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Si(gh)ting Israel/Palestine : the slow violence of international tourism Yang, Connie 2017

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 SI(GH)TING ISRAEL/PALESTINE: THE SLOW VIOLENCE OF INTERNATIONAL TOURISM by  Connie Yang  B.S.F.S. (Hons.), Georgetown University, 2015  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Geography)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)   August 2017  © Connie Yang, 2017    ii Abstract  This thesis explores the ways in which the scopic regimes of tourism shape the production of “Israel” and “Palestine” as geopolitical entities by focusing on international, primarily non-Jewish tourists. I examine the extent to which spatial practices—both representational and material—reinforce or renegotiate dominant geopolitical imaginaries. Through discursive analysis and participant observation on guided tours in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the West Bank, I analyze the contrasting imagined and performed geographies of Israel’s territoriality. I argue that the tourist gaze functions as a form of slow violence in Israel/Palestine, as disputed narratives are legitimized and naturalized through the concealment of the dispossession and occupation that are fundamental to the Israeli geopolitical project. In exposing how tourist processes serve as a critical juncture in which geopolitical contestation occurs, I seek to rethink the parameters of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by examining its entanglements with seemingly apolitical, banal cultural practices.    iii Lay Summary  Though the violence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is never far from news headlines, there is relatively little public and academic attention to its cultural dimensions. This thesis considers the role of international tourism in shaping understandings of “Israel” and “Palestine” by examining the sights and sites that tourists are being allowed or made to see. I argue that tourist practices legitimize particular narratives and make them appear matter-of-fact and seemingly apolitical, which actively contributes to the geopolitics of Israel/Palestine.   iv Preface  This thesis is an original, unpublished, and independent document authored by Connie Yang. The fieldwork conducted for this thesis was approved by the UBC Behavioral Research Ethics Board, identification number H16-00292.  v Table of Contents  Abstract ..................................................................................................................................... ii Lay Summary ............................................................................................................................ iii Preface ...................................................................................................................................... iv Table of Contents ...................................................................................................................... v List of Figures ........................................................................................................................... vi Chapter 1. Framing Israel/Palestine ......................................................................................... 1 1.1 Aperture .......................................................................................................... 1 1.2 Depth of Field ................................................................................................... 4 1.3 Multiple Exposure .............................................................................................. 9 1.4 Composition ................................................................................................... 13 Chapter 2. Tel Aviv-Jaffa: Imag(in)ing the Mythic City .......................................................... 14 2.1 Mythic Tel Aviv ............................................................................................... 17 2.2 Mythic Jaffa .................................................................................................... 38 2.3 Coda ............................................................................................................ 53 Chapter 3. More than Just the Holy Land: a Less-than-Just Jerusalem ................................... 56 3.1 The (Simpli)city of Jerusalem ............................................................................... 60 3.2 The (Compli)city of “Jerusalem” ........................................................................... 67 3.3 The (Multipli)cities of Jerusalem ........................................................................... 82 3.4 Coda ........................................................................................................... 106 Chapter 4. Shooting Palestine: Seeing and Not Seeing the Occupation in the West Bank ... 109 4.1 Routes into the West Bank ................................................................................. 114 4.2 Abraham Tours: “Best of the West Bank” ............................................................... 115 4.3 Green Olive: “Hebron and Bethlehem” .................................................................. 137 4.4 Routes out of the West Bank .............................................................................. 150 4.5 Coda ........................................................................................................... 152 Chapter 5. Latent Images ........................................................................................................ 154 Bibliography .......................................................................................................................... 161   vi List of Figures Figure 2.1. View of Tel Aviv from Jaffa, July 2016 ................................................................... 14	Figure 2.2. Map of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Source: Google Maps, 2017 .................................................... 16	Figure 2.3. The lottery of plots, April 11, 1909 ...................................................................... 19	Figure 2.4. Banana Beach, Tel Aviv, August 2016 .................................................................... 22	Figure 2.5. Nonstop city branding, August 2016 ...................................................................... 24	Figure 2.6. Bauhaus architecture in downtown Tel Aviv, August 2016 ........................................... 26	Figure 2.7. On Jerusalem Boulevard, July 2016 ....................................................................... 32	Figure 2.8. Examining graffiti in Florentin, July 2016 ............................................................... 33	Figure 2.9. The guide talking about the early decades of Tel Aviv, July 2016 ................................... 34	Figure 2.10. Showing the photograph of the lottery in front of the monument, July 2016 .................... 35	Figure 2.11. Not just a random alleyway in Jaffa, July 2016 ........................................................ 40	Figure 2.12. Tour participants in Kedumim Square, July 2016 ..................................................... 42	Figure 2.13. Pointing out Old Jaffa on a photograph in the artists colony, July 2016 .......................... 43	Figure 2.14. Walking up to HaPisga Garden, July 2016 ............................................................. 44	Figure 2.15. Official municipal tourism signs around Old Jaffa, July 2016 ....................................... 50	Figure 2.16. The multi-sensory experience of the Jaffa Tales Exhibit, August 2016 ............................ 51	Figure 2.17. Manshiyyeh in the present day, August 2016 .......................................................... 55	Figure 3.1. Tourists at the Western Wall, August 2016 ............................................................. 56	Figure 3.2. The Old City of Jerusalem. Source: Google Maps, 2017 ............................................. 58	Figure 3.3. Tour participants at the Cardo mural, August 2016 .................................................... 61	Figure 3.4. Gazing upon the ruins of the Broad Wall, August 2016 ............................................... 63	Figure 3.5. Tourists photograph the Western Wall plaza from the viewpoint, August 2016 ................. 64	Figure 3.6. The guide introduces Jerusalem from the Mount Scopus viewpoint, August 2016 ............... 69	Figure 3.7. Tour participants inside Golden City Bazaar, August 2016 ........................................... 70	Figure 3.8. A procession of pilgrims bearing the cross, August 2016 .............................................. 71	Figure 3.9. The security shelter in the Western Wall plaza, August 2016 ........................................ 72	Figure 3.10. The guide points out sites using an illustration of the Old City, August 2016 ................... 73	Figure 3.11. Tour participants photographing West Jerusalem, August 2016 ................................... 78	Figure 3.12. The panoramic view at the end of the history exhibit of Yad Vashem, August 2016 ............ 80	Figure 3.13. Outside Damascus Gate, August 2016 .................................................................. 85	Figure 3.14. On the roof of the Austrian Hospice, August 2016 ................................................... 85	Figure 3.15. Examining Palestinian symbols with the souvenir stand, August 2016 ............................ 86	Figure 3.16. Mamluk architecture, August 2016 ...................................................................... 87	Figure 3.17. Settlements in the Muslim Quarter, August 2016 .................................................... 88	Figure 3.18. An entrance to the Haram al-Sharif from the Cotton Merchants’ Market, August 2016 ....... 88	Figure 3.19. Artworks in the tunnel walkway, August 2016 ........................................................ 90	 vii Figure 3.20. Greater Jerusalem. Source: Ir Amim, 2016 ............................................................ 98	Figure 3.21. A checkpoint located squarely within a Palestinian neighborhood, August 2016 ................ 99	Figure 3.22. The landscape of Greater Jerusalem, August 2016 ................................................... 100	Figure 3.23. The Wall, August 2016 ................................................................................... 101	Figure 3.24. Driving in East Jerusalem, August 2016 ............................................................... 102	Figure 3.25. The Wall and a checkpoint in East Jerusalem, August 2016 ....................................... 103	Figure 3.26. East Jerusalem, August 2016 ............................................................................ 108	Figure 4.1. Tourists and an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier in Hebron, August 2016 .................... 109	Figure 4.2. Division of the West Bank in 2011, with tour destinations marked ................................ 111	Figure 4.3. Tour participants taking photographs at Qasr el-Yahud, August 2016 ............................. 120	Figure 4.4. Following the guide up Tell es-Sultan, August 2016 .................................................. 121	Figure 4.5. Tour participants taking photographs with PA soldiers in the Muqata’a, August 2016 ......... 124	Figure 4.6. Walking through Ramallah city center, August 2016 ................................................. 126	Figure 4.7.  “Another side of Palestinian society” in Shishapresso, August 2016 ................................ 127	Figure 4.8. Photographing a piece of Banksy graffiti in the distance, August 2016 ............................. 132	Figure 4.9. Tour participants at the Wall in Bethlehem, August 2016 ........................................... 133	Figure 4.10. Dheisheh refugee camp, August 2016 .................................................................. 140	Figure 4.11. Restrictions on Palestinian Movement in H1 and H2 of Hebron, August 2011 ................. 143	Figure 4.12. Watchpoint and settlement seen from the Palestinian souq, August 2016 ....................... 144	Figure 4.13. Going through a checkpoint, August 2016 ............................................................ 144	Figure 4.14. Entering Shuhada Street, August 2016 ................................................................. 145	Figure 4.15. Shuhada Street today and a photograph of Shuhada Street before its closure, August 2016 .. 146	Figure 4.16. IDF soldiers inside and outside the Tomb of the Patriarchs, August 2016 ....................... 146	Figure 4.17. Bulletproof glass and a cenotaph seen from the mosque side, August 2016 ..................... 147	Figure 4.18. Residents of the Aida refugee camp, and a tour participant at the Wall, August 2016 ........ 153	   1 Chapter 1. Framing Israel/Palestine The light, airy walkway to the immigration and customs area of Ben Gurion International Airport is a refreshing sight after being cooped up on a transatlantic flight. It’s mid-morning in Tel Aviv, but I feel bleary and disoriented after more than 24 hours of travel since I left Vancouver. The Hebrew letters of the welcome sign sparks a faint memory from several years before, the first time I arrived in Israel. My flight is the only one that has come in, so I’m not expecting too long of a wait. But the line for foreign passports—mostly American Jewish families and some young backpacker types—inches along at an unhurried pace. When it’s finally my turn at the booth, the austere officer launches into a rapid-fire series of questions about who I am and what I’m doing in Israel. I explain that I’m a tourist but at my response to whether I’m going to visit the West Bank, I’m promptly directed to a special waiting area.  My first visit to Israel was barely a week long but had left striking memories of everything I saw with my fresh tourist eyes. I had known very little about Israel beyond the fact that it seemed like an interesting and relatively uncommon place to visit. Since then, I had become more informed about the issues, having also studied Israel in my undergraduate courses. This time, I arrive with a very different agenda; I have all these questions that frame my experience from the outset. As I sit in the special waiting area, jetlag making my mind fuzzy, it sinks in just how strange tourism to Israel is. Travel to the region has a much longer history than that of the state of Israel—the Holy Land was a place of pilgrimage throughout the nineteenth century, especially for Christian travelers from Europe and North America. Modern tourism, however, cannot be separated from the shorter history of the state.   1.1 Aperture This thesis examines how international tourism contributes to the geopolitics of Israel/Palestine. In the mid-twentieth century, the rise of modern mass tourism meant that it was no longer an activity limited  2 to the elites. According to the Israeli Ministry of Tourism and Central Bureau of Statistics, there have been approximately 65 million tourist arrivals to Israel since the establishment of the state, with 85% of them in the period since the 1980s. Until the 1970s, the majority of these tourists had come from the United States, while later decades saw an increase in European visitors from the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, and France. Between 2000 and 2012, Israel received an annual average of two million international tourists, of which approximately a quarter identified themselves as Jewish.1   In this thesis, I generally refer to the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River as “Israel/Palestine,” a choice intended to encapsulate the messy and complex intersections invoked by the political and geographic designation. As Eyal Weizman points out, Israel and Palestine are concepts that “refer to and overlap across the very same space.”2 For Joanna Long, who uses the name “Palestine-Israel,” the choice of the hyphen recognizes “that Palestine and Israel are produced as distinct places and identities which may be talked about on their own terms.”3 Although I agree with her point that the cultivated distinctions of Palestine and Israel “intersect in intimate ways,” my use of “Israel/Palestine” reflects not, as she suggests, a binary choice, but rather a multiplicity of spaces, processes, and discourses that cannot be disentangled from each other.4 Moreover, while I acknowledge that placing “Palestine” first in the name is a political choice that invokes the historical and contemporary existence of Palestine as equally valid to that of Israel, my decision to use “Israel/Palestine” in the context of this thesis is about how, given the asymmetric geopolitical relationship of Israel and Palestine, Israel is salient. To get to Palestine, one must get through Israel—physically and intellectually.  The goals of Zionism as a nationalist project focused on the territory of Ottoman Palestine for the development of a Jewish state. The waves of Jewish immigration between 1882 and 1914 to settle the land                                                       1 Tilda Hayat, Omri Romano, and Lena Ostrovsky, Tourism in Israel 2000-2012, Central Bureau of Statistics, November 2013. 2 Eyal Weizman, Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation, (London and New York: Verso, 2007), pp. 15-16. 3 Joanna Long, “Geographies of Palestine-Israel,” Geography Compass 5.5 (2011): 262. 4 Ibid.  3 were regarded as a form of dispossession by the Arab population. Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations established the British Mandate in 1920. Clashes between the Jewish and Arab populations culminated in the so-called Arab Revolt. As a result, the Peel Commission of 1936 recommended the partition of Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state, with British administration over areas of strategic and religious importance. In the aftermath of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust, Zionism gained traction and the British turned over the issue to the United Nations. The partition plan of 1947 gave the smaller Jewish population the majority of the territory and war broke out. In the midst of hostilities between the Arabs and the Jews, the state of Israel was declared on May 14, 1948 and faced invasion by Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. The conflict ended in 1949. For Palestinians, this was known as the nakba—the catastrophe—because about 750,000 people had become refugees, fleeing to the West Bank, Gaza, and surrounding Arab countries. Israelis, however, refer to it as the “War of Independence,” a term which Derek Gregory describes as “an attempt to rehabilitate the intrinsically colonial project of Zionism by establishing Israel as a postcolonial state.”5 This points to the contested geopolitical imaginaries at stake. In 1967, war broke out between Israel and Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. In addition to the capture of the Golan from Syria and the Sinai and Gaza from Egypt, Israel seized the West Bank from Jordan and implemented a military occupation that continues to this day. It is for this reason that it is productive to approach “Israel” as an assemblage. Israel is a state still in formation and contestation; it is constituted through ongoing processes of making and unmaking in multiple dimensions. The dynamic construction of the Israeli national political imaginary not only involves an internal understanding, but it also requires validation by a larger global audience. Long argues that Israel/Palestine is “materially and imaginatively constituted as much by its diasporas” as by what happens in the territory itself.6 My thesis draws on this idea to explore how the circulation of international tourists                                                       5 Derek Gregory, The Colonial Present, (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2004), p. 86.  6 Long, p. 269.  4 within and beyond the territory contributes to the construction of Israel/Palestine. Tourism is generally considered to be an activity belonging to the realm of culture and not politics, but this is precisely why it is a crucial process through which the political imaginaries that are produced become legitimized.    1.2 Depth of Field The title of Si(gh)ting Israel/Palestine for my thesis is more than simply a play on words: it captures the dual processes that make other landscapes available for tourist consumption. Sighting implies seeing in the sense of getting a brief look, as tourism is necessarily a temporary glimpse into a more complex landscape, and siting is about the fixing or building of something in a particular place. Sighting may seem like a passive activity—the act of seeing something that is shown—but seeing is never neutral. Siting, meanwhile, may sound like an active practice, but there is an extent to which places are naturalized, normalized, and understood as static essences. These processes are co-constitutive and mutually reinforcing, both reflecting and actively shaping the meanings of places. In putting forth these concepts, this thesis approaches Israel/Palestine not as a preexisting set of categories but rather explores its very making through tourist practices.  Sighting and siting are processes of visuality. The tourist encounter with other places is structured by the scopic regime—“a mode of visual apprehension that is culturally constructed and prescriptive, socially structured and shared.”7 David Campbell and Marcus Power argue that scopic regimes establish the relationship between the observer and the observed, forming the conditions of possibility for an ethical response to what they make available to us.8 Considering the visual as a range of social practices that contribute to the production and performance of geographic imaginaries is especially useful for                                                       7 Derek Gregory, “Dis/Ordering the Orient: Scopic Regimes and Modern War,” Orientalism and War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 152. 8 David Campbell and Marcus Power, “The Scopic Regime of ‘Africa,’” Observant States: Geopolitics and Visual Culture, (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2010).  5 understanding how tourist sights are encountered. Rather than being seen as isolated sites on their own, they come to be constituted partly by context—the imaginative geographies that people already have—and partly by their place within the sequence of an itinerary, a tour, a route. As Gregory writes, “Travel scripting produces a serialized space of constructed visibility that allows and sometimes even requires specific objects to be seen in specific ways by a specific audience.”9 The processes of visuality allow tourists to locate sites as meaningful sights within an imaginative landscape.  In this thesis, the examination of visuality and geopolitics hinges upon the concept of the tourist gaze. John Urry formulates the tourist gaze as a semiotic relationship through which sites are read as symbols of something beyond themselves.10 Though scholars have investigated the implications of the tourist gaze for the visual cultures of tourism and the narratives of encounter, few studies scrutinize its role in the creation of political imaginaries. For this reason, I am not engaging with tourism studies literature on a theoretical level. Instead, I am using tourism as a lens to examine the exercise of power and the processes of territorialization that produce Israel/Palestine. My project thus follows a critical geopolitics approach of exposing and interrogating the power relations of dominant geopolitical narratives.  The idea of place is central to both geopolitics and tourism: political imaginaries define and ground identities through place, and tourism concerns the production, performance, and consumption of place in specific ways. Though tourism and geopolitics are commonly understood to be separate and unrelated realms, this allows tourism to be a uniquely useful lens with which to analyze the situated, contextual, and embodied processes and geographies that shape geopolitics. Little academic attention has been paid to the entanglement of the “serious” dynamics of geopolitical conflict and the seemingly innocuous cultural practices of tourism. A notable exception is Debbie Lisle, who reveals how international politics is produced and sustained in the linkages of war and tourism, and how attempts to disconnect them serve to                                                       9 Derek Gregory, “Scripting Egypt: Orientalism and the Cultures of Travel,” Writes of Passage: Reading Travel Writing, (London and New York: Routledge, 2002), p. 116. 10 John Urry and Jonas Larsen, The Tourist Gaze 3.0 (London: SAGE, 2012).  6 obscure the complicity of tourism in reproducing global violence.11 My thesis takes up this critical perspective in approaching these domains as intertwined rather than dichotomous.  In the case of Israel/Palestine, the relationship between geopolitics and tourism has a particular urgency and performative power. In its context of territorial—and ontological—contestation, the practices of tourism function as insidious expressions of geopolitical power that create and sustain political imaginaries in the everyday register. This process has been explored both through the perspective of Israeli citizens and of the Jewish diaspora. Rebecca Stein examines how Israeli tourist practices contribute to the creation of an Israeli political imaginary. Her concept of national intelligibility is useful to this project: it refers to “that which is recognizable according to the dominant national script,” a historically contingent and performative discourse that is maintained and contested through iterative practices.12 Though she has written extensively on various periods of Israel’s history, her work on Israeli tourist culture during the Oslo process is especially relevant. She argues that the most foundational Israeli fiction is that of the nation-state as being neither in nor of the Arab Middle East, but the transformations of the Oslo process threatened to expose this and generated an anxiety that was articulated through Israeli tourist practices.13 A different approach is found in the work of Shaul Kelner, who investigates the dynamics of diaspora Jewish tourism to Israel. He argues that tourism is strategically used to mobilize diaspora Jewish engagement with the Israeli state, intended to foster a sense of national identification.14  But perhaps because there is such extensive public and academic attention to the overtly political issues of Israel/Palestine—in addition to the politics of its tourists with more obvious investment, as with the work of Stein and Kelner—that international, non-Jewish tourism has remained under the critical radar. My thesis turns instead to how the Israeli geopolitical imaginary is negotiated by the external, global                                                       11 Debbie Lisle, Holidays in the Danger Zone: Entanglements of War and Tourism, (Minneapolis, MN and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2016). 12 Rebecca L. Stein, Itineraries in Conflict: Israelis, Palestinians, and the Political Lives of Tourism, (Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 2008), p. 3.  13 Stein, Itineraries in Conflict, p. 152.  14 Shaul Kelner, Tours That Bind: Diaspora, Pilgrimage, and Israeli Birthright Tourism, (New York: New York University Press, 2010).  7 audience that is unconnected to its national project. The tension between the assertion of normalcy (that Israel is a nation-state like any other) and of uniqueness (that Israel is a modern state in the territory of the biblical Jewish homeland) shapes the production of tourist landscapes in Israel/Palestine. The dynamics of how this tension manifests in the engagement of the Israeli political imaginary and the tourist gaze are critical to understanding the geopolitics of Israel/Palestine at large. In order to situate tourism within the broader frame of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this thesis draws on the Rob Nixon’s conceptualization of slow violence. He describes it as “a violence that occurs gradually and out of sight, a violence of delayed destruction that is dispersed across time and space, an attritional violence that is typically not viewed as violence at all…”15 Though he is writing of environmental aftermaths, this thesis argues that slow violence is crucial to the discussion of the cultural politics of tourism. The general understanding of tourism as a leisure activity of personal gratification serves to conceal the political effects of seeing the landscape through the ordering of the scopic regimes of tourism. The concept of slow violence has a particular resonance in the case of Israel/Palestine, which often appears in popular awareness because of its episodic outbursts of violence. It turns attention to the less visible ways in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict plays out, the accretive and temporally dispersed violences of occupation and dispossession that exist alongside the spectacular forms. It allows us to see how the aspects of the conflict that lack “instant sensational visibility” can actually do the most damage. This can be linked to Michael Haldrup, Lasse Koefoed, and Kirsten Simonsen’s conception of practical orientalism, through which everyday processes develop into sedimented imaginative geographies. It is about how routine ways of talking and acting place people in a naturalized, taken-for-granted ordering of the world.16 They argue that examining the construction and negotiation of the banal and intimate practices are necessary for challenging                                                       15 Rob Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011), p. 2. 16 Michael Haldrup, Lasse Koefoed, and Kirsten Simonsen, “Practical Orientalism: Bodies, Everyday Life and the Construction of Otherness,” Geografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography 88.2 (2006).  8 “the ‘big’ regimes of knowledge and the grand strategies of geopolitics.”17 Despite incessant news coverage and scholarly literature on the spectacular violence and top-down geopolitics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is the mundane, material geographies that are normalized in part through tourism.   In thinking about the everyday practices that shape geopolitical imaginaries, Donna Haraway’s argument that vision is always partial and culturally produced is especially useful. Spaces of constructed visibility are always also spaces of constructed invisibility.18 This relates to Michael Taussig’s concept of “public secrecy”—a form of social knowledge in which what is known cannot be articulated within the terms governing social norms—which is used by Adi Kuntsman and Rebecca Stein in their work on Israeli militarism in the social media age. They argue that Israeli public secrecy manifests as a normative fantasy of a missing occupation—“as if the Israeli state violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip did not spill into everyday life in Jewish Israeli cities, as if Israeli democracy was not undercut by its concurrent military rule.”19 A similar insight is revealed in Gil Hochberg’s work on the uneven dynamics of visuality and power in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In particular, she writes the following about her experience doing fieldwork: “This schism between what I knew and what I saw never became visible in itself… I began to realize that the greatest power of the Israeli state… lies in its ability to conceal its violence and manipulate its citizens’ frame of vision even and despite what may be their well-informed understanding and capacity to analyze their political reality.”20 Her reflection resonates with my own experience doing fieldwork. Before arriving in Israel/Palestine, I had anticipated it being easy to see the violence in the landscape simply because this time I was coming with a much greater awareness and depth of knowledge on the subject; instead, I was taken aback at how this was not the case. The discussions of Kuntsman and Stein and                                                       17 Ibid., p. 183.  