old Hebron,' where Arabs have lived for many years. Jews also used to live there and there is Jewish-owned property in this area, which has been declared off-limits to Jews by the Israel defense ministry.
7. " I have never seen poverty like this. Cincinnati is ranked third-worst city in the U.S. to be in if you’re homeless, and yet I have never seen so many children begging on the street." – False – Arab children don't beg on this street – did the author ask why such 'poor' families all have satellite antennas on their rooftops?
8. " many of these settlers (Wilder included) were born and raised in the U.S" – 12% of Hebron's adult population were born in the US. Over 75% of the adult population is native Israeli.
9. " Yet, Issa’s anger never translated into hate. He was rational." – In other words, 'David Wilder's anger translated into hate. He was not rational."
10. " “I would like to have Jewish neighbors,” he said, “but they come and say it is Israel. I could not go into your neighborhood in the United States, hang up a Palestinian flag and say ‘This is a Palestinian state and we have our own laws.’” – The author does not mention that Jews have lived in Hebron for thousands of years, that 80 years ago Arab mobs in Hebron murdered, raped and tortured 67 of their neighbors, and that Arabs prevented Jews (and Christians) from accessing the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Judaism's 2nd holiest site, for 700 years and today claim that the entire structure is a mosque which belongs entirely to them.
And it's true that Arabs have killed Jews in Hebron. It's also true that Arab families harbored Jewish families to save them from those that wanted to kill them. It is always dangerous to categorically lump people into broad categories. That is why I use the word "extremist." Wilder's actions, like his definitions, are extreme.
And what is omitted from this response? The camo netting over windows, the ousting of families from their homes, the giant slabs of concrete suspended above colonized heads (protected from death by a thin shield of fencing.)