A tour of Jerusalem’s ‘dark side’ was offered free of charge by Amos Gil, chairman of Ir Amim a non-partisan advisory and monitoring organization in Jerusalem that observes and analyses military, political and social events including the construction of the separation wall, begun in 2004.

For five disturbing hours, by bus and on foot, we followed the tortuous and divisive route of the wall, stopping at several viewing points. Amos described how it slashes through Israeli and Palestinian neighborhoods—physically and mentally. Amos clearly stated there could never be a Jerusalem solution without a Palestinian solution. At the Bethlehem checkpoint we could easily see the hills and buildings beyond, including the Church of the Nativity on the location where Jesus is alleged to have been born. We were told there was a Palestinian refugee camp immediately on the other side of this section of the separation wall.

The whole area looked like a penitentiary and it wasn’t clear who was in or who was out. It felt as if everyone were locked down.

Read the stories about gay Israel