18 Donna Haraway, “Situated Knowledges: the Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective,” Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (London: Routledge, 1992), as referenced in Gregory, The Colonial Present, p. 12. 19 Adi Kuntsman and Rebecca L. Stein, Digital Militarism: Israel’s Occupation in the Social Media Age, (London and Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015), p. 15. 20 Gil Hochberg, Visual Occupations: Violence and Visibility in a Conflict Zone, (London and Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015), p. 33.   9 Hochberg reveal how the public secret of the occupation is a powerful shaper of Israeli society, but I suggest that international tourism to Israel/Palestine is premised upon a particular iteration of public secrecy that is especially insidious in how contentious politics gets smuggled in through cultural practices.  My thesis aims to problematize the perceived apolitical nature of tourism in Israel/Palestine by untangling the processes and practices through which geopolitics is brought into being in the cultural realm. I situate my analysis at the intersection of three main research questions. First, I ask how “Israel” and, in some cases, “Palestine” are produced through the scopic regimes of tourism. How do tourist discourses and practices answer the questions of what-, where-, and who is Israel? Second, I am interested in the extent to which international tourists become enrolled in Israeli public secrecy with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general and the occupation of the West Bank in particular. Because the public secret is so embedded within Israeli society, how does the constricted visibility of the tourist gaze incorporate it? What sights and sites are tourists allowed to see, or made to see? The selective narratives that are constituted through the scopic regimes of tourism reveal the power dynamics shaping the imaginaries with which international tourists come away. Third, I consider the ways in which ostensibly apolitical tourism reinforces or renegotiates the dominant geopolitical project—the project that, in various forms, has dominated the Israeli state since its inception. What are the lengths to which people go in order to present tourism as apolitical, and what is at stake in the perception of tourist practices as such? How do alternative perspectives work to challenge the dominant imaginaries? These negotiations are critical to the production of the geopolitical imaginary and the internal-external processes that construct Israel and Palestine.   1.3 Multiple Exposure In order to investigate how tourist practices shape geopolitical imaginaries, I focus on the visual and discursive practices that bring Israel/Palestine into being. The tourist literature includes both the popular representations in news articles and travel blogs, and the materials produced and circulated by commercial  10 and governmental tourism organizations—including but not limited to guidebooks, websites, brochures, maps, and itineraries. Drawing on Michel Foucault, Lisle suggests that acts of writing and speaking “are given meaning through prevailing discourses and actually do violence to the world because they are an imposition of ordered meaning on an otherwise ambiguous reality,” and travel writing “is no exception.”21 The democratization of media and travel has heightened the power of tourist discourses in reproducing assumptions about geopolitical space. These representations conceal the relations of power in the process of discursive ordering, but discourse analysis reveals how meanings are sedimented into a seemingly indisputable reality from which other ways of knowing are excluded.   In addition to examining the discourses that circulate beyond the space of Israel/Palestine, the bulk of my research took place in the tourist landscapes themselves. During the period of a month, in July and August 2016, I conducted participant observation on a total of seven guided tours across three broadly delineated sites. In Tel Aviv, I went on two walking tours by Sandemans New Europe Tours that covered different parts of the city. In Jerusalem, I went on a walking tour of the Old City by Sandemans New Europe Tours, a full-day tour by Bein Harim Tourism Services, and a full-day tour by Green Olive Tours. In the West Bank, I went on two full-day tours: the first by Abraham Tours, to Jericho, Ramallah, and Bethlehem, and the second by Green Olive Tours that went to Bethlehem and Hebron. These tours are a mix of mainstream tours run by major tour companies and alternative tours, which “use narrative to convey the adverse impact of historical events from the perspective of those who are not the victors of the dominant narrative” and provide counter-hegemonic narratives in focusing on the contested politics of space.22 Alternative tourists, in this conception, come to the contested territories to deliberately “go beyond” standard mainstream tourism experiences, and are generally “much fewer in number” and                                                       21 Debbie Lisle, The Global Politics of Contemporary Travel Writing, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 12. 22 Caryn Aviv, “The Emergence of Alternative Jewish Tourism,” European Review of History 18.1 (2011): 36.  11 “typically already sensitized to some degree to the Palestinian situation.”23 The selection of these tours is not intended to provide a representative array of international tourism in Israel; it is the differences that are revealing of the construction of broader political imaginaries.  The focus on the differences is also why I chose Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the West Bank as the sites of my fieldwork. They exemplify what I understand to be the three dominant tourism imaginaries of Israel/Palestine: “Israel as Europe” with Tel Aviv, “Israel as the Holy Land” with Jerusalem, and “Israel as the Middle East” with the West Bank. These imaginaries are, of course, entangled and dynamic—as will become apparent in the following chapters—but they serve as useful starting points. My analysis is based on my ethnographic observation of the embodied actions and performative discourses of tour participants and guides in the bounded experiences of the tours, as well as more generally in the tourist landscape.  My thesis uses photographs as part of a critical visual methodology that draws on Gillian Rose’s theorization of how power relations are embedded in the visual.24 The photographs I took function in part as a record of my experience in the field, but they are an attempt to deconstruct the tourist gaze through the tourist gaze as well. Though taking photographs is one of the most characteristic features of a tourist, my choice to illustrate the thesis through my own images in part demonstrates how I was inevitably trapped in the tourist gaze. Not only did the consideration of my own frames of vision better allow me to think through what I was encountering in the field, but I also hope that the way the photographs are put to work can turn the tourist gaze upon itself. It is also for this reason that the following chapters contain an ethnographic narrative developed from my field notes alongside the analytical text, which is indicated by different formatting. Although I arrived in Israel this time around with the intellectual baggage of a researcher, the fact of the matter is that I did go on these tours. I was not merely playing the part of a tourist—I was a tourist.                                                       23 Ben White, “‘Visit Palestine’ says West Bank’s growing alternative tourism industry,” Electronic Intifada, July 19, 2009,  24 Gillian Rose, Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to Researching with Visual Materials, (London: SAGE, 2016).  12 Neither fully occupying the roles of researcher nor tourist opened up possibilities for inquiry and analysis: I had the analytical framework to guide my observations as a researcher but also the openness of my tourist positionality that made room for the surprising, the difficult, and the messy encounters in the field. On the guided tours, I wrote all of my notes with my phone instead of a notebook because it was both more expedient and less conspicuous. Because I was also taking photographs, my behavior did not seem to be perceived as anything out of the ordinary for a tourist. When fellow participants did draw me into conversation—a rare occurrence, especially on the mainstream tours—I did not reveal that I was also conducting research so that their behavior would not be influenced by their awareness of being observed. The tourists and guides are considered to be the general public; as such, all of the individuals referenced in the ethnographic text are identified only by pseudonyms. Moreover, though I generally avoid referencing people who appear in my photographs in connection to their named characters in the narrative, my observations took place in public spaces in which there was no expectation of privacy.  Throughout the course of conducting this fieldwork and processing my experiences in order to write the thesis, the tourist voice and the critical analytical voice have been distinguished by a murky boundary. Both are necessarily co-present in everything I say; even as I took notes in the field, I was aware of the critical apparatus in it. Additionally, while the thesis is informed by scholarly work, it is not—and indeed, cannot be—a detached analytical account absent of the emotional engagement that was inevitably part of doing fieldwork in Israel/Palestine. In the following chapters, the separation of my two voices is thus a convenient fiction that brackets the ethnographic narration and the analytical commentary in order to allow my argument to come through more clearly.   13 1.4 Composition The tourist gaze is not monocular; as John Urry and Jonas Larsen emphasize, “[t]here are many ways of gazing within tourism, and tourists look at ‘difference’ differently.”25 In Israel/Palestine, tourism takes on diverse forms and operates through distinct modalities, the full range of which is beyond the scope of this thesis. Instead, I focus on the geopolitical imaginaries that are invoked by the frames of the tourist gaze in different landscapes and examine the geographical contingency of what is made visible and invisible in them. My analysis is thus divided into three chapters that are each located in place. Their order reflects my intentional structuring of my fieldwork sites to be a progression, in a sense, from “Israel proper” to “Israel improper.” That is to say, I am working within commonly-held geopolitical distinctions of Tel Aviv as unquestionably part of Israel, Jerusalem as contested and confusingly delineated, and the West Bank as something other than the internationally-accepted state of Israel—whether as occupied Palestinian territory or the biblical Judea and Samaria. Though some distinctions are more manufactured than others (such as the one between Jerusalem and the West Bank, as will become apparent in those chapters), this separation in part points to the operation of public secrecy in how Jerusalem is included in the national Israeli imaginary while the occupied West Bank is excluded as a discrete entity. Furthermore, the tour analyses within each chapter are organized in the order with which I undertook the tours—notably, the mainstream tours before the alternative tours, where applicable. In this way, the thesis itself enacts the experience of receiving and then denaturalizing the dominant imaginaries.                                                           25 Urry and Larsen, p.3.   14 Chapter 2. Tel Aviv-Jaffa: Imag(in)ing the Mythic City Branding is the relentless pursuit of a single identity, a single story; it opposes the multiplicity and strife that inevitably characterize any effort of collective memory.  – Rebecca Solnit26   Figure 2.1. View of Tel Aviv from Jaffa, July 2016   This photograph was taken at the conclusion of a guided walking tour in Jaffa, on the summit of HaPisga Garden. From this touted “scenic overlook,” we gaze onto the blocky skyscrapers of downtown Tel Aviv, our backs to the dusty archaeological mound and tranquil gardens. There’s a flurry of photographs being taken by delighted tour participants, but this is more than a just a picturesque scene: the spatial configuration in which we stand reflects a broader narrative about Tel Aviv and its relationship with Jaffa. The neighborhood that became Tel Aviv was founded by a group of European Jews in 1909 outside Jaffa, a                                                       26 Rebecca Solnit, “The Monument Wars,” Harper’s Magazine, January 2017,   15 port city dating back thousands of years. By the mid-1930s, the population had grown to 130,000 and Tel Aviv was officially declared a city. In 1950, after the establishment of Israel, Jaffa was formally merged with Tel Aviv. The linear trajectory of old Jaffa giving rise to new Tel Aviv is echoed in the shoreline, a physical manifestation of this mythic imaginary.  Imag(in)ing captures the dual, active processes through which the mythic city, which “mediates between the city as a geographical actuality and the city as a cultural phenomenon,” is constructed and experienced.27 Throughout Tel Aviv’s relatively short existence, its identity has been extensively imagined (through textual and visual expressions that circulate and formulate particular views of what the city is) and imaged (through the material changes in the physical landscape itself). These conceptual and concrete processes are mutually reinforcing, shaping a mythos that has come to dominate the tourist gaze in Tel Aviv. This chapter examines how Tel Aviv is construed as a mythic city and how the imaginary is put to work in the landscape of the city today. I begin by unpacking the construction of this mythos before turning to accounts of two guided tours that I undertook in Tel Aviv-Jaffa.                                                         27 Maoz Azaryahu, Tel Aviv: Mythography of a City, (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2007), p. 19.  16  Figure 2.2. Map of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Source: Google Maps, 2017   17 2.1 Mythic Tel Aviv Though all cities have a mythos attached to them, the mythic imaginary of Tel Aviv is especially conspicuous. Throughout the texts written for and by tourists, the city is extolled as modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan, a beacon of secularism and liberalism. As an article in Condé Nast Traveller describes, Tel Aviv is “an oasis of European culture” in the Middle East: “Defiantly permissive, in contrast to its strict neighbouring countries; a thoroughly modern city.”28 The official Israeli Ministry of Tourism website references Tel Aviv’s “friendly laid-back atmosphere” in heralding the city as, “without a doubt THE place to visit in the Mediterranean.”29 Such descriptions invoke an imaginary of “Israel as Europe,” in which Tel Aviv is primarily understood through the context of the “geo-cultural space of the Mediterranean” that it occupies.30 The underlying premise of this imaginary is the idea that Tel Aviv is in the Middle East, but not of the Middle East—that despite its geographic location, the essence of its identity is more befitting of Europe. Although, in some ways, the mythos of a European city in the Middle East is not unique to Tel Aviv, it is the intensity of its development and sedimentation over time that makes Tel Aviv’s mythos particularly revealing. The mythos is rooted in the Zionist narrative of national revival that concerns “the convergence of the collective return to, and restoration of, the ancestral Jewish homeland and the renewal of Hebrew culture.”31 The manifestation of this vision took on different forms during the waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine under the Ottoman Empire. Although early Zionist settlement centered on the agriculture-based kibbutzim, S. Ilan Troen writes that the founders of Tel Aviv imagined the city “not as a farming village but as a city that emulated a variety of European models with which they were familiar,” such as                                                       28 “Tel Aviv: Ahead of the Curve,” Condé Nast Traveller, April 5, 2013,  29 Government of Israel, Ministry of Tourism, “Tel Aviv,” Israel Land of Creation,  30 Alexandra Nocke, “Modern Israeli Identity and the Mediterranean Cultural Theme: an Exploration into the Visual Representations of Tel Aviv and the Sea,” Jewish Culture and History 13.1 (2012): 70. 31 Maoz Azaryahu, “The Formation of the ‘Hebrew Sea’ in Pre-State Israel,” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 7.3 (2008): 251.   18 Berlin, Frankfurt, and Vienna.32 Joachim Schlör states that Tel Aviv developed “a new, modern, urban, secular Jewish culture of its own,” the realization of Theodor Herzl’s Zionist dream to “be at home in Palestine and yet not to be tied down to the biblical past, to be independent and yet not to have turned one’s back on Europe.”33 According to Maoz Azaryahu, Tel Aviv in its earliest decades was conceptualized as a unique phenomenon as the “First Hebrew City,” its growing urban form embodying the Zionist vision of modern Jewish self-rule. This imaginary is exemplified by the story of Tel Aviv’s founding by the Achuzat Bayit society, which consisted of sixty-six Jewish families who came together to purchase land north of Jaffa in order to create a residential suburb. The name of the organization was suffused with a mythic dimension, as it begins with the first two letters of the Hebrew alphabet and bayit means “home.” The iconic scene of origin was a lottery to divide up the plots of land in 1909, which is immortalized in a famous photograph by Avraham Soskin. Depicting a dark crowd of figures gathered in the center of a vast, white plane of sand, it evokes an empty, primitive landscape, a blank slate, onto which the new Jewish community could realize its visions of modernity. Soskin was considered the municipal photographer of early Tel Aviv, and his photographs “were given as gifts to senior officials and to national institutions; thousands of postcards were printed from his photos, and everyone knew him,” and his image has cemented this narrative in the self-mythologizing imaginary of Tel Aviv.34 The photograph represents the birth of the city ex nihilo both in the sense of the “empty” sand dunes of the physical landscape and in the sense of its historical trajectory, as a community with European roots in the context of Palestine, free to develop into something completely new.                                                       32 S. Ilan Troen, Imagining Zion: Dreams, Designs, and Realities in a Century of Jewish Settlement, (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003), p. 91.  33 Joachim Schlör, Tel Aviv: From Dream to City, (London: Reaktion Books, 1999), p. 80. 34 Dalia Karpel, “Man at Work,” Haaretz, January 22, 2004,   19  Figure 2.3. The lottery of plots, April 11, 1909. By Avraham Soskin (image in the public domain)  From the establishment of Israel to the present, this origin myth has shaped an ambiguous role for Tel Aviv in the national imaginary. On one hand, Tel Aviv is understood as a metonym for Israel, an exemplar of Zionist renewal in the Jewish homeland that forms the national myth of the state. On the other hand, Tel Aviv is perhaps more prominently perceived and affirmed as an exception to the Israel that is mired in tension and violence. This exceptionalism is expressed in part through the language of absolute juxtapositions regarding the identity of the city. For example, Anat Helman sums up the culture of Tel Aviv as the ultimate blend of “West and East, Jew and Hebrew, the Diaspora and the Land of Israel, the cosmopolitan and the local.”35 Carsten Hueck describes Tel Aviv as a “beguiling mix of European urbanism                                                       35 Anat Helman, Young Tel Aviv: A Tale of Two Cities, (Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press, 2010), p. 157.  20 and Levantine laissez-faire.”36 These depictions contend that Tel Aviv’s unique appeal is precisely that it is a modern European city situated in the biblical Israel of the Middle East.  This exceptionalizing perspective speaks to a pervasive tension in Israeli society at large, which manifests in a binary opposition of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem—as Corby Kummer writes, “Jerusalem is for people who come to live on holy ground; Tel Aviv is for people who want to live in Theodor Herzl’s vision of a cosmopolitan city and take part in the modern world.”37 In 1933, poet Nathan Alterman had characterized Jerusalem as “laden with loneliness and burdened by the heritage surrounding it,” whereas Tel Aviv was open and friendly.38 Over eight decades later, this image persists; as a taxi driver proclaimed on my first day in Israel, “Tel Aviv is not very historic. Jerusalem is for history, Tel Aviv is for fun!” The binary relies on the contrast between secular Tel Aviv and religious Jerusalem, but invokes a deeper division: Jerusalem, weighed down by thousands of years of history, continues to be steeped in conflict, whereas Tel Aviv, barely a century old, is carefree and unshackled from such problems. As Frommer’s declares, “Tel Aviv is everything Jerusalem is not… Tel Aviv has no holy sites and until its founding, it had no history. What it does have is oyster bars, nightclubs, samba sessions on the beach on summer evenings, and miles and miles of massive medium-rise apartment buildings.”39 These portrayals reflect and feed into the mythic imaginary of Tel Aviv as being able to flourish as a modern, cosmopolitan city because it is unburdened by the historical tensions that weigh upon the rest of Israel.  The presumed lack of history constitutes a crucial component of Tel Aviv’s identity, which is produced through the self-mythologizing efforts of the municipality and reinforced by the tourist gaze. This imaginary subtly disengages the city from political conflicts through the assertion of its progressive modernity and sense of laid-back nonchalance. For example, in a magazine produced for the Association for                                                       36 Carsten Hueck, “A Cosmos Built on Sand…” Tel Aviv: the White City (Berlin: Jovis, 2012), p. 6.  37 Corby Kummer, “Tel Aviv: Secular City,” Atlantic Monthly, December 1995,  38 Azaryahu, Tel Aviv, p. 211. 39 “Tel Aviv: Introduction,”,   21 Tourism Tel Aviv-Jaffa, mayor Ron Huldai writes that “brash young Tel Aviv” is a “thriving cosmopolitan center by the sea, a city that never sleeps—an exciting city that celebrates independence, modernity, technology, diversity and pluralism every day of the week.”40 As with other descriptions of the city, there is an implicit ahistoricism embedded in the depiction of youthful Tel Aviv boldly rejecting ties to the past in order to embrace modern values and propel itself forward. A closer examination of the dominant features in the mythic landscape of Tel Aviv, however, reveals that the city’s relationship with history is more complex.  The first feature is the beaches, which the Israeli Ministry of Tourism proclaims as “the only one place to start” in “the city that has it all.”41 Listing Tel Aviv as one of the top ten beach cities in the world, National Geographic describes it as the “Dionysian counterpart to religious Jerusalem.”42  The official municipality website boasts of the lively promenade and the scene of “clean sand, lounge chairs, ice-cream vendors, and die-hard beach-lovers that swim daily, winter and summer, no matter what.”43 According to Lonely Planet, Hilton Beach is “the city’s unofficial gay beach,” Gordon Beach has “plenty of butch bronze bodies playing serious games of matkot,” and Alma Beach is “where the cool kids from Florentine come to chill.”44 These depictions evoke a sense of natural, easygoing leisure, which belies the history of the municipality’s active, aspirational efforts to make the beach central to its identity. Tel Aviv was not founded as a coastal city but rather reached the shore in the 1920s through its northward expansion.                                                        40 Discover Tel Aviv-Jaffa: The City That Never Stops, Lishar Publications Ltd., July 2016.  41 Government of Israel, Ministry of Tourism, “Tel Aviv,” Israel Land of Creation. 42 “Top 10 Beach Cities,” National Geographic, July 8, 2010,  43 Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, “Beaches,” Visit Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, 44 Daniel Robinson, Michael Kohn, Dan Savery Raz, Jessica Lee, and Jenny Walker, Israel & the Palestinian Territories, (Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd, 2012), p. 109.  22  Figure 2.4. Banana Beach, Tel Aviv, August 2016  During the years of the British Mandate, the municipality looked to emulate the beach resorts in the coastal cities of western and southern Europe in developing the beach as Tel Aviv’s main attraction.45 For Maoz Azaryahu and Arnon Golan, these plans encapsulated the “modernizing impulse” of Zionism that was quintessential to the ideology of “Jewish national revival in a backward, underdeveloped Palestine.”46 The beaches became a secular alternative for Tel Aviv residents to spend their Sabbaths and religious holidays, which Azaryahu suggests “represented Tel Aviv’s success in normalizing Jewish existence.” 47 Their seaside recreation demonstrated that the modern, secular experiences provided by Tel Aviv allowed for the “new Jew” of the Zionist project to flourish, “unencumbered by the experiences of living as a minority in other                                                       45 Helman, Young Tel Aviv, p. 110. 46 Maoz Azaryahu and Arnon Golan, “Contested Beachscapes: Planning and Debating Tel Aviv’s Seashore in the 1930s,” Urban History 34.2 (2007): 295. 47 Azaryahu, Tel Aviv, p. 194-195.  23 parts of the world.” 48  The development of the beaches continued in the decades following—the municipality invested substantial resources into cleaning the water and the sand in the 1960s, and the revered seaside promenade was inaugurated in the 1980s.49 The beaches have come to symbolize an escape from the rest of the country’s tensions for Israelis, and the ideal destination for a fun, relaxing holiday for international visitors. The tourist gaze reinforces the mythos of Tel Aviv by producing the city as foremost a place of carefree relaxation rather than of the serious politics or religious tensions evoked by the imaginary of “the Middle East.” Just as early municipal efforts worked to inscribe the seashore in European geography of recreation, the preeminence of the beaches in the contemporary tourist landscape asserts Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean identity above all. The second feature is the “nonstop” urban culture—the wide-ranging, round-the-clock leisure activity exemplified by the infamous nightlife and proliferation of cafés. Tourist Israel describes Tel Aviv as “one of the most vibrant cities in the world,” citing its “world-class nightlife,” “buzzing cultural scene,” and “international outlook.”50 Time Out characterizes the city as a “lively 24-hour carousel of activity”—avowedly secular and proudly hedonist.51 These depictions are rooted in Tel Aviv’s early decades. Cafés had become a salient element in its landscape by the 1930s, symbols of the city’s “European cosmopolitanism,” and the city’s popular culture was seen as particularly open and flexible, central to its urban vitality.52 This was the general trajectory until the 1970s, when Tel Aviv experienced a decline and actively sought to regain its former cultural prominence. In the 1980s, the “Nonstop City” slogan was created for a joint campaign by the municipality, the Tel Aviv Hotel Association, and the Ministry of Tourism.53 According to Azaryahu, the slogan was the institutionalization of a nickname amongst residents that had already signified                                                       48 Nina S. Spiegel, “Constructing the City of Tel Aviv: Urban Space, Physical Culture and the Natural and Built Environment,” Rethinking History, 16.4 (2012): 500. 49 Nocke, p. 82. 50 Tourist Israel, “Tel Aviv,” Tourist Israel,  51 “Things to do in Tel Aviv,” Time Out City Guides, Time Out,  52 Rebecca L. Stein, Itineraries in Conflict: Israelis, Palestinians, and the Political Lives of Tourism, (Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 2008), p. 140. 53 Azaryahu, Tel Aviv, p. 129.  24 “a given fact” about the character of Tel Aviv as a metropolitan destination constantly buzzing with activity.54   Figure 2.5. Nonstop city branding: On the left, beach accessories sold in one of the Tel Aviv Tourist Information Centers.  On the right, a poster listing summer events in the city. August 2016  In addition to an ad campaign, the “well-orchestrated and most successful rebranding” effort involved changes to municipal regulations that allowed businesses to operate 24/7.55 Rafi Segal argues that the Nonstop City cast Tel Aviv as having a “single-dimensional urbanism, devoid of historical presence” that offered an urban culture in which “the hip was in constant flux, moving from one part of the city to the other, via people, cafés, clubs, parties, festivals, events, and more.”56 This image reinforces the self-mythologizing view of the city as belonging to a global geography of progressive cosmopolitanism, able to do so because it is unburdened by the past. The “Nonstop City” imaginary continues to shape the present landscape of Tel Aviv, as it remains the official tourism slogan for the city. According to the municipality, the term encapsulates the self-branding strategy of “devising and communicating an image that allows us to                                                       54 Ibid., p. 130. 55 Rafi Segal, “Whiteout City: Tel Aviv’s Culture of the New,” In the Life of Cities, (Zurich: Lars Muller, 2012), p. 235. 56 Ibid.  25 tell Tel Aviv’s story while it’s being written.”57 This statement demonstrates the self-mythologizing process at work, which evokes a fast-paced, forward-looking narrative of the modern city that is reinforced by the tourist gaze.  The third feature is the White City, which refers to the collection of approximately 4,000 Bauhaus (or International Style) buildings in downtown Tel Aviv. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003 for its “outstanding example of new town planning and architecture in the early 20th century.”58 As an official municipality tourism guide states, the “inclusion of Tel Aviv on the list of World Heritage sites expresses the White City’s unique yet universal value.”59 Celebrated for its implementation of European architectural modernism in the Middle Eastern climate, it embodies Tel Aviv’s aspirational self-mythologizing in its narrative of the city as a successful graft of the desirable aspects of European culture onto the open sand dunes. In the 1920s, the city implemented a master plan by Patrick Geddes, featuring a grid system that came to be populated by Bauhaus buildings with the influx of German immigrants in the 1930s. The architectural style emphasized functionalism and geometric regularity, and its aesthetic form was “seen in its power to create the image of a new society: purified, resurrected, clean, confident, without ornament, generous, European in its manner yet responsive to the local climate and light,” a modernist sensibility that reinforced the idea of the city as a blank slate.60  During the period of Tel Aviv’s decline in the 1960s and 1970s, many of the Bauhaus buildings had fallen into disrepair. Though the phrase “white city” had appeared decades earlier, it took on new meaning in the subsequent efforts to cultivate a renewed image of Tel Aviv.61 In 1984, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s                                                       57 Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, “Tel Aviv Nonstop City – The Brand Story,” Tel Aviv-Yafo,  58 Though Bauhaus architecture is found in other cities, the White City of Tel Aviv is unique—according to UNESCO—because “None of the European or North-Africa realizations exhibit such a synthesis of the modernistic picture nor are they at the same scale (“White City of Tel-Aviv – the Modern Movement,” UNESCO World Heritage Center,  59 Shula Vidrich, “‘The White City’ of Tel Aviv-Yafo: A UNESCO World Heritage Site,” Tel Aviv Nonstop City, Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, July 2016.  