the excerpt below is taking from on +972 about my experience going into H2 in Hebron where Palestinians not allowed to enter.
As we approached Shuhada Street I was thinking of a way to stay with the group. I wanted to show them Abu Seneineh neighborhood, where my ancestors came from before moving to Jerusalem 80 years ago. I wanted them to see my aunt’s house and share with them my childhood memories about Hebron. So, I found myself devising a plan that would allow me to pass through without raising the soldiers’ suspicions.
Before arriving to the street, I asked Brant, the congregations’ rabbi, for his “kippah” (skullcap). I put it on my head and walked straight up to the Israeli soldier at the entrance of the street. I told him (in Hebrew) that I have a Jewish group touring from Chicago that wants to walk through. He only had one question: “do you have any Arabs with you?” I answered confidently, “No, they are all Jews,” and that was all we needed to get inside the “Jewish area.”
I was amazed by what a kippah could do. Suddenly, I was not suspicious and was transformed for the soldiers from an enemy to a friend. The kippah became my entry visa, my access papers. I felt like it was my “shibboleth” into an elite club and the kippah was like the card I swipe to get in.