60 Segal, p. 230. 61 Azaryahu, Tel Aviv, p. 179.  26 exhibition The White City proclaimed the buildings not only as a significant component of Tel Aviv’s identity but also as the city’s contribution to global heritage. Sharon Rotbard argues that the push for the White City’s acceptance as such came from the improvement of Israel’s international standing with the 1993 Oslo Accord; the White City was “seen as a means of propelling the country’s integration into an increasingly globalized world.”62 Alona Nitzan-Shiftan writes that UNESCO’s recognition of the White City was seen as affirmation of the values of democracy and pluralism, “which we have been led to believe, or want to believe, are enabled by the newness of Tel Aviv.”63 From the city’s self-mythologizing view, the White City reinforced the imaginary of a liberal, cosmopolitan Israel embodied by Tel Aviv.   Figure 2.6. Bauhaus architecture in downtown Tel Aviv, August 2016                                                        62 Sharon Rotbard, White City Black City: Architecture and War in Tel Aviv and Jaffa, (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2015), p. 15. 63 Alona Nitzan-Shiftan, “The Walled City and the White City: The Construction of the Tel Aviv/Jerusalem Dichotomy,” Perspecta 39 (2007): 101.  27 The tourist gaze has been complicit in reproducing this mythos throughout the history of Bauhaus in Tel Aviv. With the construction of the buildings in the 1930s, the self-mythologizing imaginary projected a sense of modernity that rejected the past in order to establish a European city in the Middle East. The clean, white aesthetic would reflect Tel Aviv’s mythic emergence ex nihilo, unburdened by history. In more recent decades, with the buildings’ restoration and the shaping of “the White City” to be one of Tel Aviv’s defining features, the imaginary centers on a sense of modernity that engages in nostalgia for a specific past. Rather than a mythos of modernity that rejects history, the incorporation of the Bauhaus buildings into the tourist landscape celebrates the crucial European influence in the urban development of Tel Aviv’s formative decades. Together, the features of the mythic landscape of Tel Aviv emphasize the identity of the city as being fundamentally about modernity. This imaginary is an assertion of spatial distance, which first insists that Tel Aviv is unlike the rest of Israel. The Nonstop City campaign had encouraged Israelis to visit Tel Aviv by portraying it as “an urban retreat, an attempted escape from the burdens of Israeli reality,”64 the very symbol of “sanity, secularism, and entrepreneurship” in contrast to Jerusalem’s identification with the religious population and conservative politics.65 This spatial distancing is apparent in both Israeli and international imaginaries of the city: Israelis refer to Tel Aviv “as ‘the bubble,’ or alternately ‘the Country of Tel Aviv,’”66 and the New York Times describes Tel Aviv as “passionately secular and avowedly carefree… where the search for the perfect cup of coffee and a commitment to L.G.B.T. pride seems to take precedence over Israel’s complicated politics.”67 And as Lonely Planet notes, “While the State of Israel hits                                                       64 Segal, p. 225. 65 Nitzan-Shiftan, “The Walled City and the White City,” pp. 99-100. 66 Liz Steinberg, “Travel Tel Aviv: Everything you need to know when visiting Israel’s sin city,” Haaretz, August 24, 2016, 67 Debra Kamin, “36 Hours in Tel Aviv,” New York Times, December 31, 2015,   Israel has been criticized for “pinkwashing”—deliberately using an image of modernity, signified by the embrace of L.G.B.T. life, in order to conceal the ongoing violations of Palestinians’ human rights. Tel Aviv, in particular, has dedicated extensive resources to branding itself as an international L.G.B.T. tourist destination.  See Sarah Schulman, “Israel and ‘Pinkwashing,’” New York  28 the headlines, the state of Tel Aviv sits back with a cappuccino.”68Not only is Tel Aviv presented as a separate, distance space from Israel, but the personification of the city adds to its appeal as a tourist destination—as though Tel Aviv were a carefree café-goer, untroubled by the conflicts that may plague the rest of the country. Implicit in these descriptions are Tel Aviv’s lack of violence, tension, and instability that sets it apart from the Israel that appears in international news.  With its place on the Mediterranean shore and café-lined boulevards amidst the skyscrapers, Tel Aviv’s westernized urban landscape also produces it as a space of safety and security from the violence of “the Middle East.” Tel Aviv Director of Tourism Isaac Mizrachi states, “Tel Aviv enjoys a high degree of personal safety compared to many global cities, despite international media coverage. You can go for a walk in the park at 10:00pm in Tel Aviv and be perfectly safe, which is something you wouldn’t do in some European or American cities. We communicate that to potential visitors in our marketing work, and we rely on their word of mouth when they go back overseas after an enjoyable visit.”69 Such depictions incorporate Tel Aviv into a geography of security that distances the city from the imaginary of a dangerous “Middle East”—in which Israel is often located, in global news. Moreover, it implies that the city is so modern, so western, that it is even safer than some European and American cities.  This recontextualization points to the second part of the assertion of spatial distance—that Tel Aviv is similar to European and American cities. In the 1920s and 1930s, residents “often felt the need to conceptualize Tel Aviv by comparing it to other places—Paris, Berlin, Odessa, or New York,” which, according to Helman, reflects “an absence of the matter-of-fact normalcy they wished to achieve.”70 In the contemporary tourist landscape, it would seem that this aspiration has been fulfilled, as the comparisons have taken on a self-evident quality. Comparisons are especially made with New York; for example,                                                                                                                                                                               Times, November 22, 2011,  68 Israel & the Palestinian Territories, p. 108. 69 Isaac Mizrachi, email message to author, August 22, 2016.  70 Helman, Young Tel Aviv, p. 162.  29 Dizengoff Street was dubbed “Tel Aviv’s Broadway”71 and Lonely Planet describes its downtown skyscrapers as being “a kind of Manhattan in the Middle East.”72 In one of the three official tourist information centers of the city, a bubbly and helpful man had circled neighborhoods of interest on a map for me, saying, “You know, New York—well, Florentin is like Brooklyn. The hip place.” This mode of spatial distancing reveals that, although Tel Aviv is presented as lacking in history, the mythos of the city’s modernity is not indifferent to its past. Rather, it is premised upon a sense of nostalgia for the past century, focusing on the Zionist settlers coming to an “empty” place and building a modern city on par with New York from it.  But despite the pervasiveness of the imaginary of Tel Aviv as an exception to the rest of country, there is an underlying assertion about the broader Israeli political imaginary in this view of Tel Aviv’s identity. While it was the location of the declaration of the State of Israel, Tel Aviv’s central position in the national imaginary shifted when Jerusalem came under Israeli control in the 1967 war. As the national government moved to Jerusalem in 1973 and a 1980 law declared Jerusalem the “undivided capital” of Israel, Tel Aviv experienced urban decline and distanced itself from the political arguments dominating Israeli society. Azaryahu contends that the renewal of the rivalry between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv was rearticulated in the 1980s as a clash between alternative visions of the country, between the “reactionary and fanatic Israel” of the former and the “secular, liberal, and enlightened Israel” of the latter.73 Nitzan-Shiftan argues that Tel Aviv “was where a sense of Israeliness took shape”74 until 1967, but by the 1980s, it featured in “the search to redefine a secure Israeli past… distinct from the Jewish past that was now represented by Jerusalem.”75 This endeavor propelled the development of the contemporary mythic landscape. The restoration of the beaches, the Nonstop City campaign, and the celebration of the White                                                       71 Azaryahu, Tel Aviv, p. 253. 72 Israel & the Palestinian Territories, p. 108. 73 Azaryahu, Tel Aviv, p. 218. 74 Nitzan-Shiftan, “The Walled City and the White City,” p. 96. 75 Alona Nitzan-Shiftan, “The Architecture of the Hyphen: The Urban Unification of Jaffa and Tel-Aviv as National Metaphor,” Tel-Aviv, the First Century: Visions, Designs, Actualities, (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2012), p. 396.  30 City that all took place in this period were part of this assertion of the uniquely progressive character of Tel Aviv within the Israeli national imaginary.  In addition to the efforts highlighting Tel Aviv’s appealing distance from the rest of Israel, this period also saw a rearticulation of Tel Aviv as the paragon of the Zionist narrative; this is evidenced by the reconstruction of the Independence Hall Museum in 1981. Its location on Rothschild Boulevard is one of the original plots from the 1909 lottery, drawn by Meir Dizengoff (who later became the first mayor of Tel Aviv). The museum memorializes the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948 with a restored hall decorated with large Israeli flags on either side of a portrait of Theodor Herzl. It includes an exhibit and a film that document the event with triumphal aplomb: visitors can learn about “the fulfillment of the dream of the Jewish state” and how it immediately faced invasion by Arab armies. The narrative connects the Zionist aspirations for Tel Aviv as a model Hebrew city with the broader efforts during the British Mandate for the creation of a Jewish state. The museum links the success of Tel Aviv, as projected throughout the wider tourist landscape, to the original victory of Israel’s establishment through the Zionist ideals of Jewish self-rule and a normalized modern existence. The museum thus conflates the mythic narratives of Tel Aviv and Israel, so that the political imaginary invoked is not only of a modern city but also of a modern nation-state.  Despite the ambiguity of Tel Aviv’s role within the national imaginary, its mythos as a modern European city ultimately has a complex relationship with the past: it asserts the thoroughly modern, forward-looking character of a city unburdened by the past, but it also emphasizes the extensive European influences that have historically shaped the city’s development. The dominance of this mythos derives in part from the sheer quantity of tourism material available about Tel Aviv, especially in the physical landscape: official plaques branded with the Tel Aviv Nonstop City logo mark sites of local significance throughout the city, and the tourist information centers offer an extensive variety of city maps catering to specific tourist interests. The mythic city conveyed throughout the discourses and depictions is remarkably  31 consistent and overly polished. Despite the vigorous branding and marketing efforts, however, the convivial ease and enthusiasm with which Tel Aviv residents (especially the staff members in the tourist information centers) produce a sense of sincerity and authenticity to it all. The designated tourist sites focus on experiences of leisure and pleasure throughout the lively city, rather than singular destinations of historic monuments or other typical attractions—as a British travel blogger writes, “If you come to Tel Aviv, don’t look for striking sights, but let the city pull you in with its strong charisma.”76   Sandemans	Tel	Aviv	City	Tour	 “Welcome	to	the	most	exciting	city	 in	the	Middle	East!	Tel	Aviv	 is	a	city	on	the	edge	-	where	the	 land	meets	the	sea,	where	history	meets	the	future,	where	West	meets	East.	To	the	north	of	Jaffa	lay	nothing	but	sand	dunes	and	the	trails	of	camels	carrying	the	ancient	city’s	 famous	oranges	to	distant	markets.	Out	 of	 those	 sand	 dunes	 would	 rise	 the	 skyscrapers	 of	 a	 new	 city:	 the	 most	 liberal,	 the	 most	technologically	advanced,	most	socially	progressive,	most	democratic	city	of	the	entire	Middle	East.	It’s	a	young	city	but	Tel	Aviv’s	story	is	the	culmination	of	thousands	of	years	of	history.		At	 once	 old	 and	 new,	 the	 city’s	 fascinating	 experience	 of	 tradition	 and	modernity	 has	 lessons	 for	 all	cultures	all	over	the	world.	This	three	hour	walking	tour	is	an	unmissable	exploration	of	sandy	beaches,	peaceful	 streets,	bustling	markets,	 shady	boulevards	and	 the	 search	 for	 identity.	 Just	 like	 the	 intrepid	pioneers	 of	 1909	we	will	 leave	 Jaffa	 and	 cross	 the	 dunes	 to	 the	 city.	Whilst	 their	 city	was	 built	 from	hopes	and	dreams	we	have	the	luxury	of	exploring	the	streets	and	monuments	of	today.	Between	these	extremes	 is	 the	 famous	district	of	Neve	Tzedek.	 It	was	here	 that	Tel	Aviv	began	and	we	can	trace	 the	emergence	 of	 the	 city	 and	 its	 culture	 through	 the	 lives	 of	 the	 legendary	 pioneers	 that	 built	 the	 first	Hebrew	city	in	2000	years.”77	  We’re standing in the afternoon shadow of the Jaffa clock tower to meet our guide, Ariel, a young man with enthusiastic, vaguely surfer-bro vibes. He introduces the itinerary of the walking tour: “We’ll leave this ancient city and literally go chronologically out of the city by going east and north. And we’ll get off the beaten track—this won’t be boring.” He gestures toward his outfit, a pink shirt and purple shorts. “When I did the Jaffa tour this morning, I was wearing my official Sandemans shirt and pants, but I changed into this to reflect the fun of Tel Aviv!”   Our first stop is at the tree-lined center of Jerusalem Boulevard. “In 1917, we’re going to change forever as a result of an invasion by England. There were two main ethnic groups here, the Arabs and the Jews. The Jews built a very young, small city with Rothschild as the main boulevard. The Jews built their capital there, and England wants to compete with that—so they build their capital here.” Ariel says we’ll be seeing the British-                                                      76 Dani Heinrich, “My Short Love Affair With Tel Aviv,” Globetrotter Girls, April 21, 2015,  77 “Tel Aviv City Tour,” Sandemans New Europe,   32 built theaters, post office, and bank along our walk. “After 1948, this district becomes really dangerous. A slum. But it’s really going through a change these days! There’s a plan to build a metro, which will change this area even more.” He grins at us. “One day, you’ll be able to tell your friends and family that you were here when this change was happening!”    Figure 2.7. On Jerusalem Boulevard, July 2016  Gathered around the Gesher Theater, Ariel tells us that its name derives from Russian theater practices. “We have a million Russians in Israel. The ones who immigrated were mostly Jews, but some were not—just people who wanted better living conditions.” Because of these Russian immigrants, he says, Israel has a great high tech industry and greater art and culture. Ariel points out the Mandate-era buildings and the Israeli housing projects around us. He explains at length about how gentrification happens in four stages, concluding, “gentrification here is the same as gentrification everywhere in the world.” We follow him up some steps and Ariel informs us that we’re “literally climbing into Europe. Or North America, you choose.”   “Welcome to America!” Ariel spreads his arms toward the quiet, manicured courtyard around us. He tells us that American Protestants came in 1857 to prepare the land for the coming of Jesus, but after they built up this area, they gave up due to violence and the heat. The German Templers, who had established a colony in Haifa and brought stuff like taxis and European architecture, bought this land from the Americans. They also build Sarona, and after that, a neighborhood in Jerusalem. “But when the Germans here started waving Nazi flags, the British kicked them out to Australia and the colony was abandoned.” The reason the neighborhood is so nice today, Ariel says, is because of gentrification.   As we follow him out of the serene courtyard and into a grungy alleyway, he explains that this is the place where underground movements in Israel always start. “Florentin is a really funky neighborhood, and the most photogenic.” He gestures at a row of warehouse studios. “It’s a good place to come during the week, when you  33 can take pictures of the artists working.” Like the other neighborhoods, Ariel confides, gentrification has happened here—a school was just built, which is one of the signs. This area used to be neglected, just a place of light industry. Indicating the new pavement, he says, “but things are really changing here.”   Farther in Florentin, Ariel squeezes between a parked car and a run-down wall to talk about the graffiti that covers it. He translates one that’s about downloading pornography, explaining how its written in a version of Hebrew script that is only used for children and religious texts—this guy’s laughing in our faces by using language for kids and religious people to talk about this!” He adds, “You can only find this in Florentin.” Pointing at a nondescript building across the street, Ariel says, “Every two weeks, something extraordinary happens here: the Arab gay community from the West Bank come across the security fence, or border—whatever you want to call it—to party.” The building is Comfort 13, a notorious nightclub. The other two weeks, there’s a party for gay Orthodox Jews from the West Bank. A young woman matter-of-factly interjects, “settlers” and Ariel gives a quick nod, “yes, settlers” before continuing: “They tell their friends they’re doing Shabbat, but they actually come here to party. The irony is that the rest of the time, these communities are enemies!” The tour participants chuckle appreciatively.   Figure 2.8. Examining graffiti in Florentin, July 2016  We emerge from an alley into Florentin St. Ariel explains that it was named after a strict rabbi who would be quite shocked at what a neighborhood named after him has become, because it’s not very religious. “It’s funny, because the three neighborhoods that most symbolize Tel Aviv and secular Israelis are named after rabbis!” We stop at another wall bursting in colorful graffiti (“Tel Aviv is the city with the fourth-most graffiti, after London, San Francisco, and Santiago!”). Ariel points to one, translating: “If I forget you, Jerusalem, it’s because of Tel Aviv.” He explains how it’s playing off of a significant biblical verse, rebelliously warping religion to make this clever new thing. Everyone eagerly takes photos. Ariel points across the street to “the most famous graffiti in Tel Aviv,” a depiction of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. “This guy painted it twenty  34 years ago, which is eternity in graffiti life. Usually stuff gets painted over very quickly. But this one, no one has touched it.”   As we continue, a young man with an American accent and a baseball cap tells a young woman in yoga pants about how he’d found a restaurant selling cheeseburgers this morning—“and I thought, wow, this really is secular Israel!” Ariel gathers us at an intersection to examine the different architectural styles all jumbled together. “Over there, the skyscrapers are erupting really quickly! Over here, this building is a style common in Jaffa. The white buildings, those are from the British. The one with the red roof is German; the roof was at an angle because they were protecting it from snow, which shows how clueless they were about this place!”   Ariel leads us across a bridge and says that he loves this tour because “we cross borders to enter into new dimensions—we’re heading now to the beautiful, posh neighborhood of Neve Tzedek.” He explains that it was the first neighborhood built by the Jews who decided to leave Jaffa. It was so successful that the rest of the Jews decided to create a city, and built Tel Aviv as we know it. “Tours typically go to the Hatachana, the old railroad station, but that’s boring!” Ariel looks over at us. “This path lets us see the gentrification story, which is much more interesting and important, to show you what’s really going on here.” We walk through the lush, manicured park in front of the Dellal Center for Dance and Theater. Ariel notes that this neighborhood had been a “horrendous slum” after the establishment of Israel, with crime and drugs, but now it’s the most expensive neighborhood in south Tel Aviv.    Figure 2.9. The guide talking about the early decades of Tel Aviv while referencing the images  in the mosaic mural by David Tartakover in the Dellal Center courtyard, July 2016  After a break at an ice cream shop, Ariel cheerfully rallies us for the final portion of our tour and we walk on. “Now we’re leaving Neve Tzedek for little Tel Aviv, the original part of the city. You’re gonna think I’m crazy, but I’ll show you a picture later—this was all dunes!” He tells the story of 66 families who bought the land  35 and gestures to the bustling streets nearby. “Over here, at the time, there was nothing.” But little Tel Aviv grows and becomes a big city that eventually gives a hug to all the cities around it, and to the small city of Jaffa. “Hugging it like a baby. That’s what happens in life; the child has to take care of its parents.”   We stop in a square at the edge of Rothschild Boulevard. “This is where everything happens, including our version of the Occupy movement in 2011.” The changes in society, Ariel explains, are also because of migration. “A lot of French Jewish immigrants have come with money in the past ten years, which has changed property values.” And when other countries experience security crises, such as Argentina, “we get a lot of Jews immigrating—that’s why Israel is very multicultural.”   Continuing up the boulevard, we pause across from Independence Hall. Ariel recounts how people wanted Tel Aviv to be the capital because it embodies Zionism; “it’s about Jews building something out of nothing.” And even though the government offices moved to Jerusalem, the Ministry of Agriculture and “our Pentagon—the Ministry of Security” remained here. Finally, we stop in front of the Founders Monument, where Ariel flips open his binder to show us the Soskin photo of the drawing of the lots. “See? It was all dunes!” The tour concludes with a summary of the places we’d been and Ariel gives each of us a high five as we leave.    Figure 2.10. Showing the photograph of the lottery in front of the monument to the founding families, July 2016   The Sandemans tour of Tel Aviv primarily reproduces the narrative of Tel Aviv as exception to Israel through an assertion of distance. This is accomplished foremost through the construction of a teleological narrative of the development of the city. By “literally go[ing] chronologically” out of Jaffa and  36 into the newer neighborhoods of Tel Aviv, the tour reiterates how Tel Aviv’s founders presented the establishment of a new Jewish neighborhood free of the squalor that plagued the old Arab city.78 This is a narrative that continues to be reproduced in contemporary tourism—Lonely Planet describes how Tel Aviv “was created by small groups of Jews who decided to leave the cramped, unsanitary and sometimes unfriendly confines of the long-established, predominantly Muslim and Christian Arab town of Jaffa.”79  The tour also emphasizes the various western influences in the early development of Tel Aviv by highlighting the German and British architecture, as well as performatively embodying the place of America and Europe in the German Colony neighborhood. These practices reinforce the spatial distancing of Tel Aviv by presenting it as a European landscape in the Middle East. But the tour also contains a subtle decolonial narrative in which the Tel Aviv’s inhabitants overcame British rule of the Jewish homeland. Along with the recognition of the heritage left behind by the Germans and the British, the guide reproduces the dominant mythos by explaining how Tel Aviv’s early residents took the “nothing” of the sand dunes and shaped it into a modern city. The narration draws out this thread to the present in suggesting that it is immigration—of Russians, French, Argentinians, etc.—enhance the cosmopolitan character of Tel Aviv, and that it is this multiculturalism that identifies Tel Aviv as a progressive, modern city today. The distancing of Tel Aviv from the rest of Israel is further enforced through the tour’s depiction of Tel Aviv’s vibrant character as the ultimate liberal, and secular city. The guide’s story about the Florentin club is about Tel Aviv as a progressive place of pleasure that provides both “sides” with acceptance and escape from their strict communities. It implies that both geopolitical contestation and religious constraints can be, and are, left at the threshold of the exceptional spaces of Tel Aviv. With the tour’s presentation of the graffiti poems, the attitude of youthful rebellion in such mockery of religion reiterates old tropes—as a British journalist visiting the city in the 1930s wrote, Tel Aviv “prides itself in the vibrant life of the                                                       78 Mark Levine, Overthrowing Geography: Jaffa, Tel Aviv, and the Struggle for Palestine, 1880-1948, (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2005), p. 62. 79 Robinson et al., p. 111.  37 twentieth century raging there… and mocks the old, noble, and conservative Jerusalem.”80 The emphasis on “edgy” Florentin contributes to the portrayal of Tel Aviv as a lively, liberal, cosmopolitan city more broadly. This point is belabored even in the small details of tour, such as the guide’s comment about his wardrobe change to reflect “the fun of Tel Aviv.”  While the tour makes the point that these characteristics uniquely position Tel Aviv as an exception to Israel, it also emphasizes that they are what makes Tel Aviv like other global cities. For example, the guide notes that Tel Aviv follows London, San Francisco, and Santiago for having the most graffiti, and refers to the 2011 social justice protests as “our version of the Occupy movement” and the Israeli Ministry of Security as “our Pentagon.” These examples reinforce the point about how Tel Aviv’s spatial distancing occurs through comparisons to other cities. Tel Aviv’s similarity to other global cities is declared most explicitly through the narrative about gentrification. The guide states that “gentrification here is the same as gentrification everywhere in the world,” which he illustrates through the neighborhoods we pass through: picturesque Jerusalem Boulevard used to be crime-ridden, artsy Florentin used to be an industrial area, elegant Neve Tzedek used to be a slum. These depictions work through the disparity between his narration and what we actually see before us; rather than rundown industrial slums, we see attractive, modern neighborhoods. The contrast gives more weight to the mythic narrative of the city’s development, reinforcing the idea of the flourishing modern city as coming from lesser beginnings.  Furthermore, this narrative is made particularly appealing to tourists by portraying Tel Aviv as still up-and-coming, a story of which we are now part. The most prominent example is when the guide says, “One day, you’ll be able to tell your friends and family that you were here” as the subway system is being developed; we are enrolled as characters in the ongoing story of Tel Aviv’s exciting modernizing transformations. The tour also folds us into its presentation as insiders by reiterating that we are seeing a more authentic Tel Aviv instead of a typical commercialized tourist experience. For example, the guide                                                       80 Azaryahu, Tel Aviv, p.216.  38 introduces our itinerary as “off the beaten track” and later highlights that we do not go to the Hatachana, where other tours typically go. This approach adds authority to the scripting of the tour in suggesting that we are now insiders with knowledge of what Tel Aviv is really like. Moreover, the physical route of the tourists from Jaffa to Independence Hall has the participants performatively embody the mythic narrative of Tel Aviv’s establishment. In a sense, we are made to retrace the path—literally and figuratively—of the tenacious, pioneering founders. As a result, the tour participants become part of the “we” in Tel Aviv’s story. The tour ultimately constitutes a concentrated experience of the dominant mythos of Tel Aviv. Both modes of spatial distancing appear in the narration: Tel Aviv is unlike the rest of Israel because of its progressive secularism, liberalism, and cosmopolitanism, which also makes it like other global (especially Euro-American) cities. The specific temporality embedded in this imaginary is oriented towards the future and unburdened by history, which is reinforced by the mentions of the fast pace at which the city changes—new graffiti replacing the old, the mass transit system currently under construction. These details are portrayed as a continuation of the actions of the city’s founders, suggesting that it is an essential quality of Tel Aviv to be always moving forward in its own development. The tour thus thoroughly reproduces the mythos of Tel Aviv as a modern city whose short history celebrates its founders “building something out of nothing” and is entirely dissociated from the conflicts that color life in the rest of Israel.    2.2 Mythic Jaffa In reality, the political tensions are inextricably entangled in the story of Tel Aviv, which becomes evident in the examination of the city’s historical relation to Jaffa. According to popular recounting, Jaffa at the turn of the century was a crowded, unsanitary Oriental city and the Jewish community desired to establish their own modern city. But the initial plans had only been for Achuzat Bayit to build a suburb north of Jaffa, which was the socioeconomic center of this part of the Ottoman Empire at the time; as  39 Barbara Mann points out, there was no synagogue in their initial plan because “the community’s religious needs, like its commercial life, were to be satisfied in Jaffa.”81 These details are erased from the origin myth of Tel Aviv—the iconic Soskin photograph of the drawing of the lots, for example, portrays Palestine as “a land without a people for a people without a land.”82 Mark Levine emphasizes that, despite the image of the vacant dunes, Achuzat Bayit was actually bordered by “densely planted agricultural land on its east and southeast” as well as the built-up neighborhoods of Jaffa.83 As the original neighborhood grew, much of what became Tel Aviv was in fact built on orchards, vineyards, and Palestinian villages.84 From the start, the mythos of Tel Aviv’s unburdened modernity as “a European city rising from the desolate sand dunes” was premised on another, more insidious myth, which will be explored in this section.85   Sandemans	Tour	of	Old	Jaffa	 “Jaffa	is	one	of	the	oldest	inhabited	places	in	the	world,	destroyed	and	rebuilt	dozens	of	times	in	its	four	millenia	(sic)	long	life.	Some	of	the	biggest	empires	in	history	have	ruled	Jaffa	and	left	their	mark	from	the	Romans	to	the	British.		The	 ‘Bride	 of	 Palestine’	 has	 been	 reinvented	many	 times:	 the	 Egyptian	 city,	 the	 backwater	 Ottoman	town,	the	heart	of	a	cosmopolitan	Levant,	the	epicentre	of	the	Arab	Revolt	and	a	symbol	of	Jewish-Arab	co-existence.	This	2	hour	tour	is	short	on	walking	but	packed	full	of	legends	and	drama.	Let	the	Ministry	of	Tourism	licensed	guides	with	whom	we	work	take	you	through	the	most	beautiful	streets	and	squares	of	Old	Jaffa	and	show	you	the	stories	beyond	the	breathtaking	views.”86	  Morning, again at the Jaffa clock tower. Our guide, Ethan, introduces himself: he’s from the U.S. but moved to Israel five years ago and “fell in love”… with a woman who’s now his wife, and with Israel itself. He studied for two years to get his tour guide license and he actually lived in Jaffa for a few years. After having people throw out guesses for Jaffa’s age, he tells us that it’s 4,500 years old, but some of the antiquities go back even further. And the port is so old, he notes, that it was mentioned twice in the Bible. Gesturing to the clock tower, Ethan explains that it was built after the first railroad in the Middle East opened in the early 1900s. In the chirpy                                                       81 Barbara E. Mann, A Place in History: Modernism, Tel Aviv, and the Creation of Jewish Urban Space, (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006), p. 147. 82 Adam LeBor, City of Oranges: An Intimate History of Arabs and Jews in Jaffa, (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2007), p. 24. 83 Levine, Overthrowing Geography, pp. 80-81. 84 Segal, p. 228. 85 Troen, p. 91. 86 “Free Tour of Old Jaffa,” Sandemans New Europe,   40 tone one might take with a kindergarten classroom, he recounts the story: Sultan Abdul Hamid having 100 clock towers built across the Ottoman Empire to celebrate his silver jubilee; when the British came to power, they knocked down the one in Jerusalem because they thought it was ugly. We headed south into Jaffa, gathering at across the street from the Mahmadiyya Mosque. “Story goes, the sultan Abu-Nabbut visits Jaffa and goes outside the city walls to see the water. When he gets back, the gates are closed for the night and the guards don’t let him in because they don’t believe that he’s the sultan. So he spends the night on the beach without food or water. When he returns the next morning, he declares that he’s going to build a sebil to make sure everyone—rich or poor, inside or outside—has water to drink. And this fountain was the one he built. It’s in pretty good condition for being 200 years old.”87  Underneath the arches a few steps away, Ethan announces, “Now we’re going to recreate the experience of people going to Jerusalem 200 years ago. We’ve docked at the port, drunk some water, and now we’re going through the city gate.” He talks about how the city was attacked many times back in the day, so they kept building up more defenses. We move along the street until Ethan pauses. “Here, we’re standing in the money-changing area. The people who were living here realized this was the best place to have all the stores. I apologize for this smelliness, but it wasn’t like this back then…” He grimaces humorously at us. “It was way worse! There were 14,000 people living in Jaffa back then, and the smell and dirtiness got so bad that a group left in the 1860s to establish the neighborhood of Neve Tzedek.” Some people nod as he says that Neve Tzedek now has many cool cafés and art galleries to check out. “But after them, another group established Tel Aviv a while later. So it may seem like we’re standing in a random alleyway, but this here is the reason why the city of Tel Aviv was established!”    Figure 2.11. Not just a random alleyway in Jaffa, July 2016                                                        87 Though the guide refers to Abu-Nabbut as the sultan, he was actually the governor of Jaffa and Gaza.  41  We follow Ethan out into an open street in sight of the sea. “Here, you’ll see a great view of Tel Aviv, so you can take pictures. But save some shots because we’re going to end the tour with an even better view!” He tells us that Old Jaffa is a popular area for wedding photography, and says that he and his wife got married on a Thursday night—“the best time, because then you can party all night and have all of Shabbat to rest.” Everyone chuckles. A few minutes later, we’re sitting on some steps in front of an official tourism plaque for Andromeda’s Rock and Ethan takes out a binder and shows us a painting of Andromeda and Perseus to supplement his story about the rocks. He says that Greek mythology is a big deal here; there’s also a bridge with the astrological signs on which you can make a wish.   As we continue walking, Ethan tells us about Napoleon’s attempt to conquer Akko and having the people of Jaffa massacred, and the plague that followed. “So, you can look around and see it’s very beautiful, but two hundred years ago, it was a different story.” He shows us the painting Bonaparte Visiting the Plague Victims of Jaffa and exclaims, “this is total propaganda!” because no way did Napoleon go around touching sick men. That’s why, he explains, “Arab Muslims don’t have a good view of him, but Jews have a different perspective, because he emancipated the Jews in France.” A middle-aged couple with a young boy sidles up to Ethan to ask about the Jewish population of Jaffa around 1800. Ethan answers that it was just a small community, “but they were there,” and today it’s split down the middle between Arabs and Jews.   When we make it to the port itself, Ethan gathers us around conspiratorially and says, “I won’t say this too loudly so as to not offend any locals, but this was never a good port and probably never will be!” He explains that the rocky shore makes it very dangerous but so many people came despite the risk in order to reach Jerusalem. He says, “I’m going to get a little into the political stuff,” and describes the Arab boycott and how “Jews weren’t allowed to use anything here,” so they got permission from the British to build their own port farther north. “Today, the Tel Aviv port is a cool spot with lots of stuff to do.” He points out a building with a large TV screen on its side, which belongs to a news studio that broadcasts in English, French, and Arabic but not Hebrew. He declares, “Personally, I think it’s interesting that you have this modern building next to the old stuff here. Israel is full of juxtapositions like this. Becoming a new modern state with all this heritage is really what this place is all about.”  We arrive at an archway with a sign declaring in Hebrew and English, “TO OLD JAFFA” that many people photograph before going through to the tranquil sandstone alleys of the artists colony. “Before the 1970s, this was a very run-down area with lots of crime, but the government came up with the idea to change it by moving artists in for free. So money starts coming in and now this place is very beautiful.” Ethan emphasizes that we’re only seeing a small part of Jaffa on today’s tour and that, in other parts, “it’s not as nice” because not much money comes in even though the people work very hard. Weaving through the narrow alleys, we stop in front of a stately door with “House of Simon” written above it. Ethan tells the story of Simon the tanner and how the disciple Peter had stayed here and had a very important dream. “Jesus was Jewish, the first followers were Jewish, but Peter starts preaching to non-Jews after this dream; the expansion of Christianity began where we’re standing right here.”   We head towards a café in the far end of Kedumim Square to have our break. Several people photograph the Napoleonic soldier statue gesturing to the square with a “HISTORICAL SITE” sign. fterwards, we heads to the steps outside the Ilana Goor Museum, where Ethan recounts how he had proposed to his girlfriend here three years ago. This area is the cultural center, he says, with all the galleries, a theater, a wine shop, and a synagogue dating from 1740—“which shows how old the Jewish community here is.” As we trudge back into the artists colony, Ethan asks if there are any Capricorns in the group and someone enthusiastically shouts an  42 affirmative. “I’m also a Capricorn. This is our street!” he points to the cerulean rectangles on a building corner that mark the intersection. “All the streets in here are named after astrological signs.”   Figure 2.12. Tour participants in Kedumim Square, July 2016  We wind our way through the alleys until we arrive at a hanging orange tree, which people immediately photograph. “This is a work of art created in 1993, and it’s grow a lot since then,” Ethan says. “Now, one of the explanations for this piece is a history lesson.” He takes out his binder and shows us a map of the 1947 UN Partition Plan. In his blithe, matter-of-fact tone, he explains that the biggest wave of Jewish immigration was in the 1940s, as survivors of the war in Europe were escaping. “Both Jews and Arabs claimed this area, so there were tensions that lasted to today.” He says that the British were in charge and unwilling to take a side between the Jews and Arabs who both claimed this area, so they became “an enemy to both people” and it was a bad time to be in Jaffa because there was a lot of violence. The British leave and hand off the problem to the UN, and the partition plan is proposed. “Now, the Arabs reject it right away, saying that the Holocaust was terrible but it wasn’t their fault, so why should they lose their land because of it? And the Jews weren’t too happy about it either, but they accept the plan. War breaks out, and the Jews called it the War of Independence but the Arabs called it the nakba, which means ‘catastrophe’ because they had huge losses, they lost their land, and the remaining population was scattered. I like to stay neutral, so I call it ‘the War of 1948.’ You can call it whatever you want.” He comments that we must hear a lot about the tension with the conflict, “but you don’t really feel it here because it’s more open and liberal.” When he was living in Jaffa, he says, he shared a building with Jews, Muslims, and even a Holocaust survivor.    43  Figure 2.13. Pointing out Old Jaffa on a photograph in the artists colony, July 2016  Following Ethan out of the artists colony to a grassy knoll nearer the sea, we hear about how the olive tree is the national tree of Israel. He says, “the olive branch is a universal symbol of peace, but here, it’s the opposite,” pointing to a squat, unremarkable building nearby—a bomb shelter. “Two years ago, there was a war going on, and rockets from Hamas were being launched.” He explains how the Iron Dome system works to intercept missiles, and how in this part of Israel, you had ninety seconds to get to safety when you heard the sirens. The tour participants listen attentively, with wide eyes and solemn expressions. Ethan says that he noticed a difference between native and non-native Israelis: his Argentinian-born wife was paranoid and terrified, but they saw Israelis going up to their roofs when the sirens rang, pulling out their iPhones to take videos of the rockets. He explains that it’s because Israelis are so used to the violence that they feel that they’ll drive themselves crazy if they’re always scared that something might happen. Ethan then says that, during a World Cup final, Hamas sent a rocket at the beginning of the game and then a second one at halftime “because they’d rather watch the game! So all we need is for the two sides to get together and have a beer and watch soccer.” He chuckles and shrugs. “Well, maybe someday.” As we walk up the hill, one young man tells his friend that he saw this exact behavior in Jerusalem—there was some incident, and everyone was very casual about it. The woman shrugs sadly. “They’re so desensitized.”   44  Figure 2.14. Walking up to HaPisga Garden, July 2016  In front of a restored Ancient Egyptian gate, Ethan says that we’re on a tel—a man-made mound containing layers of civilizations that built on top of each other. “Why did people come three thousand years ago to this land?” He pulls out a map from his binder. “This strip of land—whatever you want to call it, Israel, Palestine, the land of milk and honey, the holy land, whatever—whoever controls this land has access to resources and strategic geography. That’s why there were so many civilizations here.” But despite the name, Tel Aviv is not actually a tel at all; “Tel Aviv was established on top of sand dunes. There was nothing there before.” Ethan explains how the founders wanted to name the city after Theodor Herzl’s book, the title translating to “old-new land.” With “tel” symbolizing the old and “aviv,” the Hebrew word for “spring,” he says, “Tel Aviv is a combination of the new and the old. A new, modern city built in an old, historic land.”   We reach top of the hill, and an older woman gushes, “Oh my god, what an incredible view!” Standing in front of St. Peter’s Church, Ethan tells the story of Peter spreading Christianity, “which was totally illegal back then,” and how Peter is seen as the first pope. We continue to our final destination, a vista of the Tel Aviv skyscrapers along the beach. Ethan gives us a moment for the flurry of selfies being taken in addition to photographing the view of the shoreline. “This is the nice view I was talking about!”88   Ethan directs our gaze to a building with a red roof, which he explains is a former police station that was used to hold Adolf Eichmann prisoner. He tells us that his grandparents are Holocaust survivors and that his grandfather wasn’t able to talk about it until after Eichmann’s trial, although his grandmother was never able to talk about it. “Anyway, the building is being turned into a boutique hotel now. So it’s a prime example of remembering the past but also moving forward.”  Concluding the tour, Ethan reads a paragraph written by Mark Twain when he traveled here, “seeing some of the exact places we saw today!” The passage closes with                                                       88 See Figure 2.1.   45 “Jaffa has a history and a stirring one.” 89 If we have more time, Ethan says, we should definitely walk around more because there’s much more than we can see in two hours.   The Sandemans tour of “Old Jaffa” introduces Jaffa as a heritage site that is subsumed into the mythos of Tel Aviv. While the tour of Tel Aviv started at the edge of Jaffa in order to move forward through the story of the city’s establishment and early development, the tour of Jaffa moves backward in time to immerse participants in the distant past. This timeline is replicated in the orientation of physical space, as Jaffa’s tourist sites are located at the southern end of the shoreline and the lived neighborhoods of Tel Aviv are at the northern end. The tour’s narration of the expansive history of Jaffa paradoxically functions to compress it into an easily consumed tourist attraction, a requisite heritage component of the Tel Aviv municipality.  The dominant quality of Jaffa asserted through the tour is its unfathomable age, which serves as a contrast against the characteristic newness of Tel Aviv. There is particular focus on making biblical stories come alive in our present experience, such as with the House of Simon and St. Peter’s Church, as well as on pointing out sites built during the Ottoman period, such as the clock tower and the sebil. The emphasis on Jaffa’s long history is made more salient through the assertion that it is this history that has led to the Tel Aviv of today. At particular moments on the tour, glimpses of contemporary life appear in the setting of “Old Jaffa,” such as the guide’s references to the television studio in the old port and the development of a historic building into a boutique hotel. The sandstone alleys of the artists colony add to the ancient—or, at least, unfamiliar—atmosphere in addition to reinforcing the gentrification narrative of the Tel Aviv tour. These features inscribe Jaffa into a particular point in the chronology of modern Tel Aviv’s development. The tour also provides an image of Jaffa as charmingly exotic through a variety of strategies. Many of the sites are presented through whimsical, easily digested stories, and the guide’s rhetorical style serves                                                       89 Moshe Gilad writes, “Many tour guides love to quote Twain because he is funny and highlights the land in a critical and amusing way. Others (myself included) quote him in order to show that very little has changed here over the last 150 years” (Haaretz, March 16, 2017).   46 to collapse these packaged stories of the past with our excursion in the present. The historical events and biblical stories are recounted in an apocryphal manner in addition to being interwoven with actual myths and legends, such as Andromeda’s Rock and the zodiac signs. The combination of historical narration and quaint attractions renders the landscape accessible for tourist consumption. “Old Jaffa,” in a sense, comes to resemble a theme park of neatly packaged sites aimed at an entertaining and enjoyable experience. This particular atmosphere is exemplified by the statue bearing the “historic site” sign, an overt direction of the tourist gaze that appeals to visitors because of its kitschy charm. However, the guide’s narration restores a degree of authenticity, as his personal anecdotes about living in Jaffa and marrying his wife add to his authority as someone with lived experience in Jaffa, as well as contributing to the overall romanticism of the tourist landscape.  All of these strategies work to produce an Orientalist imaginary that casts Jaffa as picturesque, exotic, bizarre, but ultimately unthreatening. It reiterates the Orientalist trope of demarcating an unfamiliar space that is “theirs” from the familiar space that is “ours.”90 In being presented as the historical appendix to Tel Aviv, Jaffa is constructed as a foreign space that contrasts with Tel Aviv’s familiarity. History is instrumentalized on the tour to support the dominant mythos: while the Tel Aviv tour emphasized the European influences throughout the city’s development in the past century, the tour of Old Jaffa highlights ancient civilizations in order to demonstrate its rich yet remote history—a heritage that does not interfere with the imaginary of modern Tel Aviv. As a result of this reconstruction, Jaffa is rendered the domesticated other of Tel Aviv, a sanitized and superficial tourist landscape whose picturesque qualities eclipse any history that disrupts the dominant mythos. This imaginary can be understood through Timothy Mitchell’s argument that the identity of the modern city is dependent upon the exclusion of its own opposite as a technique of “establishing one’s identity over and in terms of another,” a dependence that                                                       90 Derek Gregory, The Colonial Present, (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2004), p. 17.  47 “makes the outside, the Oriental, paradoxically an integral part of the modern city.”91 Although Mitchell is writing of nineteenth-century Cairo, this juxtaposition similarly appears with the construction of the tourist landscape of Old Jaffa.  In this way, Jaffa is constituted as an exotic yet peaceful place in the present, the ancient setting from which the founders of Tel Aviv broke away in order to develop a progressive, modern European city. This mythos of modern Tel Aviv is premised upon the reimagining of Jaffa without Palestinians or political contestation. On the tour, this occurs in part through the guide’s explicit attempts at imparting an apolitical narrative. When discussing the events at Jaffa Port, he announces, “I’m going to get a little into the political stuff,” as though politics were a distinct realm into which he could briefly dip. At Oranger Suspendu, he speaks of the “war of 1948” because he likes to “stay neutral” and tells us that we can call it whatever we want, which implies that the participants are free to draw their own conclusions without his influence. While the guide acknowledges the ongoing violence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, his narration nevertheless couches it; even when recounting his personal experiences outside the bomb shelter, he emphasizes that such violence is distinctly of the past. He provides the example of his old apartment building that was shared with Jews and Muslims to assert that Jaffa today is characterized by coexistence. This serves to obscure Jaffa’s historical tensions and present-day role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more broadly. For tour participants, the sights of Jaffa indeed align with the tension-free imaginary the guide presents.  In portraying “Old Jaffa” as picturesque and peaceful, the tour produces Jaffa as the exotic yet unthreatening counterpart to Tel Aviv. Not only does this mythic imaginary manifest in the scripting of the guided tours, but it is also embedded thoroughly in travel writing, tourist marketing, and the physical landscape itself. Unlike the fast-paced, nonstop urban life that characterizes Tel Aviv, Jaffa is presented as a small component of the municipality that is more relaxed, yet alluring in its own right. While many direct                                                       91 Timothy Mitchell, Colonising Egypt (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991), p. 165.  48 contrasts are drawn between Jaffa and Tel Aviv, they ultimately serve to incorporate Jaffa as a crucial component of the larger imaginary of the municipality. It is the old in “old-new land,” a key part of Tel Aviv’s identity. Not only is Jaffa “Tel Aviv’s most charming outdoor setting,”92 but, as a travel article in the New York Times notes, “it’s rare that you can pair a beach vacation with 5,000 years of history.”93 These depictions depend on the presentation of Jaffa as a static site with a singular historical narrative of different civilizations conquering Jaffa until Israel was established and all was well.  But the historical details excluded from this narrative are more revealing. As a major port in the Ottoman Empire, Jaffa had grown rapidly, developing a diverse ethnic and religious population. During the British Mandate, its significance diminished as the British built a port in Haifa and Tel Aviv was established.94 Achuzat Bayit originally intended for the neighborhood to be a residential suburb, with the Jewish community’s religious and commercial life still centered in Jaffa, but with the intercommunal violence of 1921, most of Jaffa’s Jewish residents moved to Tel Aviv.95 Clashes between Jewish and Palestinian militia in response to the 1947 UN partition plan escalated as British forces withdrew. Most Palestinian residents fled the violence—as was the case across Palestine during the 1948 war. Soon after the State of Israel was declared, Jaffa was annexed to the Tel Aviv municipality and new Jewish immigrants were settled in expropriated Palestinian houses.96  Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, much of Jaffa deteriorated and was seen as a slum by Tel Aviv residents.  Following Israel’s capture of Jerusalem in 1967 and the redirection of national attention away from Tel Aviv, Jaffa featured centrally in the efforts recoup Tel Aviv’s significance. The designated “Old City of Jaffa” was developed as a cultural and entertainment center that also preserved the archaeological and religious sites—highlighting, according to Sharon Rotbard, the ancient Greek and Roman epochs, crusader                                                       92 Kummer, “Tel Aviv: Secular City.”  93 Henry Alford, “Seizing the Day in Tel Aviv,” New York Times, July 20, 2008,  94 Arnon Golan, “The Battle for Jaffa, 1948,” Middle Eastern Studies 48.6 (2012): 998. 95 Levine, Overthrowing Geography, p. 64. 96 LeBor, City of Oranges, pp. 142-144.  49 and Christian elements, and “findings from the sparse Jewish presence in the city.”97 Levine emphasizes that Jaffa was portrayed as Tel Aviv’s alter-ego so that “the neighborhood’s renewal [was] dependent on its permanent fixture in time and space as ‘ancient’ or ‘quaint’—the ideal site for tourist and elite development.”98 The physical transformation of the Old City into a tourist attraction has entrenched, under the tourist gaze, the sense of Jaffa as a theme park that has been emptied of its Palestinian history and present. Tourist development and gentrification work to confine Jaffa both physically and conceptually as a specific part of Tel Aviv’s mythos.99 The Old City area is the only part of Jaffa in which most tourists set foot, and it is produced as being wholly of a past that does not interfere with the narrative of conflict-free Tel Aviv. Spatially, the tourist sights are delineated quite explicitly by the copious plaques bearing official municipal explanations for the structures. These signs direct the tourist gaze to the sights sanctioned in the self-mythologizing view of the municipality, inviting tourists to accept the imaginary of Jaffa as Tel Aviv’s historical supplement. The delimited landscape comes to signify the entire city of Jaffa, which obscures the lived Jaffa, such as the predominantly Palestinian neighborhoods south of “Old Jaffa” that would disrupt the carefully cultivated scene of Oriental picturesque.                                                        97 Rotbard, p. 121. 98 Levine, Overthrowing Geography, p. 227. 99 For analysis of the history of gentrification in Jaffa and its impact on the Palestinian population, as well as other marginalized groups, see Daniel Monterescu, Jaffa Shared and Shattered: Contrived Coexistence in Israel/Palestine, (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2015).  50  Figure 2.15. Official municipal tourism signs around Old Jaffa, July 2016  By reducing Jaffa to this bounded tourist landscape, the dovetailing tourist gaze and self-mythologizing imaginary fix Jaffa not only in space but also in time, to the distant past. The narratives focus in large part on biblical events, but the history that is otherwise foregrounded spans from Ancient Egypt to the Ottoman Empire. The chronology of Jaffa as a city in its own right ends with the establishment of Israel and its annexation to Tel Aviv, events that are thoroughly glossed over. Notably, the official tourism website for Old Jaffa includes a page of “historical survey,” which covers the Bronze Age, Iron Age, and the Hellenistic and Roman periods in extensive detail, as well as the Byzantine, Crusader, Mamluk, and Ottoman eras. Its narrative is much more surreptitious regarding the events of the British Mandate and the establishment of Israel, seamlessly moving from the British destroying part of the Old City in 1936 to 1948, when “Jaffa surrenders” to the Jewish forces and “is abandoned by the majority of its Arab residents” before being “amalgamated” with Tel Aviv to form a single city in 1950.100 The sparse account of these events smooths over the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews under British rule and erases Palestinian dispossession in the 1948 war, directing attention instead to Jaffa’s distant past. This narrative is reinforced                                                       100 Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, “Historical Survey,” Old Jaffa,   51 through sites such as the Jaffa Tales Exhibit located underneath Kedumim Square, a theme-park style “magical exciting multi-sensory experience.”101 Incorporating flashy animations and live-action holographs, corny dialogue, and dramatic music, the exhibit’s chronological account emphasizes the “magnificent past” of the different civilizations of which Jaffa has been a part. It ends with a scant, opaque reference to the arrival of the Zionists before blithely stating that “there is a good end to this story” for Jaffa after all.   Figure 2.16. The multi-sensory experience of the Jaffa Tales Exhibit, August 2016  The elisions that allow for the temporal and spatial bounding of Jaffa thus depoliticize its tourist consumption. By erasing the modern history and ongoing lived experience of Palestinian Jaffa, the tourist site of “Old Jaffa” is flattened into a singular teleological narrative of Tel Aviv’s development. It underlines the constructed contrast between Jaffa as being stuck in the past and Tel Aviv as being oriented towards the                                                       101 Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, “‘Jaffa Tales’ – Old Jaffa Visitor’s Center,” Old Jaffa,   52 future.102 But there is also a paradoxical un-fixing of Jaffa in the sense that the tourists hear about the dirty, overcrowded city of earlier times while seeing only picturesque sandstone buildings and serene gardens. The disparity implies that Jaffa could only flourish under the management of Tel Aviv, as part of Israel—and that this is why, together, Tel Aviv-Jaffa is free from the tensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that are present elsewhere. This narrative is reproduced in the recurring mentions of Jewish-Arab coexistence, which obscures the reality of the ongoing dispossession of Jaffa’s Palestinians as well as the broader political linkages of their Palestinian identity; it is significant that the tourism discourses in Tel Aviv-Jaffa only refer to the Palestinian residents, past and present, as “Arabs.” As Gil Hochberg argues, this erasure favors “a vague Arab-ness” that “can be incorporated into Israel and Israeli-ness as a docile ‘minority’” over any sense of Palestinian national identity.103 In these ways, Jaffa is subsumed into the mythos of Tel Aviv as its unthreatening other, a static historical supplement that is locked in a past that has been emptied of Palestinian presence. This imaginary contributes to the mythic characterization of Tel Aviv as an exception to Israel, where Jaffa—like Jerusalem—is laden with “history” and thus positioned against the image of Tel Aviv as a thoroughly modern city that is unburdened by the past. However, it also reinforces the idea of Tel Aviv as exemplary of the Israeli national project: tourist development of “Old Jaffa” excludes the Palestinian neighborhoods that carry not only the political repercussions of the conflict’s history but also the socioeconomic inequalities perpetuated in the contemporary city.104 The erasure of Palestinians from the frame of the tourist gaze in Jaffa belies the ways in which they are deeply entangled in the history of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. This concealment speaks to Mitchell’s argument that the division between the modern city and its Oriental exterior is                                                       102 Rotbard points out that Jaffa, as the region’s urban center until 1948, contains “a considerable range of international and modern styles of architecture, which had not been included in the story of the White City” (2015: 17). Jaffa is fixed in time to be the ancient component against which Tel Aviv and its modernity can be defined—not just in official municipal branding but in popular discourses. For example, while I was asking the visitor center staffer in Kedumim Square about the Bauhaus Center, an elderly Israeli woman in line behind me helpfully interjected, “There’s no Bauhaus here. That’s in Tel Aviv. Jaffa is old.”  103 Gil Hochberg, Visual Occupations: Violence and Visibility in a Conflict Zone, (Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 2015), p. 17. 104 See Rotbard, White City Black City: Architecture and War in Tel Aviv and Jaffa.  53 ultimately merely a structural effect, and that “on closer examination, the identity of the city could be understood to include its excluded exterior.”105 The sanitized tourist landscape of Jaffa constitutes a picturesque camouflage that keeps both the history and ongoing tensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at a distance from Tel Aviv in order to reinforce the dominant mythos, despite the reality that they are intricately embedded in Tel Aviv’s existence.   2.3 Coda  The neighborhood of Manshiyyeh was established north of Jaffa in the 1870s. It was among the built-up areas that were omitted from the mythic narrative of Achuzat Bayit; the famed illustrations by Nachum Gutman of the original Tel Aviv neighborhood depicted it as entirely surrounded by empty sand dunes.106 As Manshiyyeh grew, it was seen as impeding Tel Aviv’s development towards the sea, which municipal leaders had deemed necessary for its survival by blocking Jaffa’s northward expansion. Hassan Bey, the governor of Jaffa in 1914, instituted competing development projects in the area, including the building of a mosque.107 Most of the neighborhood was razed during the war of 1948, when Jewish paramilitary fighters of the Etzel captured Jaffa and expelled the residents. In the years following, it experienced municipal neglect and the influx of poor Jewish immigrants. In the 1960s and 1970s, the municipality developed plans to transform the area into a business district.  Manshiyyeh’s houses were destroyed, but the mosque, as a religious building, was not as easily subjected to demolition.108 Over time, its emptied spaces were transformed into gardens and parking lots, and the old train station—the only other                                                       105 Mitchell, Colonising Egypt, p.174. 106 Levine, Overthrowing Geography, p. 75. 107 Mark Levine, “Conquest Through Town Planning: The Case of Tel Aviv, 1921-48,” Journal of Palestine Studies 27.4 (1998): 40. 108 Nimrod Luz, “The Politics of Sacred Places: Palestinian Identity, Collective Memory, and Resistance in the Hassan Bek Mosque Conflict,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 26 (2008): 1041.  54 structure remaining from the Palestinian neighborhood—became the Etzel Museum, which memorializes the conquerors of Jaffa.109  None of this history is made known in the municipality and Ministry of Tourism materials available for tourists, and references to Manshiyyeh are difficult to find in guidebooks and travel articles written by non-Israelis.110 Even the physical landscape precludes recognition, for a tourist without prior knowledge of Manshiyyeh, that there is even something more to know. Today, the space is filled by high-rise hotels and the manicured lawn of Charles Clore Park, bisected by the rushing traffic of Kaufman Street. The lived dimensions of the neighborhood of the past have been expunged from the landscape, with nothing left to disrupt the mythic imaginary of modern Tel Aviv built by European Jews from the empty sand dunes.111  The story of Manshiyyeh exemplifies how international tourism reinforces the dominant geopolitical project in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. It is a singular, comprehensive erasure of its Palestinian history and ongoing political tensions from both the imagining (the collective memory) and the imagining (the physical landscape) of Tel Aviv, an erasure so thorough that tourists are unwittingly enrolled into the public secret upon which the dominant mythos depends. The mythos contends that Tel Aviv may be in the Middle East, but it is certainly not of it. But though the city is cast in many ways as an exception to the rest of Israel, tourism locates Tel Aviv simultaneously inside and outside the national political imaginary. The insistence on Tel Aviv’s modernity is also an assertion of the essential modern, European character of the Israeli state. This view obscures the violence that is as much present in Tel Aviv as it is in the more overtly messy geopolitics of Jerusalem, which is explored in the next chapter.                                                          109 Rotbard, p. 132. 110 The elisions reflect wider erasures beyond the tourist gaze. For example, Yoram Bar-Gal notes that Jaffa disappeared from elementary school textbooks starting in the 1960s, with Tel Aviv’s urban development emphasized and no mentions of the pre-1948 history of Jaffa (“From ‘European Oasis’ to Downtown New York: The Image of Tel-Aviv in School Textbooks,” p. 29).  111 Miriam Schickler has created a counter-geographical project that engages with the presence of Palestinian absence: Echoing Yafa is an audiowalk that recovers sounds of the lived neighborhood and relocates them in the contemporary landscape. Based on interviews with refugees from Manshiyyeh, the fictive narrative is available in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. It can be found at   55  Figure 2.17. Manshiyyeh in the present day, August 2016    56 Chapter 3. More than Just the Holy Land: a Less-than-Just Jerusalem  Here was a place—the place, really—where politics and religion were so tightly wound around each other that you could not extract a single strand without pulling out all the others and ending up with a tangle as large as human history. – Pico Iyer112  He walked with equipoise, possibly in either city. Schrödinger’s pedestrian. – China Miéville113   Figure 3.1. Tourists at the Western Wall, August 2016   This photograph was taken in the Western Wall plaza in the Old City of Jerusalem, a Jewish holy site but also a top destination for visitors of all backgrounds; approximately three-quarters of international tourists in recent years have visited it as part of their trip to Israel.114 Its centrality in the tourist landscape                                                       112 Pico Iyer, “City of God, City of Men,” Condé Nast Traveler, March 11, 2010,  113 China Miéville, The City & the City, (New York: Del Rey Ballantine Books, 2009), p. 295 114 Tilda Hayat, Omri Romano, and Lena Ostrovsky, Tourism in Israel 2000-2012, Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, November 2013.  57 reflects the overwhelming symbolic significance of Jerusalem as a religious site. Given its long history and heritage landscape, Jerusalem’s allure as a tourist destination is seemingly self-evident. Unlike the tourist information centers in Tel Aviv, where the staffers were especially cheerful because few visitors actually ventured in, the main information center in the Old City of Jerusalem bustles with tourists sifting through brochures and maps. This contrast points to the difference between Tel Aviv’s actively manufactured tourist appeal and the ostensibly intrinsic value of Jerusalem, with its imaginary of “Israel as the Holy Land.” On the surface, this tourist imaginary is fixated on the religious landscapes of the three Abrahamic traditions. As Lonely Planet declares, “far from being merely ancient and spectacular, the Old City is above all a holy place, containing sites sacred to Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”115 In Judaism, the holiest site is that of the First and Second Temples, of which only a retaining wall—the Western Wall—remains today. Though Judaism differentiates between the earthly city and the heavenly Jerusalem of religious devotion, the establishment of Israel has resulted in the conflation of the two.116 For Christians, Jerusalem is significant because it is the place associated with the death and resurrection of Jesus. In Islam, the Haram al-Sharif (also known as the Temple Mount) is a sacred site because of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where Muhammad arrived from Mecca, and the Dome of the Rock, built over the rock from which Muhammad ascended to heaven and met God. Though Bernard Wasserstein emphasizes that, “considered as a historical phenomenon, the city’s sanctity has waxed and waned” according to political, social, economic, and cultural conditions, the palimpsest of thousands of years of pilgrimages, crusades, and simmering religious tensions has sedimented into a seemingly absolute, eternal holy landscape that informs contemporary imaginaries of Jerusalem.117 But as the recent and not-so-recent control issues in the Old City show, it is the overlap of                                                       115 Daniel Robinson, Michael Kohn, Dan Savery Raz, Jessica Lee, and Jenny Walker, Israel & the Palestinian Territories, (Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd, 2012), p. 44. 116 Bernard Wasserstein, Divided Jerusalem: The Struggle for the Holy City, (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 2008), p. 4. 117 Wasserstein, p. 1.  58 these three sacred geographies that make Jerusalem problematic for the Israeli state and give the political representations that emerge through tourism a particularly sharp edge.   Figure 3.2. The Old City of Jerusalem. Source: Google Maps, 2017  From the ancient periods through the Middle Ages, Jerusalem was part of various empires, caliphates, and crusader kingdoms. The Ottoman Turks conquered the city in 1516, and during the four hundred years of its rule, Jerusalem expanded in its physical construction and links to international politics, while the Old City’s holy sites were protected as part of the Ottoman status quo. With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the British Mandate, Jerusalem experienced significant  59 infrastructural and economic development, including the increase of tourist services in the city.118 In the 1930s, Jerusalem was the site of violent clashes between the British government and Jewish underground organizations, in addition to the intercommunal tensions between the Jewish and Arab populations. The 1947 United Nations partition plan for Palestine envisioned Jerusalem as a corpus separatum under UN trusteeship, but the plan was not implemented due to the outbreak of the 1948 war. While the newly established state of Israel held areas of western Jerusalem, Jordanian forces controlled the Old City and the eastern areas. The city was divided by a no-man’s land of barbed wire and minefields, and, as Simon Goldhill suggests, the “sense of two separated and self-contained cities was aggressively expressed by both sides.”119 During the so-called Six Day War of 1967, Israeli forces took control of the Jordanian-occupied areas, including the Western Wall in the Old City. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan had declared, “We have united Jerusalem, the divided capital of Israel. We have returned to the holiest of our Holy Places, never to part from it again.”120 The imaginary of “united Jerusalem” became solidified in the following decades, as Israel officially declared it its capital and sought to transform the physical landscape accordingly, at the expense of the Palestinian population.  The extensive history of competing claims to the city has resulted in the highly charged nature of Jerusalem as political symbol and as lived reality. In terms of both, the meaning of Jerusalem is multiple and contested. Tourism thus cannot avoid being entangled in questions of power and politics—no matter how outwardly innocuous it may appear. In Jerusalem, as in other places, the tourist gaze is always already implicated in what it brings into view; there is no neutral perspective from which it can operate. This chapter examines how mainstream tourism and alternative tourism navigate the various disputed meanings of Jerusalem. Fundamental to this analysis is how the tourist gaze negotiates the eruption of the present into                                                       118 Kobi Cohen-Hattab and Noam Shoval, Tourism, Religion, and Pilgrimage in Jerusalem, (London and New York: Routledge, 2015). 119 Simon Goldhill, Jerusalem: City of Longing, (Cambridge, MA and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2008), p. 319. 120 Wasserstein, p. 205.  60 the narrated past and the eruption of the narrated past into the present. The first section considers the most generalized type of mainstream tourism, which attempts to provide a “neutral” narrative of the Old City. The second section examines a different mode of mainstream tourism, which is invested in a more traditional and religion-minded audience. The third section provides a contrast in the form of an alternative tour that contests the dominant scripting of Jerusalem. Together, they demonstrate how selective imaginaries of this contested landscape are naturalized and explore what is at stake in challenging them.   3.1 The (Simpli)city of Jerusalem The first tour I undertook was a popular walking tour that covers the “essential” tourist sites of the Old City (and thus, implicitly, Jerusalem at large). It is one of four walking tours offered by Sandemans in Jerusalem, which approach the holy landscape from various angles of mainly Jewish and Christian interest. The prominent role of Sandemans as a tour company in Israel may be explained in part by its partnership with many hotels and hostels and marketing towards a generalized tourist audience. This mode of mainstream tourism emphasizes the universal value of Jerusalem’s heritage landscape over specific religious narratives of the holy city, but also avoids engaging with the geopolitical inflections of the modern landscape in order to enforce its broad appeal.   Sandemans:	“Free	Tour	of	Jerusalem”		“Jerusalem:	 the	Golden	City,	 the	Eternal	City,	 the	Holy	City.	No	other	city	means	so	much	 to	so	many	people.	Walk	with	an	expert	guide	through	4000	years	of	history	in	the	footsteps	of	kings,	emperors	and	prophets.	You	will	 see	 incredible	 rooftop	views	and	narrow	twisted	streets.	You	will	 trace	 Jerusalem’s	Roman	high	 street	and	soak	up	 the	 smells	and	sounds	of	 the	Suq	market.	 From	the	urban	hustle	and	bustle	to	peaceful,	shady	squares,	this	two-hour	FREE	Tour	(tips-only	basis)	covers	the	unmissable	sights	and	hidden	surprises	that	will	make	your	visit	unforgettable!”121			                                                       121 “Free Tour of Jerusalem,” Sandemans New Europe,   61 It’s 11:00am and crowds surge around Jaffa Gate, the most frequented entrance for tourists to the Old City. In Tel Aviv, the Sandemans meeting point had been managed by a single man with a clipboard, but the scene here is quite different. Several red-shirted staffers are yelling directions at the hectic mass assembled in the corner, checking in registrants and registering passersby who are drawn in by the announcements of the different tours options. I’m funneled into a group of twenty or so people who appear to be from a variety of backgrounds. Our guide is Calum, an affable middle-aged man who greets us: “I’m a professional tour guide. If you have questions, ask them. My job is to know stuff.” He’s lived in Jerusalem for over three decades, but his Scottish accent can be hard to understand, so we should feel free to ask him to clarify what he says. As we head off, he encourages us to take as many pictures as we want, “but try not to upset anyone’s sensitivities—just be careful.”   We gather in an open area just inside the gate. As other tour groups surge past us, Calum recounts the arrival of Kaiser Wilhelm II and, later, General Allenby and the British forces. A few steps later, he has us look up at the Tower of David. The top part is “modern,” but the big stones at the bottom are 2,000 years old, and part of it was built by the Crusaders, “religious warriors and priests coming from Europe to fight Islam and reestablish Christianity. This is the story of Jerusalem: layers upon layers of history.” We head into the Armenian Quarter, where Calum points out a church where the Armenians believe the head of the disciple James is buried. He talks about the difference between Catholic and Orthodox Christian terms for church leaders as well as other details about the Christian denominations in the Old City. He provides figures for the populations of the four quarters and explains why the Armenians have their own quarter: gliding through history from the fourth century to modern times, he recounts how the priests have stayed through Muslim, Crusader, and “Muslim again” rule, and then the Armenians fleeing Turkey in 1915 came to this established community. He says, “This is not a tour about politics, so I’m not going to get into who did what and who was wrong and who was right.”    Figure 3.3. Tour participants at the Cardo mural, August 2016   62 Arriving at an intersection, Calum points up to a wall with glass shards sticking out. “In 1967, the whole of the Old City comes under Israeli control. The Jewish kids want to hang out with the Armenian kids, but their parents want them to keep their traditions. So this is the border between the Jewish and Armenian Quarters.” He adds that it was with the best of intentions; the Armenians are nice people with good relationships with all the other groups here. We trail behind him into the Cardo: “We’re in the Jewish Quarter now, but if we’d been here when this market was built, it wouldn’t have been the Jewish Quarter. This was a Christian world back then: the Jews weren’t here and Islam didn’t exist yet. One explanation for the name ‘Cardo’ is that it means heart, the marketplace is the heart of the city… but in reality, the word means ‘straight line’ because this is a straight line going north to south.” We squeeze past another tour group going up the stairs as we follow Calum down into the uneven excavated path. “We’re actually standing on the road built by the Crusaders, with the old Roman cardo a meter underneath!” We stop in front of a mural depicting a lively Roman-era marketplace and the continuation of the street where we stand. Calum says, “This is exactly what the Cardo would’ve looked like. If we kept going forward this way, we’d get to Damascus Gate.” He points out a modern boy with a cap and backpack in the corner of the painting—“The artist is trying to say that people stay the same, even as times change.” Most of the group photographs the mural before we move on.   “I’m not getting into the politics of who’s right or who’s wrong—that’s not what this is about,” Calum declares, before briefly recounting the establishment of Israel in the “War of Independence” and how the Old City was under Jordanian control. “So where we stood at the start of the tour was the border, a no-man’s land.” He explains that in 1967, “all this became Israel in the Six Day War.” The Jewish Quarter had been destroyed and archaeologists were really excited because they could now excavate that area. “The other quarters still have people living there, so they can’t dig those up!” People chuckle in response. Calum directs us to the fence enclosing an area of crumbling stone, the Broad Wall. He explains that it was mentioned in the Bible, built 2,700 years ago to defend the Jewish temple from the Assyrians. “Now, who knows what really happened… But in the 1970s, they found this wall, and it was proof of the biblical event, so it was really exciting.” The participants crowd around to take photos before we head to a busy square lined with restaurants. Calum emphasizes that “Jerusalem is a cake with layers of icing, each layer a different period of history” as he recounts stories of King George V, Roman soldiers, Jewish ritual baths, and Ottoman tanneries all taking place in this very spot, as well as all the archaeological artifacts spanning these periods being found “right under your feet!”    63  Figure 3.4. Gazing upon the ruins of the Broad Wall, August 2016  Calum tells us we’re heading to a viewpoint for the Temple Mount and talks about the site’s history: the Jewish temple was there but only lasted 70 years. Herod had four giant walls built around it, and when it was destroyed, the only one that survived was the Western Wall. “So you focus your prayers to the Western Wall once the temples are gone. That’s the Jewish world. Let’s jump to the world of Islam: Al-Aqsa.” He tells the story of Muhammad coming from Mecca on a magical horse that he ties to the Western Wall and ascends to heaven from the site where the Jewish temple was, so long ago. “Now, the world of Christianity,” he says, talking about New Testament stories of Jesus. “The stories of these three religions come together here, which you can imagine, makes for a really interesting time,” he concludes in a rather hammy tone. Everyone chuckles. We go up to the viewpoint and everyone photographs the Western Wall plaza below. Calum provides a string of figures, including the golden dome of the mosque being 80 kilograms of gold.     64  Figure 3.5. Tourists photograph the Western Wall plaza from the viewpoint, August 2016  We head up some stairs and Calum humorously comments that a writer in 1907 once got so emotional about Jerusalem “that he wrote about how your feet never touch the ground here, like this beautiful spiritual thing. But what he really meant to say is that it’s so crowded in Jerusalem that you have to walk on the rooftops.” We make our way to the final stop, the courtyard of the Holy Sepulchre, where we stake out our own corner amongst the other tour groups. He explains the significance of the site in Christian tradition—the crucifixion of Jesus, Emperor Constantine telling his mother to build a church here, the Crusaders rebuilding it after conquering Jerusalem in 1099. He also discusses at length the tensions between the six denominations over section of the church, mentioning how they need a Muslim gatekeeper to open and close the doors every day to keep them from fighting over it. As he concludes the tour, he emphasizes that this was to just give us an introduction to what Jerusalem is all about and encourages us to explore further.   The Sandemans tour of the Old City navigates the contestation over Jerusalem by presenting its narration as a neutral perspective of the tourist gaze. It strategically shifts attention away from the disputed features of the city to instead produce a universalizing appreciation for the sheer amount of heritage it contains. The tour guide and the itinerary emphasize that this walking tour is merely an introduction to all Jerusalem has to offer, though the title implies that Jerusalem’s touristic value lies primarily in the Old City. This “highlight reel” approach suggests that the extensive landscape of religious and cultural sites is  65 valuable for all tourists regardless of who they might be, a notion that is reflected in popular guidebooks. Lonely Planet notes, “Even for the nonreligious, it’s hard not to be moved by the emotions and history that come alive in the narrow alleys of the Old City.”122 Fodor’s declares that “the Old City is what Jerusalem is all about,” with its labyrinth of cultures and memories.123 Moreover, the official Jerusalem tourism website claims, “No trip to the Middle East is complete” without exploring the Old City, where “[e]very brick and stone is teeming with history.”124 In order to make this landscape available to the tourist gaze, the tour aims for a “neutral” scripting of the Old City. The guide makes explicit statements such as, “this is not a tour about politics” and “I’m not getting into the politics… that’s not what this is about.” His descriptions of the sites include many dates and measurements—factual information concerning their significance. The tone of the narration also conveys a universalizing impulse, which presents the heritage of the Old City as belonging to all visitors. For example, the guide makes several comments about the layers of history upon which we stand, imparting a sense of wonder for the experience of a physical landscape that contains the heritage of so many civilizations. These tactics work to focus attention on the intrinsic features of the sites of tourist interest and away from the sites’ contested dimensions in the broader landscape.  Despite the proclaimed apolitical nature of the tour and the seemingly neutral gaze through which the Old City is viewed, the guide’s narration reveals how the tour is very much entangled in power and politics. The assertion of neutrality allows for the tour to elide acknowledgment that it is providing a selective narration with political implications. This approach is reinforced in how the guide mentions conflict in terms of the Armenians in Turkey and the intra-denominational squabbles at the Holy Sepulchre, but avoids discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Though it is arguably the most palpable tension, its                                                       122 Israel & the Palestinian Territories, p. 38. 123 “Top Attractions in Jerusalem,” Fodor’s Travel,  124 “The Old City: History in Every Stone,”,   66 relevance is minimized through the redirection of attention to wars of the past and ongoing lesser disputes. When the narration does broach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the guide uses passive language such as, “the whole of the Old City comes under Israeli control” and “all this became Israel,” which obscures the complexity and contestation of those events and presents them instead as matter of fact. He also calls the 1948 war the “War of Independence,” which indicates that his supposedly neutral narrative is, in fact, rooted in the dominant Israeli perspective.  The scripting of the tour also reveals a more subtle entanglement with politics. The guide describes the periods of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim control of the city as distinct “worlds,” pointing to different sights in the present to speak of them. This approach collapses the separate eras into a singular layer, so that the “real” Jerusalem of the tour becomes one of a timeless holy city that obscures the city of the present. For example, at the Cardo mural, the guide has us imagine walking along the Roman street presented in the image. It collapses the distant past into our physical present, providing a stirring suggestion of the eternal quality of Jerusalem through which we stand in the direct echo of an era thousands of years ago. This strategy reiterates the practices of 19th-century English holy land tourism, in which the traveler’s experience of the landscape was rendered as being “in two different times simultaneously, the time of the visit and the narrative time of the Bible.”125 In the context of this tour, however, the reduction of Roman Jerusalem to “a Christian world” overlooks the substantial period during which the Roman Empire was not yet a Christian one. The collapsing of time also situates the narrated scene after the exile of the Jews and before Islam came into existence, which pushes it closer to the frame of a Christian landscape and normalizes the salience of Christian history.  The presentation of a selective imaginary as naturalized and unselective also comes through in the guide’s positioning of himself within the scripting of the tour.  His narration implies a certain authoritative apolitical quality because, as he states at the opening of the tour, he is a European who has lived in                                                       125 Issam Nassar, “In Their Image: Jerusalem in Nineteenth-Century English Travel Narratives,” Jerusalem Quarterly 19 (2003): 9.  67 Jerusalem for so long. Not only does this connote the deep passion that is engendered by the holy city, but his European perspective also secures Israel within the framework of a European Judeo-Christian culture. It provides a perspective of an outside authority that suggests he can be indifferent to the politics while simultaneously inscribing the landscape of Jerusalem into a familiar history of western civilization. Combined with the subtly selective presentation of the Old City sites, this allows the tour to suppress the contemporary issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the narrated past and depict the historical sights as self-evident in the present. The tour scripts itself as a neutral carrier of information that is disentangled from politics and power dynamics, though its language and frames of vision reveal its situated perspective. In normalizing a selective imaginary of Jerusalem as the default apolitical view, the Sandemans tour of the Old City ultimately reinforces the dominant Jewish-Israeli imaginary that overshadows other narratives from the contested landscape.   3.2 The (Compli)city of “Jerusalem” The second mode of mainstream tourism is analyzed through a tour by Bein Harim, a company that was established in 1993. Unlike Sandemans, which operates in cities across Europe and the United States in addition to in Israel, Bein Harim is an Israeli travel service. It is not a religious tourism company per se, as its diverse offerings contrast with the tour companies that are explicitly geared towards Christian pilgrimage. Bein Harim nevertheless caters to a more traditional mass tourism audience, as suggested by its higher prices, pick up and drop off services from major hotels, the variety of language options for the regular tours, and private tour options. The tour I undertook is one of the company’s most popular and generalized; in addition to day tours, Bein Harim offers tour packages categorized both by location and by Christian and Jewish interest.126                                                         126 Bein Harim Tours,   68 Bein	Harim:	“Jerusalem	Old	and	New”		“We	start	with	a	breathtaking	view	of	Jerusalem.	As	if	in	the	palm	of	our	hand,	we	see	the	Old	City	and	the	 Temple	 Mount	 area	 spread	 before	 us	 and	 imagine	 the	 Second	 Temple	 destroyed	 in	 70	 CE	 and	Solomon’s	Temple	before	that,	destroyed	 in	586	BCE.	As	we	drive	along	the	Kidron	Valley	we	have	an	excellent	view	of	Mount	Olives,	the	Garden	of	Gethsemane	and	the	Church	of	All	Nations	as	well	as	of	the	monumental	ancient	Jewish	burial	tombs.	We	enter	the	Old	City	through	from	Mt.	Zion,	passing	the	Armenian	Quarter	to	the	excavated	Byzantine	Cardo.	Although	this	fifteen	hundred	year	old	main	street	of	Jerusalem	was	partially	destroyed	and	unused	during	the	Moslem	conquest	it	had	a	brief	new	lease	of	life	during	the	Crusader	period	and	the	excavated	Crusader	shops	are	now	modern	stores.			Continuing	through	the	Jewish	Quarter	we	proceed	to	the	Western	Wall	(Kotel).	This	two	thousand	year	old	wall	 is	part	of	the	encircling	and	supporting	wall	built	by	king	Herod	when	the	Temple	Mount	area	was	 enlarged.	 As	 we	 walk	 along	 the	 Via	 Dolorosa	 we	 join	 the	 many	 pilgrims	 who	 are	 following	 the	Stations	of	the	Cross	ending	at	the	Church	of	the	Holy	Sepulchre,	the	church	built	over	the	place	of	the	crucifixion	 of	 Jesus	 and	 the	 burial	 tomb.	 Originally	 built	 in	 the	 Byzantine	 period,	 it	 was	 partially	destroyed	 during	 the	 Persians	 and	 Moslem	 conquests	 and	 then	 rebuilt	 and	 slightly	 altered	 by	 the	Crusaders.	 After	 a	 short	 stroll	 through	 the	 market	 place	 we	 exit	 the	 Old	 City	 and	 continue	 to	 Yad	VaShem	 Holocaust	 Museum	 commemorating	 both	 the	 annihilation	 of	 six	 million	 Jews	 and	 those	righteous	among	the	nations	who	endangered	their	lives	while	trying	to	save	Jews.”127				It’s 7:30am when I’m picked up from my hostel by a shared taxi sent by Bein Harim. My fellow passengers include a woman and her son in his early 20s from Alabama, who cheerfully talk about how they just came from Ephesus and are heading to Nazareth after Jerusalem. Once we’ve picked up three more individuals from their respective hotels—a priest from the Philippines and two middle-aged men from Detroit and Brussels—we pull into a parking lot where multiple Bein Harim minibuses are waiting. I’m greeted by an elderly yet spry guide who introduces himself as Oren and says we can now leave since I was the last of the fifteen registrants. I board the bus and immediately feel out of place in the overwhelmingly white and middle-aged group, which includes several businessmen taking a leisure day. Oren hops into the driver’s seat and we head off.   Our day begins on Mount Scopus (which I know to be in East Jerusalem, though Oren makes no mention of that).128 He instead points out Hebrew University and talks about how “the language of the Bible became the language of Israel,” before ushering us to a viewpoint with the entire city before us, the gleaming golden Dome of the Rock standing out against the sandstone. “This is one of the most beautiful panoramic views. Take out your camera, it’s very photogenic!” As everyone takes photos of the view and of themselves, Oren recounts several Old Testament events that took place here. He explains that Jerusalem wasn’t mentioned in the Quran, but Muslim tradition has a legend of Muhammad ascending to heaven at this site. The businessmen crack jokes about how all these religions are just spinoffs of each other.                                                         127 “Jerusalem Old and New,” Bein Harim Tours,  128 Mount Scopus was the only part of the eastern side of Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967 that remained under Israeli control, as an enclave; a convoy was allowed to bring in food to Hebrew University every two weeks. See Leon Sheleff, “Jerusalem – Figment of the Imagination,” GeoJournal 53.3 (2001): 301.  69  Figure 3.6. The guide introduces Jerusalem from the Mount Scopus viewpoint, August 2016  3.2.1 The Old City Outside the Old City, Oren parks the minibus and we head to Zion Gate. Pointing out the bullet holes in the stone, he explains that they’re from the War of Independence. “Two months before the Six Day War, they sent me here as a soldier. I speak Arabic, so we became friends with the Jordanian soldiers. So we didn’t want to go to war, but we had to. And after 1967, we could get into the Old City.” Oren leads us past the Armenian Quarter to the Cardo. “This was the Champs-Élysées and the Fifth Avenue, back in the day.” He explains that here in the Jewish Quarter, the buildings are very new because all the synagogues were destroyed during the Jordanian occupation of the Old City before 1967. Pointing in the distance, he exclaims, “Why is there a mosque right there? Well, today, all religious buildings are protected by Israeli law.”   “Jerusalem is 5,000 years old. The deeper you dig, the more culture there is. We’ve discovered around twenty-five cultures here,” Oren says as we wind our way out of the Jewish Quarter into the bustling bazaar. A young American woman turns to her boyfriend and says she could get all her souvenirs here. Oren tells the story of Jesus’s crucifixion and says, “The highlight of our tour comes later, when we walk on the Via Dolorosa where Jesus was tested.” He also talks about how Emperor Constantine’s mother had the cross cut into small pieces and sent all over the world, and how the pope has a ring made from one of them. We end up at Golden City Bazaar, which advertises its “unique and original gifts, from the Dead Sea and the Holy Land.” Inside, we’re directed to gather around a man at the counter, who smoothly launches into a long-winded but well-rehearsed pitch about the different souvenirs we may be interested in purchasing from this store, “one of three shops licensed by the Ministry of Tourism!” These include the Jerusalem Cross, “a good souvenir if you’re Christian or have Christian friends,” and various “real pieces of history”—Roman coins and trinkets “from the time of Jesus” that come with certificates of authenticity. The Holy Sepulchre is close by, “so you can take these items and turn them into  70 relics.” Because we’re with Bein Harim, he says, we get a special deal. Most of the participants carefully browse the shelves and make their selections. “You’re not in the Holy Land every day!” the man reminds us.    Figure 3.7. Tour participants inside Golden City Bazaar, August 2016  After everyone has finished inside the shop, we head over to the Holy Sepulchre. Oren recounts several stories about Jesus in great detail before explaining how the church is holy for six Christian denominations. He gives us half an hour to explore the inside on our own, after listing some of the highlights we would be interested in—different chapels, Golgotha (the site of the crucifixion), the stone upon which Jesus’s body was laid… Oren mentions that two of the women on our tour are Muslim, so he had arranged for someone to take them to the Temple Mount complex and they’ll join back up with us at lunch. In the meantime, the rest of us follow him through the Ethiopian Orthodox chapel to hear about Queen Sheba and the Tribe of Judah. Outside, he gestures to the bare stone dwellings and says that even though they live like this, “they’re very happy because they’re so close to their holy sites!” We turn a corner where Oren points to a lone banner on the wall with photos of Copts killed by ISIS and Bible quotes in English. He talks about how the Copts’ traditions are different from other Christian denominations before moving on to the details of the Via Dolorosa, like how the Ninth Station was where Jesus fell for the third time, and how the actual road on which he walked is twelve meters below us, due to the layers of civilizations building over old ones. A procession of pilgrims singing in Spanish passes us on the narrow path, carrying a cross between them. Oren tells us this is because there are special arrangements for groups who can’t make the usual procession that carries the cross down Via Dolorosa every Friday.     71  Figure 3.8. A procession of pilgrims bearing the cross, August 2016  We thread our way through the crowds, stopping at several Stations of the Cross for Oren to explain in great detail what happened to Jesus at each one. The participants are taking photos and asking questions, clamoring to hang onto Oren’s narration in the noisy atmosphere. Oren also explains that Via Dolorosa is in the Muslim Quarter “because the Muslims came 600 years after Jesus.” At the Fifth Station, he points out the handprint set in the wall—supposedly, belonging to Jesus. Several people press forward to touch their own hand to it.   When we arrive at the entrance to the Western Wall, we dutifully place our bags in the security scanner and walk through the metal detector. Oren talks about the significance of the wall in Judaism, mentioning that Tisha B’Av takes place in a few days—a day of religious observance to commemorate the destruction of the First and Second Temples. We get time to ourselves, and many participants make a beeline through the crowd for the wall itself. Afterwards, we gather near the plaza entrance and Oren points to a large sturdy sphere. “This is a security shelter. They don’t take any risks. If you leave stuff around, they’ll come and put it in here in case it explodes. You know, it happens quite often because people coming here get very emotional and pray at the wall and forget their bags there!” People laugh and take some more photos before we’re ushered from the plaza.    72  Figure 3.9. The security shelter in the Western Wall plaza, August 2016  Continuing onward, Oren talks at length about the Muslim and Jewish traditions surrounding these holy sites, including a comment about how the six points of the Star of David represent “the six million who couldn’t come with us.” We end up at the Broad Wall ruins, which Oren explains as being from the First Temple period, the original 3,000-year-old wall. He then has us gather across the path at a wall that’s plastered in Israeli flags and “STAND WITH ISRAEL” and “I SUPPORT ISRAEL” stickers. There’s an illustration that depicts the area in the time of the Second Temple: instead of the Haram al-Sharif’s mosques of today’s landscape, there is the majestic temple surrounded by the complete structure of which the Western Wall is a part. Oren uses it to point out the sites we’ve seen so far. We then walk into a covered tunnel alleyway lined with shops and pause next to an excavated site, which he notes is a Second Temple ruin. Dating from Roman times, he explains, it’s what the Jews returning from the Babylonian exile built after the First Temple was destroyed. He says, he’s 74 years old—so imagine if we were living back then, and he’s coming back from Babylon after fifty years of exile and still remembers what the First Temple looked like. “So Jerusalem is rebuilt in this way.”  For lunch, we’re ushered into Panoramic Golden City, a restaurant entirely empty aside from another large tour group. We sit at a table already set with plates and glasses of water. Our pre-selected meal choices arrive and Oren explains what falafel and shawarma are while the participants listen attentively. The young American couple talks about how they were just in Egypt and decided to come see Israel as well. The group of businessmen turns out to be from various American cities and is on this tour to take their first day in Jerusalem to sightsee before their business meeting. As we finish eating, Oren advises us to go upstairs to take photos of the view.    73  Figure 3.10. The guide points out sites using an illustration of the Old City in the Second Temple period, August 2016  The Bein Harim tour of the Old City navigates the contested landscape by narrating it through a Jewish-Israeli imaginary. The guide makes no claims to being apolitical, as on the Sandemans tour, but he does not explicitly identify his narration as coming from a specific perspective. Instead, his account is left as a matter-of-fact scripting of the sites of the tour, which allows it to smuggle in its politics without drawing attention to this process. Furthermore, the participants’ experience is fairly passive; we are positioned, for the most part, as mere receivers of the information the guide provides. In this way, the scripting of the Old City as a Jewish-Israeli place is conveyed with a fixity to its imaginary that is normalized and seemingly unselective.  The first component to naturalizing the selective narrative is the presentation of the Old City as a specifically Judeo-Christian landscape. The tour accomplishes this in part through the emphasis on the Jewish and Christian sites and the biblical stories associated with them as the most important features of the Old City. Jewish heritage is portrayed as salient because of its sheer age, as evidenced by the references to  74 the First and Second Temple periods at the Broad Wall and in the Western Wall plaza. The extensive detail of the narration at the Holy Sepulchre and the Via Dolorosa implies that the tour participants are more interested in the Christian sites. In the souvenir shop, the sales pitch directed at the tour participants places overwhelming emphasis on Christian relics and authentic antiquity. The Judeo-Christian holiness of the Old City is emphasized both in the scripting and performance of the sites. The former is especially noticeable in the guide’s descriptions, such as referring to the Cardo as the “Champs-Élysées” and the “Fifth Avenue” of Roman times. The latter is explored in several ways: we rhetorically perform Jesus’s route down the Via Dolorosa in addition to seeing actual pilgrims recreating this path while carrying the cross. It also occurs in the guide having us imagine him as a Jew returning from Babylonian exile to build the Second Temple. Through these performances, the participants are invited to see Jerusalem past and present through the continuity of Judeo-Christian sanctity.  The tour’s normalization of the Old City as a Judeo-Christian landscape also involves the removal of Islam from the narrative. The most blatant example is how the guide arranges for the two Muslim women to be taken to see the Haram al-Sharif while the rest of the group tours the Holy Sepulchre. They are literally removed from the scripting of the mainstream tour in order to experience an alternative one in which Muslim heritage is included; this implies that the Christian sites are of regular, general interest whereas Islam is specialized and particular. The excision also manifests in subtle rhetorical choices, such as the guide’s comment on why the Via Dolorosa is located in the Muslim Quarter—because “Muslims came 600 years after Jesus,” suggesting that Christianity is more deeply and legitimately embedded in the present landscape. At the Holy Sepulchre, the guide points out the poster of Copts killed by ISIS, which is a notable exception to the tour’s emphasis on directing our gaze only to the major tourist sights. This detour draws our attention to “Islam” as violating Christian sanctity. Though the inclusion of the image is casual and brief, the moment invokes a boundary between a “good” Judeo-Christian population and “bad” Muslims. In these ways, the tour undermines the validity of Islam’s presence in both the history and contemporary landscape.   75 The second component to normalizing the selective narration is the temporal conflation that moves this Judeo-Christian significance beyond the biblical landscape into the space of modern Israel. The tour uses biblical heritage to bolster the legitimacy of Israeli state by making certain sights visible and subtly merging the ancient Jewish landscape with the modern one. The guide comments that the six points of the Star of David represent “the six million who couldn’t come with us,” which is a reference to the Jews who perished in the Holocaust. However, he does not provide this context. Instead, the comment is presented as self-evident and matter-of-fact, deftly providing a teleological implication of the state of Israel being the answer to the destruction of the European Jewish population. So much is left unsaid and unquestioned, deftly naturalizing the selective narrative of Israel as a Jewish state. A more blatant example is in how he uses the illustration of the Old City in the Second Temple period—in which the Dome of the Rock has not yet been built—to point out the sites we had visited on our walk. By not addressing the temporal distinction, the narration collapses the ancient Jewish past into the Israeli present and folds us back into the biblical landscape. This approach erases the long history between the Second Temple period and modern Israel during which Jerusalem was not under Jewish control, critically excluding Muslim and Palestinian heritage and political claims to the past and present of Jerusalem without appearing to be making a political statement. The tour thus embeds the Jewish past into the space of modern Israel while simultaneously suppressing non-Jewish, non-Israeli claims to the city by omitting them from the narration.  By keeping the contestation out of the scripting of the Old City, the tour does significant political work without drawing attention to its politics. The way the guide describes the present landscape instead pulls from the selective narration of the past to produce a teleological understanding of the present. This strategy is crucially used to imply that the Israeli state is the most rightful and responsible overseer of the holy city, that Israeli control is the only way in which Jerusalem can be available for people of all religions to access their holy places. The guide points out that the synagogues of the Jewish Quarter are new because the Jordanians destroyed the synagogues when they occupied the Old City after 1948, but he references the  76 mosques to emphasize that all religious buildings are protected under Israeli law. Additionally, we see Christian pilgrims at the Holy Sepulchre and the guide comments that the Ethiopian clergy are “very happy” to be able to live near their holy places. The tour suggests that Israeli control is, at least in part, what allows Jerusalem to be a welcome destination for tourists and pilgrims alike. It is an implicit assertion about security—the idea that Israel keeps the holy city safe for international visitors. Though the guide never addresses the pervasive presence of uniformed and armed police throughout the Old City, the militarized figures provide a backdrop for moments like his discussion of the security shelter in the Western Wall plaza and our passage through the security check.  In shaping this imaginary of Jerusalem as the holy city that thrives only as the capital of Israel, the constructed visibility of the mainstream tour is premised on a highly selective narration of the past. The synagogues of the Jewish Quarter were indeed damaged during the period of Jordanian control, but the point that the holy sites of all religions are protected under Israeli rule abstractly positions Israel as a benevolent caretaker while eliding specific details. The guide also glosses over the events of the 1967 war by addressing them with little specificity; for example, he says, “after 1967, we could get into the Old City.” The selective narration imparts a teleological understanding of Jerusalem’s relationship with Israel, presenting it as self-evident that the city would come under Israeli control because it is the eternal capital of the Jewish homeland and that the 1967 war was its rightful reunification. This narrative normalizes the Jewish-Israeli imaginary of Jerusalem while excluding other claims to the city—as religious site, as political symbol, and as lived reality.  For international visitors to Jerusalem, this imaginary becomes normalized and seemingly unselective because it extends beyond the guided tours of mainstream tour companies. It is reinforced in official discourses: the municipality tourism website, for example, includes “Christian Landmarks” and  77 “Jewish Landmarks” but not “Muslim Landmarks” in the categories of things to do in Jerusalem.129 The Israeli Ministry of Tourism website’s introduction to the Old City uses vague, universalizing language, describing it as “a favourite for all visitors from first timers, seasoned visitors as well as the locals” and encouraging tourists to experience the historical landscape: “Make your way down the stone cobbled streets and find yourself walking through four thousand years of history, leaving you humbled and yet excited as you connect the modern day present with the simple beginnings of the past.”130 These examples thoroughly naturalize the imaginary of Israel as the Holy Land, as Jerusalem’s sanctity becomes its most salient feature. This sanctity is wholly contextualized through a Judeo-Christian frame, which conceals the Muslim past and present from the tourist gaze. The selective imaginary maneuvers that frame into the space of modern Israel through the teleological narrative of “reunified” Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, which precludes the legitimacy of Palestinian claims to the city as either lived reality or political symbol. As a result, it manages to obscure the perspectives that do not support the dominant narrative of the holy city as the unified capital of Israel.   3.2.2 West Jerusalem After lunch, Oren drives us out to West Jerusalem while steadily pointing out sights along the way: Oskar Schindler’s grave, the place where Judas hung himself, the Montefiore Windmill, the King David Hotel (he names several American presidents and celebrities who have stayed there), the YMCA (“designed by the same guy who designed the Empire State Building!”), the Waldorf Astoria, the American consulate (“not the embassy, because the embassies are in Tel Aviv”—no one asks for clarification on this), the Israel Museum (“the highlight is the Dead Sea Scrolls!”), the Israeli parliament (“I highly recommend visiting”), the Supreme Court…                                                        129, 130 Government of Israel, Ministry of Tourism, “Jerusalem: Adventures through Time,” Israel Land of Creation,   78  Figure 3.11. Tour participants photographing West Jerusalem on the drive out of the Old City, August 2016  The perspective of West Jerusalem offered through mainstream tourism invokes a specifically Jewish modernity that inscribes it into a familiar geography of western civilization. For international tourists, “Jerusalem” generally invokes the Old City, but there is a large distinction between that imaginary and the “modern” Jerusalem constituted by the western part of the city. Although West Jerusalem’s position as the capital of the new Israeli state was unrecognized by the international community following the 1948 war, its population doubled in the period leading up to the 1967 war.131 Today, West Jerusalem is the location for the sites of everyday life that may interest tourists, such as the Mahane Yehuda Market (“one of Jerusalem’s main cultural centers,” according to the municipal tourism website) and the shops and restaurants along Jaffa Road, the main throughway west of the Old City.132 Other highlights include the                                                       131 Wasserstein, p. 204. 132,  79 Israel Museum and the Knesset (the Israeli parliament), institutions that contribute to the image of Israel as a modern state with Jerusalem as its legitimate capital.  The national narrative of modern Israel is bound up in a redemptive myth of the Holocaust and the establishment of the state, which is given concrete expression through the preeminent place of national memory, Mount Herzl and the Mount of Remembrance. Located in West Jerusalem, these sites together represent what Maoz Azaryahu explains as modern political Zionism’s reformulation of Jewish collective redemption in terms of national revival, which “entailed the return to the land and the restoration of Jewish nationhood” through the Israeli state.133 Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust remembrance complex on the Mount of Remembrance, is an especially resonant manifestation of this narrative.134 Though the other sites in this heritage landscape are mainly visited by Israelis, Yad Vashem is a prominent international tourist destination because of its unique role as the “remembrance authority” of the Holocaust.   We arrive at Mount Herzl, driving past the national cemeteries to reach the visitors’ center of Yad Vashem. Oren briefly recounts the institution’s history and describes in detail the symbolism in the architecture. As we walk across the creaking wooden boards leading to the history museum (the exaggerated noise meant to imitate the walk to the crematoria, Oren says), the businessmen are loudly discussing their upcoming meeting. Oren says we have an hour to go through the exhibit and lets us loose into the crowd of families and tour groups being guided along the exhibit. Though it’s my first time at Yad Vashem, I’d written about it in college courses—so while the exhibit struck me with emotion, I was also more attuned to parts that made the case for Israel’s existence as a necessary Jewish homeland—points such as how, even though there were Jews who had converted to Christianity, their “fate was the same as that of all Jews,” and the recurring themes of the failure of Jewish integration in other societies and the failure of other countries to help during the Holocaust.  The dim, enclosed exhibit opens out onto a balcony with a panoramic view of the hills of Jerusalem, and people photograph this as we wait for everyone in the group to come out. One participant comments that the exhibit is tough to get through in an hour, to which Oren replies, “It’s tough to get through in a year!” and encourages us to come back and see it properly. We walk to the Children’s Memorial, where Oren talks about its symbolism and the Spiegel family’s story before we file through its darkness, listening to the grave recitation of children’s names and ages. When we reemerge into the harsh sunlight, the young woman is wiping tears from her eyes                                                       133 Maoz Azaryahu, “(Re)Locating Redemption. Jerusalem: The Wall, Two Mountains, a Hill and the Narrative Construction of the Third Temple,” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 1.1 (2002): 22. 134 See Mooli Brog, “Victims and Victors: Holocaust and Military Commemoration in Israeli Collective Memory,” Israel Studies 8.3 (2003); Jasmin Habib, “Memorializing the Holocaust in Israel: Diasporic Encounters,” Anthropologica 49.2 (2007); Don Handelman, Nationalism and the Israeli State: Bureucratic Logic in Public Events, (Oxford and New York: Berg, 2004); Yael Zerubavel, Recovered Roots: Collective Memory and the Making of Israeli National Tradition, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995).  80 while the businessmen immediately resume their business discussion. We stop by a few other memorials, which Oren seamlessly narrates for us. Our last stop is the museum café, where people cool down with ice cream before we’re sent off in taxis to take us to our respective hotels.   Figure 3.12. The panoramic view at the end of the history exhibit of Yad Vashem, August 2016  Though the experience at Yad Vashem is fairly brief, it nevertheless manages to reinforces the selective imaginary of Jerusalem constructed in the Old City tour. The tour participants join the crowd of visitors moving through the dark, enclosed spaces of the exhibit, which ends opening out to a balcony with a panoramic view of Jerusalem—a progression from the narrated past into a view of the present. This structure implies that the existence of Israel as the Jewish state is necessary for the survival of the Jewish people. The experience at Yad Vashem reinforces a teleological narrative of Jerusalem by presenting Israel as the clear answer to the destruction of the Holocaust. The museum embeds the geographically distant history of European Jews in the territory of the Israeli state, which supplements the Old City tour’s linking of an ancient Jewish past with the modern Israeli present. The other memorials on our route through the  81 Yad Vashem complex are encountered entirely through the guide’s narration, which further normalizes the Jewish state of Israel as a triumphal, self-evident present that has overcome the devastation of the past.  The tour suppresses the highly charged contestation over Jerusalem’s meaning as political symbol and lived reality from the past that it narrates. It strategically uses a selective narration to normalize what is seen in the present. The tour scripts Jerusalem “old and new” for the tourist gaze as an ultimately Jewish-Israeli space, making a claim that extends to all of Jerusalem—although, crucially, its borders are never made clear. Our only stop beyond the Old City is Yad Vashem in West Jerusalem, which significantly asserts this Jewish history as what is most important and interesting for the tourist gaze about Jerusalem at large. By narrating the Old City as a site of foremost Jewish heritage, and by including Yad Vashem on the tour as the salient feature of “modern” Jerusalem, the tour utilizes these histories to produce an imaginary of continuity—Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel, the Jewish state. The selective imaginary of the dominant Jewish-Israeli national narrative is thus presented as the singular, self-evident meaning of Jerusalem’s landscape.  In both modes of mainstream tourism exemplified by the Sandemans and Bein Harim tours, the tours negotiate the meanings of Jerusalem by covering over the multiple and disputed dimensions of its landscape. Their scopic regimes and scripting of history exclude perspectives that do not fit neatly within the dominant Jewish-Israeli national narrative. The tours take different approaches to avoid engaging with the political contestation, but both are nevertheless deeply entangled in the questions of power and politics of the city. They naturalize a specifically Jewish-Israeli landscape and history of Jerusalem through a teleological narrative that links the biblical heritage with the modern state, while also highlighting its universality in a way that does not impinge upon Jewish-Israeli claims. They use techniques that create a sense of temporal and spatial continuity in order to conflate the religious and political dimensions of the symbolic landscape. Mainstream tourism scripts Jerusalem as an absolute sacred city—the imaginary of “the  82 Holy Land”—but the ways in which this sanctity is used to normalize the modern Israeli state demonstrate how Jerusalem is very much entangled in earthly politics.   3.3 The (Multipli)cities of Jerusalem  The third tour I undertook was by Green Olive Tours, perhaps the most prominent alternative tourism organization in Israel. It is a “social enterprise” that aims to provide participants with “cultural, historical and political understanding” and analysis of Israel/Palestine based on human rights and cultural and political self-determination. 135  The company runs tours of various lengths to sites throughout Israel/Palestine, including several options for the Jerusalem area. As a joint Israeli and Palestinian operation dedicated to “social change, cultural development, political activity and economic enterprise” and cultivating “humane and just societies,” it is different from mainstream tour companies and their aim of providing personally gratifying experiences for tourists.136 Despite the relatively limited audience for alternative tourism, its itinerary and narrative strategies provide a critical perspective of the Jerusalem landscape that is missing from mainstream tourism. The tour is premised on how Jerusalem cannot be understood without examining its entanglement in power and politics, which shapes the entire tour experience of what is narrated and made visible.   Green	Olive:	“Jerusalem	Tour	–	Old	City	&	Greater	Jerusalem”		“This	 is	the	flagship	tour	of	the	Green	Olive	Collective,	and	can	set	the	stage	for	further	exploration	of	the	 country.	 The	 experience	 is	 intended	 for	 anyone	 interested	 in	 expanding	 their	 knowledge	 of	 the	conflict	between	 Israel	and	the	Palestinians,	 to	go	a	 little	beyond	the	 'Them	and	Us'	discourse,	and	to	learn	from	a	guide	who	has	in-depth	knowledge	of	the	issues	and	an	alternative	perspective.		The	 tour	 begins	 in	 the	 Old	 City	 with	 a	 detailed	 briefing	 illustrated	with	maps,	 covering	 one	 hundred	years	of	history	from	the	late	Ottoman	period	to	the	present	day.	This	includes	an	introduction	to	Israeli	occupation	and	settlement	efforts	in	the	Old	City	and	the	surrounding	Holy	Basin.			                                                      135 “Vision, Mission & Values,” Green Olive Tours, 136 Ibid.  83 The	morning	 tour	will	 emphasis	 the	 centrality	 of	 the	Old	City	 of	 Jerusalem	 to	 the	 three	monotheistic	religions	and	visit	some	of	the	visible	icons	of	the	Israeli	Occupation.	This	includes	Jewish	settlements	in	the	 Muristan	 (Christian	 Quarter)	 and	 Muslim	 Quarter,	 with	 discussion	 of	 their	 background	 and	implications…	The	group	will	walk	through	the	Muslim	Quarter	which	includes	a	visit	to	the	viewpoint	at	the	top	of	the	Austrian	Hospice.		You	will	also	visit	the	Western	Wall	Plaza,	the	very	heart	of	the	Old	City	and	a	major	holy	site	for	Jews	and	Muslims	alike.	An	explanation	of	the	sources	of	the	adjacent	Temple	Mount's	and	Al	Aksa's	holiness	in	Judaism	and	Islam	will	be	given.	Discussion	will	focus	on	Muslim	and	Jewish	archaeological	and	development	ventures	around	Al	Aksa	Mosque,	which	are	sources	of	extreme	tensions	and	discontent.		After	lunch	there	will	be	another	short	briefing	with	maps,	then	off	on	the	bus	to	learn	about	the	facts	on	 the	ground	 in	East	 Jerusalem	settlements	and	Palestinian	neighborhoods.	 […]	Throughout	 the	 tour	your	 guide	will	 give	 descriptions	 and	 analysis	 of	 the	 impact	 of	 the	 Jewish	 settlements	 on	 the	 nearby	Palestinian	 neighborhoods,	 and	 place	 the	 discourse	 within	 the	 context	 of	 the	 re-framing	 briefing	provided	during	the	first	part	of	the	tour.	There	will	be	opportunities	for	questions	and	discussion	during	the	tour.	Be	prepared	for	many	of	your	preconceptions	about	the	conflict	to	be	challenged.137			 3.3.1 The Old City It’s 9:30am and I’ve arrived at the meeting point, a café just inside Damascus Gate, first thinking I was mistaken because the group is so small: an Austrian couple with a son in his early twenties, Karl (a student from Switzerland), and Tatiana (a student from Germany). Our guide, Boaz, arrives soon after. He introduces Green Olive and says, “We try to give not what I would call a ‘balanced’ tour, but rather a conversation about the political conflict from our perspective, including as many narratives as possible to give people a greater understanding.” He hands out pamphlets of “A Brief Framing of the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict,” saying, “I find that starting with this historic overview is helpful for understanding what we’ll be seeing today.” He adds that, of course, narratives are selective in what is included, “so please consider that this is also influenced by my own perspective. Ten other people may tell this story ten other different ways.”   With a matter-of-fact yet weary tone, Boaz spends half an hour on this overview. He begins with the Ottoman Empire, the Zionist movement, and the British Mandate. He shows a map of the 1947 UN partition plan, saying that it reflected a lack of understanding about this place. He shows another map, the ceasefire borders (the Green Line) from the 1948 war: Jordan had the West Bank, Egypt had Gaza, and Jerusalem was divided (and Israelis were cut off from the holy places in the Old City). Israel called it the “War of Independence” and Palestinians called it the “nakba,” the Arabic word for “catastrophe”—referring to the 400 communities that were displaced. About two-thirds of the Palestinian population became refugees. They weren’t allowed to return to their homes and the Israeli government expropriated their land. This turned into one of the core issues of the conflict, which lasts until today. Jump to 1967: there was another war where Israel attacked Egypt and Syria, Jordan attacked Israel, and Israel took a piece of land from each one and refused to withdraw, citing security interests. “In order to understand the occupation, you really need to see what it means to live under martial law, which is very different than what you’re used to in Israel and in developed countries.”                                                        137 “Jerusalem Tour – All Day,” Green Olive Tours, The afternoon portion of the itinerary listed on the website does not reflect what we actually did, which speaks to both the rapid pace at which the situation on the ground changes in East Jerusalem and the unexpected disruptions to planned itineraries around which tour companies must maneuver.   84  He continues: All of the settlements are considered illegal by international law. During the First Intifada, there were strikes, demonstrations, and a lot of violence. The Oslo peace process came about in the early 1990s, where the core issues of the conflict were the 1948 refugees, Palestinian sovereignty, settlements, and security. All of these were postponed to the end of the process. In the meantime, the Palestinian Authority was created to take care of civilian responsibilities in the West Bank, but not in Jerusalem. It was supposed to be temporary, but the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by an Israeli and the suicide bombings by Hamas slowed down the process. It broke down entirely as Yasser Arafat rejected an offer that many Israelis believed was very generous. During the Second Intifada that followed, there were many military campaigns in densely populated civilian areas and many were killed. Israelis voted for Ariel Sharon to become prime minister, and he continued this aggressive approach towards Palestinians, ordering the creation of the separation barrier and the eviction of the Gaza settlements. The unilateral decision to leave Gaza helped Hamas present it as the achievement of their fighting. The peace process has been stalled in the past few years and outbursts of violence continue. “Right now, the situation is quite calm, but there is no way of telling if, when, and why violence will start again.”   We follow Boaz outside the walls to stand in Damascus Gate Square. During the 1948 war, Jews were expelled from the Old City and Palestinians were expelled from the western part of Jerusalem. When Israel took the Old City in 1967, the municipal boundaries were redefined to include it and a piece of the West Bank that was unilaterally defined as East Jerusalem. “To Israelis, officially, there is no East Jerusalem. They see it as the reunification of a city rather than annexation—a rather romantic view.” The atmosphere is noticeably different from the tourist chaos at Jaffa Gate. Boaz says, “There’s no physical separation between West and East Jerusalem, but you do cross lots of invisible boundaries that you’ll start to notice the more time you spend here. These are two cities that are quite separate but mashed together, and one is ruling the other. The urban center of Israeli Jerusalem is Zion Square and Jaffa Road, over to the west of the Old City. But the urban center of Al-Quds is right here.” He says that it’s undergoing a process of disconnection from the West Bank because of the Wall and checkpoint regulations: “the biggest Palestinian city is inaccessible to most Palestinian people.” He adds that Israelis are generally afraid to go into Muslim areas of the Old City, and that many demonstrations—usually suppressed by the police—take place in this square. As we take in the scene around us, Boaz points out the different uniforms: the blue ones are for the police and the green ones are for border guards.   We head back inside the gate and walk through the bustling narrow streets of the Muslim Quarter. Walking past old women selling produce, Boaz tells us they come from West Bank villages to make their living here. We see Israeli flags on some buildings, which Boaz identifies as settlements. “These are the more ideological ones, the enclaves in Palestinian areas—the flags are to demonstrate Israeli presence throughout the entire Old City. Their numbers aren’t significant, but they get lots of support from the government and benefit from legal loopholes.” Arriving on the roof of the Austrian Hospice, we photograph the view and Boaz points out buildings that were built by European countries taking advantage of the crumbling Ottoman Empire to stake their claims in Jerusalem. “Looking around, you can see how the Muslim Quarter is an extremely crowded neighborhood. The 30,000 people living here are mostly Palestinians,” he shrugs, gesturing at the buildings with Israeli flags, “but these settlers are the hardcore ideologists who believe that the Bible is their deed to this place, and that there is no such thing as occupation because they can’t occupy their own country. They only call the Palestinians ‘Arabs,’ never ‘Palestinians.’” He points to the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque of the Haram al-Sharif, the third holiest place in Islam. He explains that in Judaism, the rock is part of the western part of the Temple, so the site is sacred in both traditions. “This is the main source of the religious conflict in Jerusalem.”    85  Figure 3.13. Outside Damascus Gate, August 2016   Figure 3.14. On the roof of the Austrian Hospice, August 2016   86 We head to the Via Dolorosa as Boaz explains its Christian significance. Though he also mentions what happened to Jesus at the stations we walk past, his explanations are not nearly as detailed as Oren’s had been. Instead, at one stop, Boaz directs our attention to the display of key chains and other trinkets from a souvenir shop beside it. He talks about Palestinian symbols—for example, the ubiquitous keys symbolize the houses Palestinians left behind in the nakba. “These are usually bought as souvenirs for Palestinians visiting the city. In the refugee camps in the West Bank, you can find big sculptures and graffiti of keys.”   Figure 3.15. Examining Palestinian symbols with the souvenir stand, August 2016  Turning away from the crowds on the main path, we walk up a smaller street devoid of tourist bustle. Boaz gestures to the buildings on either side of us, explaining that these are from the Mamluk period, around 650 years ago. He talks about arabesque motifs and Arabic calligraphy before pointing out that there aren’t any signs for tourists indicating that this is a noteworthy sight—just graffiti on the walls and garbage in the street. “It’s the responsibility of both the Muslim administrators who own the buildings and the municipal government of Jerusalem, but we’ll see later how the Jewish Quarter has signs everywhere directing tourists to the sites and providing information about them.” This is indicative of how tourism in Jerusalem prioritizes Jewish interest and overlooks Muslim and Palestinian heritage, Boaz says in his weary tone.    87  Figure 3.16. Mamluk architecture, August 2016  We follow him back to the main route, looking at the large flag, security cameras, and metal fencing of a settlement. Boaz explains that the settlers who live in these enclaves don’t want peace and harmony with the Palestinians; their presence in these areas is violence, so Palestinians respond violently by throwing rocks. He discusses the routine police harassment Palestinians experience and how the settlers often have security guards and special shuttles to take them to the neighborhoods where they work and go to school, because they only have these residences to assert their presence. Karl asks if these settlers are ultra-Orthodox, and Boaz answers that they they’re Orthodox Zionists—less strict about religion, but can also be “verbally provocative and just plain violent to anyone who isn’t them—Palestinians, but also Israeli leftists, the police, international visitors…”   We arrive at the Cotton Merchants’ Market, making our way past the colorful stalls that are noticeably filled with locals rather than conspicuous tourists. Passing a set of policemen along the way, we gather in front of the steps to the opening that leads to the Haram al-Sharif. Another border police duo is stationed at the top. “They’re there to racially profile people and stop anyone who doesn’t look Muslim from going up. This is probably the one place in the world where non-Muslims go through more security,” Boaz says. He talks about how the Temple Mount is a strong national symbol for some Israelis, which leads to clashes, especially when security restrictions are placed on Muslims in order to secure Jewish tours of the complex, which Muslims see as attempts to control their religious site. “Then Israeli police come out in full riot gear and use their batons and tear gas. Those incidences affect the entire country. If people are wounded here, it echoes in the rest of Israel.” He emphasizes that this isn’t just a political problem; there are economic repercussions to these events as well.    88  Figure 3.17. Settlements in the Muslim Quarter, August 2016   Figure 3.18. An entrance to the Haram al-Sharif from the Cotton Merchants’ Market, August 2016   89 Exiting the marketplace the same way we entered, we turn immediately into the entrance to the Western Wall. I’m taken aback at how the market is a mere step away, because I hadn’t noticed any sign of it when we were shuffled to the security check on the Bein Harim tour. Gathering at the railing next to the Western Wall Heritage Tunnel between the security screening and the plaza, Boaz explains that this tunnel goes under the Muslim Quarter, and it’s a way to tour this area without seeing any Palestinians or having to engage with the political implications. “Archaeology is used to strengthen Jewish connection to this site. Most Israelis wouldn’t want to live in the Old City, but they do want to visit and learn about Jewish heritage. It’s like this alternative underground reality where only Jewish history exists.”   We emerge into the flat sunlight of the plaza. Boaz first explains the significance of the Western Wall in Jewish theology and religious tradition, but then gestures around us, pointing out how we just came from the crowded streets of the Muslim Quarter to this large open area. Before 1967, it was the Mughrabi neighborhood, a very dense block of houses. “After the war, it was completely evicted and destroyed by the Israelis in order to make this plaza for Jews to visit the Western Wall,” he says. “This has been edited out of the collective memory of the nation.” He talks about other issues of the wall, such as the gender segregation of the prayer areas because the Chief Rabbinate sets the rules—“an Orthodox institution that’s not really known for its feminism…” He gives us time to explore on our own, saying that we can do whatever other people are doing, like taking photos or writing a prayer to put it in the wall, if we want.   As we wait for the others to return, I ask Boaz if there are photos of the destroyed neighborhood. “Of course there are. But if it’s not mentioned in history textbooks and the tour guides don’t talk about it and there’s no plaque or anything here—it’s all forgotten.” He says that when he confronts Israelis about it, they either deny it or say that they don’t see a problem, because those Arabs were endangering the Jews who were coming here to pray. Again, I’m struck by the weary and wry tone with which he conveys information. Once we regroup, we head up the stairs at the far end of the plaza and stop by a large menorah in a glass case for Boaz to talk about the organization that promotes Jewish praying rights to the Israeli parliament and public. They do it in part by bringing Jewish tours to the Old City. “Some are straight up radical fundamentalists who aren’t afraid to say that they want to tear down the Muslim holy sites to build the Third Temple.” He says that this is not the view of most Israeli Jews, who are fine with just praying at the wall, but they wouldn’t condemn them, either. The government implicitly sanctions these views by allowing such groups to be here, probably because they’d lose the support of religious Israelis in the elections. And this is a problem because then Muslim fundamentalists can use it to say, “All Jews want to kick us out!” Boaz shakes his head a bit. “This is probably the most challenging place to find a compromise between Jews and Muslims because it’s both a national and a religious symbol,” he says, citing Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount inciting the Second Intifada as an eruption of these tensions.   We head into the Jewish Quarter, gathering in the spacious Hurva Square. Boaz tells us how the quarter was damaged in 1948 and the Palestinian refugees living in its ruins were kicked out in 1967. The Israelis renovated the quarter and conducted archaeological excavations that focused on the First and Second Temple periods. He points out the map and signs directed at tourists, saying that the municipality invests much more here. “As you can tell, there’s a very different atmosphere than in the Muslim Quarter. This area and the Western Wall are the only parts that most Israelis know of the Old City, because many are too afraid to go to elsewhere.” We walk past a “Thank Israeli Soldiers” kiosk, which Boaz explains are for sending care packages to soldiers. “It’s all very good indoctrination,” he says in his wry tone, recounting a memory of writing appreciative letters to soldiers in elementary school so that then, as teenagers, they would be excited to be soldiers themselves.   We cross down into the tunnel walkway near the Cardo. He says, “Let’s play a game of ‘what’s missing!’” as we stroll past the artworks of the shop displays lining the path. We examine a lithograph that depicts the Western  90 Wall and the plaza before it. Everyone is quick to point out that the Dome of the Rock isn’t there. Karl shakes his head and says in a dumbfounded tone, “It’s crazy how it’s so subtle but erases so much.” We stop in front of several more pieces, discussing how most depict the Temple periods or simply omit the Dome of the Rock when portraying contemporary scenes. We also look at a painting of an IDF soldier and an ultra-Orthodox man praying at the Western Wall, which Boaz uses to talk about the conflation of religion and the military in Israeli nationalism. As we exit the gallery tunnel, Boaz says he likes pointing out the transitions between Jerusalem and Al-Quds, because “they’re very sharp—you can really feel how different the two cities are even though this is one place.” We walk across the threshold into the souq, and I’m struck by how there is indeed a sharp, immediate contrast in the light, the air, the scent, and the sounds just one step away.    Figure 3.19. Artworks in the tunnel walkway, August 2016  We arrive at the Holy Sepulchre, where we make brief stops at the Alter of the Crucifixion, the Prison of Christ, and the Stone of Anointing. Boaz talks about what Christians believe happened here, and why it is significant in their traditions. We have lunch in a Muslim Quarter restaurant. Over shared falafel and salad, we engage in lively conversation; Karl and Tatiana in particular ask Boaz many questions. He tells us about how he’d trained as a tour guide because he thought it’d be interesting, but once he became more aware of the politics, he didn’t want to do “the mainstream, conservative tourism… where the money is.” He says that only a small fraction of tourists coming to Israel are interested in this kind of stuff, and the government doesn’t really care about Green Olive because they’re not an NGO. “It’s a business—one with a social and political agenda, but still a business—so there aren’t the restrictions faced by NGOs… but ask me again in five years,” he shrugs.    The Green Olive tour navigates the disputed meanings of Jerusalem by scripting the Old City precisely as multiple and contested, actively grappling with the entangled politics of which it is a part. It  91 invites participants to consider narratives as discursive constructions that actively work to shape the complex landscape. At the outset of the tour, the guide states outright that there are no unselective perspectives; he acknowledges that this is not a “balanced” tour and also makes a point of saying that there are many narratives, of which his presentation is only one. This approach invites participants to take on a more active role in comparison to the relatively passive experience provided in mainstream tours; the guide has us think critically about the discourses surrounding Jerusalem, including his own, rather than treating us as mere receivers of his own narration. The tour’s main strategies for engaging with Jerusalem’s complexity are providing extensive context and redirecting the tourist gaze from the main tourist sights. In providing historical and political context, it conveys a more transparent scripting of the relationship between the narrated past and the lived present of Jerusalem. It challenges the dominant scripting that ignores ongoing contestation and examines the active construction of the historical narrative and the contemporary landscape. Combined with the strategy of redirecting the tourist gaze, the alternative tour thus works to reveal what is suppressed and obscured in mainstream tourism.  Though the alternative tour also includes the main tourist sites in its itinerary, the difference in how they are scripted speaks to the politics of the tour. At the Western Wall, we spend time in the plaza but also pause near the entrance to the Western Wall Tunnels to discuss how they are used in Israeli tourism to secure Jewish connection to the Western Wall. At the Holy Sepulchre, the Green Olive guide highlights the active construction of the discourses that render the sites significant to various Christian denominations. These examples show how the alternative tour brings politics into the frame of the tourist gaze at the major religious sites, whereas mainstream tourism simply emphasizes their unquestionable sanctity. It highlights how the mainstream strategy of not explicitly addressing politics in the narration does consequential political work in normalizing a selective imaginary. Moreover, while none of the tours actually go to the Haram al-Sharif due to logistical constraints that make it difficult to include on a walking tour, the  92 differences in how the tours otherwise incorporate the site into the narration are revealing.138 The mainstream tours briefly explain its Muslim significance, but the alternative tour discusses in greater depth the political tensions surrounding the site in the present—not just as a religious-national dispute between Israelis and Palestinians but also as a divisive matter within Jewish-Israeli society.  In addition to the different scripting strategy, the alternative tour also directs our gaze to other parts of the main tourist sites. On the Via Dolorosa, we turn from the Stations of the Cross to examine one of the many souvenir stands that, on the mainstream tours, constitute mere scenery. The alternative tour uses it to engage with the context of Palestinian history and lived reality in the discussion of the nakba and the symbolism of the keys, which inscribes the Muslim Quarter in a broader Palestinian geography that links the West Bank with Jerusalem (or rather, Al-Quds). On the path from the Cardo, instead of simply passing by the artworks that line the walkway as the mainstream tours do, the alternative tour has us analyze the images. Through our active participation, the guide draws our attention to the ways in which Jewish-Israeli connection to Jerusalem is naturalized and made self-evident through these images. These examples indicate how the alternative tour challenges the absolute, singular imaginaries of Jerusalem presented in the mainstream tours. By directing our gaze to other features of the landscape at the main tourist sites, the tour contextualizes and makes visible the multiplicity of Jerusalem as political symbol and lived reality.  More prominently, the alternative tour challenges mainstream imaginaries by bringing participants to sites that are excluded entirely from their itineraries. The starting point of the tour’s route at Damascus Gate, rather than Jaffa Gate or Zion Gate, is important in destabilizing the dominant framing of the Old City from its western, Jewish-Israeli side. The Muslim Quarter is barely incorporated in mainstream tours—Bein Harim takes participants along the Via Dolorosa to talk about Jesus’s crucifixion—but the alternative tour engages with the Muslim Quarter more comprehensively, including its long Muslim history                                                       138 There is only one entrance to the complex that can be accessed by non-Muslim tourists, and the site is only open to visitors at specific times. As a result, the line can be very long and difficult to incorporate in guided tour itineraries.   93 and contemporary Palestinian lived reality. At the path with the Mamluk architecture, the guide moves beyond the Haram al-Sharif in making Muslim heritage visible, emphasizing that it has an extensive presence in the Old City that is largely elided in mainstream tourism. Notably, we are directed to see the enclave settlements as he discusses the ideological views of the Orthodox Zionists and how they assert control over this space. Not only does the alternative tour explain how Jewish-Israeli claims to the Old City have direct detrimental impacts on the lived reality of Palestinians, but it also addresses the complex religious-political dynamics involved in the conflict, demonstrating how religion cannot be disentangled from politics despite mainstream tourism’s implicit insistence that it can. These examples show how the alternative tour both challenges the selective framing of mainstream tours and presents the sites of Muslim and Palestinian Jerusalem as valuable tourist sights in their own right.  Another way in which the scopic regime of the alternative tour challenges dominant framings of Jerusalem is how participants are made to notice the militarized presence in the city. While mainstream tours ignore these sights as natural parts of the landscape, unrelated to the history being narrated, the alternative tour incorporates them into the narration. This approach insists that the questions of security are crucial to understanding the contemporary landscape of Jerusalem, whereas mainstream tours render them as a taken-for-granted situation by treating them as unremarkable backdrop to the legitimate tourist sights. The alternative tour instead questions Israeli discourses of security by showing how they exclude certain populations, as well as reminding tourists that such militarization is not normal for a tourist landscape. The scripting of Damascus Square and the Cotton Merchants’ Market provides context for the violent eruptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in recent years, which are overlooked and abstracted on in mainstream tourism The IDF kiosk we pass in the Jewish Quarter and the painting in the Cardo walkway of the soldier and yeshiva student at the Western Wall become important entry points into the guide’s discussion of the militarization of Israeli society. The discussion of security and militarization thus challenges the naturalized selective imaginary of mainstream tourism and dominant Israeli discourses more generally.   94 The alternative tour denaturalizes mainstream scripting of the Old City by explicitly drawing attention to the active construction of the narratives that circulate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, about religious tensions, and about tourism itself. It especially confronts the notion that any narration can be apolitical, as the Sandemans tour insisted, by incorporating multiple perspectives to demonstrate how power relations are inextricable from the different, situated narratives about Jerusalem. Additionally, it denaturalizes the mainstream scripting of the absolute Judeo-Christian sanctity of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel by showing how Muslim heritage and Palestinian lived reality are very much a part of the Old City’s landscape. The alternative tour denaturalizes the exclusively Judeo-Christian sacred landscape by focusing its frame on the Old City’s Muslim heritage. With the experience at the Cotton Merchants’ Market, the tour shows how the Haram al-Sharif is embedded in Muslim and Palestinian lived reality. While the mainstream tours only briefly touch on the site with the story of Muhammad ascending to heaven to explain its significance in Islam, the alternative tour contextualizes it by discussing the different perspectives—of Muslims and Jews, religious and secular Jews, the Israeli government and general population—concerning the political claims surrounding it. Moreover, it denaturalizes the implicit imaginary of mainstream tourism that presents the Jewish Quarter as being inherently more interesting and valuable from a heritage perspective by comparing its tourist landscape with that of the Muslim Quarter. The guide highlights the lack of tourists and informational signs that identify the Mamluk architecture as a worthy tourist sight, in contrast to the Jewish Quarter’s proliferation of signage and bustling, well-maintained atmosphere. He discusses how archaeology has been actively used by Israelis to strengthen Jewish connections to the Old City, which reveals the politics inherent to the production of the heritage landscape of Jerusalem.139                                                        139 The role of archaeology has been discussed at length by scholars such as Nadia Abu El-Haj, who argues that in the renewed Jewish Quarter, the presence of ancient ruins from the First Temple and Second Temple periods and preserved remains from the 1948 war were used to “fashion a general aura of historical continuity and longevity and simultaneously embody a specific Jewish national story of ancient destruction and modern rebirth” (2003: 153). For Doron Bar and Rehav Rubin, this selective attention  95 The alternative tour also denaturalizes the absolute sanctity of the Western Wall and its plaza. In mainstream tourism, the Western Wall is portrayed as being of valuable tourist interest because of its age and ultimate holiness. The alternative tour moves beyond that imaginary to historicize the site, recounting the Palestinian lived reality of the Mughrabi Quarter and its destruction after the 1967 war for the purposes of constructing the plaza, a history that is not found in most tourism discourses about the Western Wall.140 Furthermore, the guide talks about the erasure of the neighborhood from Israeli collective memory, making visible the past violence that is covered over in mainstream tourism experiences of the site. This narration challenges the absolute Jewish sanctity of the area by revealing how a selective imaginary becomes sedimented and normalized. It also contextualizes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by demonstrating the inextricable linkage of religion and politics, which mainstream tourist imaginaries generally avoid. As Tom Abowd points out, the creation of the plaza expanded the sanctity of the Western Wall to include the territory in front of it: “its designation as ‘eternal’ and as an ‘immutable’ part of the Jewish nation is belied by the very recently invented quality of this space.”141 The active effort to construct and naturalize this selective narrative is precisely what is foregrounded in the alternative tour. This scripting places the site in temporal context, whereas mainstream tourism dehistoricizes the Western Wall in order to emphasize its eternal quality and the Jewish (and thus Israeli) claim to its sanctity.  In revealing how the dominant narratives are naturalized, the alternative tour challenges the imaginary of Jerusalem as the unified and eternal capital of Israel. It crucially presents the Old City as two distinct cities that are spatially “mashed together,” Jerusalem and Al-Quds. The guide draws our attention to the invisible seams that mark their boundaries, which shows the discrepancy between the dominant view                                                                                                                                                                               relegated the remains of hundreds of years of Byzantine, Crusader, and Muslim rule were “perceived as not only void of any historical value, but as a threat to the area’s new image” (2011: 787).   140 The Mughrabi Quarter was first constructed in the age of the Ayyubids and Mamluks over 700 years ago. Home to approximately 650 people on the eve of the 1967 war, the neighborhood was placed under strict curfew upon Israeli entry into the Old City. The residents were given two hours to vacate their homes or else were forcefully evicted; by the next day nearly all of the homes had been flattened, though the proper orders for eviction and expropriation were not presented to the community until several months later. See Tom Abowd, “The Moroccan Quarter: A History of the Present,” Jerusalem Quarterly 7 (2000). 141 Abowd, p. 13.   96 of the Old City as a singular Jewish-Israeli landscape and the reality on the ground. Beginning the tour at Damascus Gate, in addition to making Palestinian lived experience visible, brings Al-Quds into the frame. While mainstream narratives of Jerusalem may acknowledge the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is largely invoked as being a problem of somewhere else—that is, of the West Bank, on the other side of the so-called “separation wall.” The alternative tour denaturalizes this imaginary by contextualizing Al-Quds in relation to the Palestinian population of the West Bank, revealing how Palestine is fragmented by the Israeli geopolitical imaginary. At the threshold between the Jewish Quarter gallery walk and the Muslim Quarter souq, the guide highlights the subtle border between Jewish-Israeli Jerusalem and Palestinian Al-Quds as it manifests in the corporeal experience of the immediate distinct contrast. Despite mainstream attempts to fix Jerusalem as a specific place of Jewish sanctity and Israeli nationalism, the alternative tour reveals how the spatial narratives of much of the Old City are Muslim and Palestinian.  The power of the alternative tour comes through not in that it provides an unselective imaginary of Jerusalem, but rather in how it makes clear upfront that its narrative is partial and situated because all narratives of this contested landscape are entangled in politics. The tour challenges the constructed visibility of mainstream tourism, shedding light on what it leaves unsaid and concealed, thus exposing the politics embedded in what they do show and how it is narrated. The political work of mainstream tourism manifests in its suppression of the eruptions of the present into the narrated past and vice versa, so that the dominant Jewish-Israeli imaginary is made to seem unselective, normalized, and matter-of-fact. Alternative tourism reveals how it subtly yet deliberately furthers the Israeli geopolitical project, and works to confront it with other perspectives that are obscured in the mainstream imaginaries. It engages with how the present and the past are strategically used to shape a particular landscape that fits within the dominant political imaginary, revealing the multiple narratives of Jerusalem and the power dynamics that obscure Muslim and Palestinian perspectives and lived realities.    97 3.3.2 East Jerusalem Though Israeli tourism websites and even many guidebooks do not refer to East Jerusalem by name, the sites that are mentioned are mainly ones of Christian significance, such as the Garden of Gethsemane and the Garden Tomb. Travel guides especially emphasize the beautiful vistas of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives and Mount Scopus, the location of Hebrew University. For example, Fodor’s describes the Mount of Olives viewpoint as a “classic, picture-postcard panoramic view” of the Old City, a site that “has been bathed in sanctity for millennia.”142 The mainstream tourist materials obfuscate geopolitical boundaries in producing East Jerusalem as an extension of the holy landscape of the Old City, where the significance lies in its historical and religious heritage in contrast to the modern urban landscape of West Jerusalem. The alternative tour, however, frames it differently: it follows the contextualization provided in the Old City portion of the tour in providing a historical perspective of East Jerusalem that is entirely overlooked in the dominant Israeli narrative. During the 1948 war, Jordanian forces took control of the Old City, eastern Jerusalem, and the West Bank. The division of Jerusalem was made official in the Armistice Agreement that was signed in 1949 and supervised by the United Nations.143 East Jerusalem’s political significance was reduced under Jordanian rule, although it continued to draw pilgrims and tourists with its holy sites.144  Though the Israeli government’s original perception of the 1967 war was that it was defensive and had no territorial objectives, it unilaterally annexed the areas in and around Jerusalem soon after (while the West Bank was placed under military government).145 The legislative and administrative actions of “the reunification of Jerusalem” took on “profound political and symbolic significance,” and its inflection with spiritual experience asserted an eternal quality that made “unified Jerusalem” an unchallengeable part of the Israeli                                                       142 “Mount of Olives Observation Point,” Fodor’s Travel,  143 Simon Sebag Montefiore, Jerusalem: The Biography, (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2011), pp. 481-482. 144 Cohen-Hattab and Shoval, p. 121. 145 Meron Benvenisti, City of Stone: The Hidden History of Jerusalem, (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1996), p. 33.  98 national myth.146 According to Meron Benvenisti, though many Israelis had believed that East Jerusalem had become an integral part of Israel from the point of view of “law, jurisdiction, and administration,” they were wrong about the political reality of East Jerusalem.147 The disparity between popular perceptions and the situation on the ground of East Jerusalem is what the alternative tour aims to make visible for interested tourists. It thus creates a larger and more complex spatial geography, whereas mainstream tours rely on an expansive temporal geography to obscure the political tensions concerning East Jerusalem.   Figure 3.20. Greater Jerusalem. Source: Ir Amim, 2016, by permission  After lunch, we pile into a van and Boaz introduces us to the driver, Amir, a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem. “This part is called the ‘Greater Jerusalem’ tour because we’re going to show you how great Jerusalem is! No.” The humorous way Boaz cuts himself off with the abrupt “no” melts into his usual somber tone as he talks about the expropriation of Palestinian land and settlement construction. The Palestinian villages have urbanized into neglected neighborhoods in the areas illegally annexed by Israel, because the municipality                                                       146 Ibid., p. 35. 147 Ibid., pp. 227-228.  99 doesn’t spend equally on Israeli and Palestinian neighborhoods. “So this afternoon, we’re thinking about the everyday challenges of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the disconnection of Jerusalem and Al-Quds.”   We travel south from the Old City on Hebron Road. Boaz points out how there’s nothing in the landscape to indicate that we’re crossing the Green Line. “In 1967, Israel removed the physical boundaries. As far as they’re concerned, there’s just one united Jerusalem. Let’s see what this means on the ground.” We drive into East Talpiot, an Israeli settlement built on Palestinian land confiscated in the 1970s. We see the nondescript community center and apartment buildings. “I’m taking you here to show that there’s nothing interesting to see. But we’ll compare this to the Palestinian areas soon.” The public transportation and the infrastructure are very good here even though it’s not a particularly wealthy area, he explains. “This is not seen by Israelis as a controversial place to come live, even though it’s considered a settlement by international law.” We leave East Talpiot and drive into Jabel Mukaber, a bordering Palestinian neighborhood. Boaz says, the road we’re on is the seam, but the residents don’t interact. He points out how the Jewish neighborhood on the left has a sidewalk but the Palestinian neighborhood on the right only has concrete blocks. “The police use them to create temporary blockades as punishment when violent incidents happen.” We drive past a small booth with two soldiers inside—a checkpoint, even though we’re completely inside the neighborhood.    Figure 3.21. A checkpoint located squarely within a Palestinian neighborhood of East Jerusalem, August 2016  Amir parks next to a police station on a hill and we follow Boaz up to a viewpoint from which the Old City and its surrounding neighborhoods are spread before us. He takes out a map of greater Jerusalem to discuss the Green Line. “There are different perspectives: the Palestinian refugees of 1948 consider West Jerusalem to be occupied territory, though the international community is more accepting of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Palestinian Authority generally wants, under the two-state solution, the Palestinian part of Jerusalem, including the Old City, to become the capital of Palestine.” Karl asks several informed questions. Boaz talks about how the separation wall’s route digs into the West Bank and doesn’t really have “Israeli” and  100 “Palestinian” sides, since Israeli border police are stationed on both sides of it. “Both Zionist left and Zionist right parties since 1967 have supported settlement construction.” He explains that some settlements are very deep inside Palestine and wouldn’t be able to exist under a two-state solution.    Figure 3.22. The landscape of Greater Jerusalem, August 2016  He gestures to the panorama before us. “Looking to the skyline, you can see the construction cranes and high-rise buildings in the west, whereas the east is lower and more crowded.” He points out the Wall, talking about how it cuts through Palestinian areas so that some neighborhoods are inside and some are outside. “It makes no sense if all Palestinians are a security threat. But this is what Israeli politicians mean when they say ‘united Jerusalem’: the united lands of West and East Jerusalem under Israeli control. The illogical route is to keep Palestinians from being able to claim any of Jerusalem and to leave room for settlement growth at their expense. So it’s not about security, it’s about politics.” Karl asks a question about the religious and political dimensions of Zionism and Jerusalem, and Boaz responds with discussion of how Zionism has politicized Judaism. “When my grandfather was a boy in Poland, he wasn’t thinking about these lands outside of Jerusalem. In 1967, they annex this land and it becomes sanctified as part of Jerusalem. Then Israelis think, ‘of course you can’t give a part of holy Jerusalem to the Palestinians!’ even though Jabel Mukaber has nothing to do with ‘holy Jerusalem’ in the first place. If you ask most Israelis what should be done with Jabel Mukaber or Walajeh, they won’t know what you’re talking about. But if you say you’re talking about the land of East Jerusalem, they’re quick to say that you can’t give up Jerusalem. So it’s very hard to get Israelis to see that it would help the peace process to give parts of this area that are clearly not Israel to a Palestinian state.” He looks around at our solemn, pensive expressions and smiles wryly. “This is not a feel-good tour.”    Back in the van, Amir and Boaz have a rapid exchange in Hebrew before Boaz addresses us: Amir’s friend, who’s also a driver, says that there’s been an incident, a settler was stabbed by a Palestinian on the Mount of Olives. He hadn’t been planning on taking us there, so it shouldn’t be a problem for our route. “But it’s just something  101 to be aware of while we’re here. These things are routine for this city, unfortunately,” Boaz says. We drive along the winding roads through the Palestinian neighborhood as he talks about the enclave settlements, which have Israeli bus services while the Palestinian areas have their own system. We drive on a road where he points out how the sidewalk abruptly ends, the transition point between the settlement and the Palestinian neighborhood. “When the municipal government does develop Palestinian areas, it’s with the political agenda of pacifying the residents rather than because they deserve good infrastructure.” He talks about zoning and housing as he points out open patches of land that are owned by Palestinians but they can’t get building permits for them. “The government doesn’t provide them housing and restricts their building, so Palestinians deal by crowding together in these areas or going to live outside of Jerusalem. But this makes problems because Palestinians living in Jerusalem have the legal status of residents, not Israeli citizens. So if they leave the country, they could get their residency revoked. For example, leaving Al-Quds for Abu Dis—even though that’s just a suburb of Jerusalem—could get their residency revoked.” He emphasizes that settlers experience everyday violence from the Palestinians because the Palestinians perceive their presence in Palestinian areas as obtrusive and violent. “For them, the immediate way to fight the occupation is to fight with its most visible symbols, which, for them, are the settlers.”   We arrive at a gas station near a section of the Wall. The area is fairly deserted, with just a few other vehicles filling up. While some of the group goes into the shop to buy snacks, the rest of us take a closer look at the Wall. There are cars are parked along the concrete slabs, which are bare aside from some sparse black graffiti. Pieces of trash are littered on the barbed wire at the top. Boaz talks about how its security effect is hard to measure since it doesn’t actually stop people who really want to climb over or get around it. “Yes, some Palestinians cross over to hurt people. But most come because they need to work.” Regardless, he says, the Wall has a powerful psychological effect for Israelis.    Figure 3.23. The Wall, August 2016    102 Back in the van, Boaz gets more into the socioeconomic situation of East Jerusalem, giving bleak numbers and percentages about Palestinian residents receiving a disproportionately low amount of the city’s budget. Palestinian businesses on both sides of the Wall have been weakened, the majority of the Palestinians in Jerusalem live below poverty level, and their public schools are neglected. We had driven up a hill but had to reroute because a throng of police and soldiers were blocking off the street due to the stabbing incident. We pass through another neighborhood where the streets are littered with garbage. Boaz says that short-term improvements to Palestinian living conditions won’t solve the need for addressing the deeper core issues first. “In no Jewish neighborhoods will you see things like children walking on roads because there are no sidewalks, trash everywhere, demolished houses, water tanks on the roofs…”     Figure 3.24. Driving in East Jerusalem, August 2016  We arrive at a viewpoint overlooking a portion of the Wall separating a Palestinian neighborhood and a highway with a checkpoint. Boaz says that the neighborhoods on either side of the checkpoint are Palestinian. “At places like this where the separation barrier pierces the municipality, the Palestinians have Israeli IDs and work permits, but still have to go through this checkpoint every day just to go to their own city.” Palestinians on this side of the Wall have bad services, but Palestinians on the other side have no services. He says, “When the Israeli police go in, it’s to create friction with the local population and provocatively display their power. So the youth, who have nothing to do because they’re not in school, are violent. And then the police respond with violence and they go in to arrest people connected with terrorism. But the municipality doesn’t monitor the building codes on the other side, which is why they have buildings higher than three stories there. So the Palestinians of Jerusalem are gradually being pushed to go live on the other side of the Wall, because even though it’s not nice, there’s at least housing available. But Israel could just decide tomorrow to make the municipal boundaries the same as the Wall’s route, and if they do that, suddenly all those Palestinians no longer have an Israeli ID to come through the checkpoint.”    103  Figure 3.25. The Wall and a checkpoint in East Jerusalem, August 2016  We drive back towards the Old City to our drop-off point. Boaz begins, “I don’t really know how to summarize these tours.” A quiet pensive air hangs over us. “We are in a very difficult situation here. If you believe me when I say that this situation won’t be improved by Israeli society or the government, who don’t seem very concerned with finding a sustainable solution for everyone, then the Israeli government should be pressured from the outside in a creative, non-violent way.” He talks about the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, explaining its goals and how it’s been difficult but it has been gaining traction. “So, if you’re asking me what you should do with all this information, simply try to raise awareness of this.” He says, “I do believe that over time, we will be successful in achieving these goals to change this situation significantly.”  The alternative tour of East Jerusalem challenges the dominant imaginary of Jerusalem as the holy city that is the eternal, unified capital of Israel. Just as the Bein Harim tour selectively incorporated the landscape beyond the Old City, the alternative tour only covers a particular part of Greater Jerusalem. However, it critically examines the multiple and contested dimensions of the landscape and demonstrates how its meaning as either political symbol or lived reality is not as straightforward as mainstream narratives suggest. As with its tour of the Old City, Green Olive strategically provides context and redirects the tourist gaze in order to confront the dominant imaginaries of Jerusalem. The entire tour of East Jerusalem  104 functions as a redirection of the tourist gaze, as it brings participants to sites that are not found on tourist itineraries. The context that it provides both historicizes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’s contestation over Jerusalem and links it geopolitically with the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, which is often treated as a separate and distinct issue in mainstream narratives.  The alternative tour reveals what is suppressed in the production of the imaginary of unified Jerusalem, in which the post-1967 status of the city and its environs constitutes the rightful restoration of Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli state. Through the differently constructed visibility of its scopic regime, it exposes how the reality of the physical landscape counters the dominant imaginary. This framing highlights what is missing: as we drive from the Old City, the guide directs our attention to the invisible Green Line seam on Hebron Road to show how Israel obfuscates the geopolitical boundaries and normalize “Greater Jerusalem” in the physical landscape. He also demonstrates how seemingly mundane sights are embedded in deeper political structures of conflict, such as in contrasting of East Talpiot’s sidewalk and Jabel Mukaber’s concrete blocks on either side of the road, and in pointing out the empty patches of land that are owned by Palestinians who cannot get building permits for them. In drawing attention to the features of the landscape that we otherwise would not notice or think are remarkable, the tour emphasizes how the conflict is embedded in everyday lived reality—a slow violence that is just as impactful as the spectacular eruptions of violence that characterize the conflict in global media.  The mundane dimensions in which the conflict plays out for the Palestinians of East Jerusalem are further illustrated through the guide’s narration of the socioeconomic and infrastructural challenges they face. When the spectacular dimension of the conflict is incorporated, it is presented in a way that underlines how it is deeply embedded in the everyday Palestinian life. For example, the tour brings us to the Wall after we have driven through several Palestinian neighborhoods, and the site itself is clearly not part of the tourist landscape. We stand around the gas station while the guide breaks down the dominant narratives that circulate, especially in global media, about the Wall; he emphasizes how the discourse of “security” is used  105 for territorial purposes and reveals how the view of the Wall as a geopolitical border is a fiction because Israeli border police are stationed on both sides. This approach challenges the mainstream imaginary of Jerusalem as a unified holy capital by demonstrating how the Wall—a recognizable symbol of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—is very much part of Jerusalem’s landscape; it cannot be excluded as a problem belonging to the West Bank, distinct from the absolute Israeli capital of Jerusalem.  The alternative tour also confronts the absolute and exclusive dominant Jewish-Israeli imaginary by bringing in a variety of situated views. The mainstream tours obfuscated the politics of their own script, either by explicitly asserting its neutral perspective or by deftly presenting its specific narrative as the only one. The alternative tour, in contrast, provides the perspectives of the Israeli government, the Palestinian Authority, and international law with regard to the geopolitical situation of East Jerusalem. It also provides more nuanced discussion of the conflict’s violence, such as with the point about Palestinian violence towards settlers as a response to the perception of the settlers’ presence in East Jerusalem as violent. The tour thus insists that Jerusalem cannot be understood without engaging with the multiple and contested meanings that shape it.  The alternative tour ultimately demonstrates how narratives about Jerusalem are always entangled in questions of power and politics. It asserts that this is why it is crucial to turn to the Palestinian perspective of Jerusalem as lived reality, to include narratives that are concealed and erased from the dominant scripting of the city. Though participants may have some sense of Palestinian perspectives on Jerusalem as a political symbol from international coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, bringing the everyday lived situation into the frame of vision makes visible the disparities between the situation on the ground and the dominant Israeli narratives. The most explicit example of this is the guide’s explanation of how most Israelis (and earlier Zionists, implicitly referenced in his mention of his grandfather) would not recognize the names of the Palestinian neighborhoods, but would insist that East Jerusalem is part of the unified Israeli capital. The tour thus dismantles the imaginary of holy, unified Jerusalem as the capital of  106 Israel that is naturalized and presented as matter-of-fact in mainstream tourism. It contests mainstream tourism’s suppression of the present from the narrated past by foregrounding Palestinians and their lived reality in the contemporary landscape and invites tour participants to critically examine the active production of the dominant imaginary.  The importance of critical examination is especially conveyed in how the guide closes the tour by talking about the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement. He provides a way forward for participants to take on a more active role in response to what we have seen, to translate the experience beyond our position as mere tourists in this landscape because we have not come to it from a neutral, apolitical perspective. The tour, in acknowledging its own situated and selective scripting of Jerusalem, shows that it has a different goal than mainstream tourism, which seems to be invested in maintaining the status quo. Alternative tourism instead challenges the dominant imaginary of Jerusalem to reveal the extent to which it is entangled in political contestation, despite mainstream efforts to present it as a normalized, unselective understanding of the city.   3.4 Coda In a sense, Jerusalem can be considered over-scripted because there are so many competing narratives about what the city is, as both political symbol and lived reality. For international tourists, the imaginary of Israel as the Holy Land largely dominates, emphasizing the rich heritage and religious significance of the city. But in this chaotic landscape, the selective sights and sites included in the frame form an imaginary that depends on what tourists desire to see. As Christopher Prendergast writes, “Cities and narratives… are both desire-producing machines… These two trajectories can be said to cross when the object of desire becomes, precisely, desire for the narrativized city, for its fictional images.”148 Though                                                       148 Christopher Prendergast, Paris and the Nineteenth Century, (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1992).  107 the meaning of Jerusalem is multiple and contested, this complexity is necessarily flattened through the framing of the tourist gaze, which provides a brief and temporary slice of the place.  Because the tourist gaze is always embedded within a larger discourse and series of practices, its consequences differ depending on how it is mobilized. Mainstream tourism provides tourists a Jerusalem that fulfills the desire to experience the biblical landscape and expansive heritage of the holy city. This imaginary manifests as a narrated past that is not disrupted by the politics and violent conflict of the present, which is enforced through the instrumental use of the narrated past to normalize what is viewed in the present. The dominant Jewish-Israeli imaginary of Jerusalem is naturalized as seemingly unselective, covering over the other narratives that shape the city—the multiple and contested perspectives that would contest it. The audience of alternative tourism, meanwhile, seems to be more invested in seeing Jerusalem in its capacity as a lived city and as a political symbol in its contemporary resonances. This intention is fulfilled through its strategies of foregrounding the different meanings of Jerusalem and acknowledging that its own narration is necessarily selective and situated. Alternative tourism denaturalizes the dominant narrative and problematizes the “Israel as the Holy Land” imaginary by turning the tourist gaze to the imaginaries and narratives that are obscured and excluded from the mainstream scripting of Jerusalem. In this sense, mainstream tours are under-scripted: so much of the past is withheld, suppressed, and left unseen in the effort to reinforce the Jewish-Israeli present. Alternative tourism challenges this selective imaginary of Jerusalem as the eternal and absolute sacred and unified capital of Israel by highlighting, especially, the Palestinian perspective. In pointing to the ambiguity of East Jerusalem’s inclusion into the Israeli national imaginary, it troubles the dominant geopolitical project that works to exclude the military occupation of the West Bank from the Israeli state, a boundary that will be explored more fully in the next chapter.    108  Figure 3.26. East Jerusalem, August 2016    109 Chapter 4. Shooting Palestine: Seeing and Not Seeing  the Occupation in the West Bank  We are also looking at our observers… we too are looking, we too are scrutinizing, assessing, judging. We are more than someone’s object. We do more than stand passively in front of whoever, for whatever reason, has wanted to look at us.  – Edward Said149   Figure 4.1. Tourists and an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier in Hebron, August 2016    This photograph was taken in H2, an area of the West Bank city of Hebron under Israeli military control. We’re approaching a checkpoint on our return from the “ghost town” of Shuhada Street, which is empty aside from our small group of tourists, armed with cameras, and the Israeli soldier, armed with his gun. Our international passports had allowed us to explore the eerily silent street, but we nevertheless had been hesitant and uneasy as we walked, some sense of transgression looming over us. This discomfort points to the fact that, on the face of it, the West Bank is a strange destination for tourists. Although scholars in                                                       149 Edward Said, After the Last Sky: Palestinian Lives, (New York: Pantheon Books, 1986), p. 166.  110 recent years have identified the rise of “dark tourism,” whereby tourists are “inexorably drawn to macabre sites of death in the form of live war zones but also to the memorabilia of warfare contained in battlefields, cemeteries, and war memorials,”150 the West Bank constitutes something different. It is a place of ongoing violence, yet the West Bank is also not conventionally understood as a war zone per se.  In the war of 1967, Israel took control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In the following years, the territories were placed under military governance. Israel expropriated occupied land and regulated Palestinian lives without integrating them into Israeli society. The First Intifada (uprising) broke out in 1987, ending with the signing of the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993. As many scholars have noted, the Oslo process was “a framework that changed the means of Israel’s control in order to perpetuate the occupation,” moving from direct military rule to a more indirect form of domination.151 The Palestinian Authority was established and “was perceived to be an autonomous entity—both politically and legally—by local and international parties alike.” 152 Oslo divided the West Bank into Areas A (under full PA civil control), B (under PA civil control and Israeli military control), and C (under full Israeli control). Hebron was divided into H1 (under PA control) and H2 (under Israeli control). Unable to provide basic services to its population, the PA lost legitimacy as conditions deteriorated, leading to the eruption of the Second Intifada in September 2000.                                                        150 Debbie Lisle, Holidays in the Danger Zone: Entanglements of War and Tourism, (Minneapolis, MN and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2016), p. 27. 151 Neve Gordon, Israel’s Occupation, (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2008), p. 170. 152 Ibid.  111  Figure 4.2. Division of the West Bank in 2011, with tour destinations marked (blue for “Best of the West Bank,” green for “Hebron & Bethlehem”). Adapted by the author from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs  112 Aside from the episodic bursts of spectacular violence that continue to make international news headlines, the West Bank today is the site of an insidious slow violence in the form of what Jeff Halper terms the matrix of control: “an interlocking series of mechanisms, only a few of which require physical occupation of territory, that allow Israel to control every aspect of Palestinian life in the Occupied Territories.”153  It renders the occupation invisible through the guise of “proper administration” and “security,” which manifests in three types of control mechanisms. First, there are the overt forcible measures such as direct military action, curfews, arrests, imprisonment, and torture. The second set of controls derives from the Israeli policy of creating “facts on the ground”—physical expressions of the imaginative geography of the Israeli state. These include the expropriation of Palestinian land and the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but also the system of highways and bypass roads that link them (and interrupt the territorial contiguity of Palestinian areas) and Israeli military control over natural resources and holy places.154  The Wall and the checkpoint system are the most prominent aspects of the regulations of Palestinian movement. The route of the Wall runs more than twice the length of the Green Line, the Armistice line separating Israel and the West Bank that was demarcated following the 1948 war.155 In addition to seizing Palestinian land, the Wall has disrupted agricultural production and limited access to hospitals and schools.156 The checkpoint system was established during the Second Intifada, though Israel had been restricting Palestinian movement in the West Bank since the early 1990s. As of 2017, human rights organization B’Tselem counts 98 fixed checkpoints in the West Bank, including 18 inside Hebron.157                                                       153 Jeff Halper, “The 94 Percent Solution: A Matrix of Control,” Middle East Report 216 (2000): 15. 154 The population of settlers in the West Bank is estimated to be 588,000 (“Land Expropriation and Settlements,” B’Tselem, May 11, 2017,   155 “Green Line,” Dictionary of Human Geography, (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), p. 317.  156 “The Separation Barrier,” B’Tselem,  157 “Checkpoints, Physical Obstructions, and Forbidden Roads,” B’Tselem, February 8, 2017,   113 Much has been written on the uneven power relations and everyday violence of the checkpoint.158 According to Eyal Weizman, the Israeli security rationale for the checkpoint system is that “the less Palestinians are permitted to circulate through space, the more secure this space will be.”159 Hagar Kotef and Merav Amir argue that the checkpoint system functions as a corrective technology that is intended to fail so that Israeli military violence can appear as justified.160 This function points to the third type of control mechanism: the bureaucratic legalities that “entangle Palestinians in restrictions” and “trigger sanctions whenever Palestinians try to expand their life space.”161 These include an extensive system of permits for work and travel, restrictions on the planting of crops, restrictions on the movement of goods, zoning policies that prevent the natural development of Palestinian areas, and enforcement through house demolitions and fines (as discussed in the previous chapter).  These mechanisms provide an outward appearance of bureaucratic management, allowing the matrix of control to lend a benign face to the occupation. It obscures the military power that sustains it, while also engendering psychological costs—humiliation, anger, and frustration of life under occupation, including the “traumas suffered by tens of thousands of Palestinians (especially children) who witnessed their homes being demolished, saw their loved ones beaten and humiliated, suffered from inadequate housing and lost opportunities to realize their potential in life.”162 The West Bank thus must be understood as a conflict zone, a space of ongoing violence.                                                         158 For analyses of the political implications of the checkpoint system, see Merav Amir, “The making of a void sovereignty: political implications of the military checkpoints in the West Bank,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 31 (2013): 227-244; Avram Borstein, “Military Occupation as Carceral Society: Prisons, Checkpoints and Walls in the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle,” Social Analysis 52.2 (2008): 106-130; Irus Braverman, “Civilized Borders: A Study of Israel’s New Crossing Administration,” Antipode 43.2 (2011): 264-295. For analyses of Palestinians’ everyday experiences in checkpoints, see Irus Braverman, “Checkpoint Watch: Bureaucracy and Resistance at the Israeli/Palestinian Border,” Social & Legal Studies 21.3 (2012): 297-320; Helga Tawil-Souri, “New Palestinian Centers: An Ethnography of the ‘Checkpoint Economy,’” International Journal of Cultural Studies 12 (2009): 217-35. 159 Eyal Weizman, Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation, (London and New York: Verso, 2007), p. 147. 160 Hagar Kotef and Merav Amir, “Between Imaginary Lines: Violence and its Justifications at the Military Checkpoints in Occupied Palestine,” Theory, Culture & Society 28.1 (2011). 161 Halper, p. 16. 162 Ibid.  114 4.1 Routes into the West Bank This chapter examines how this landscape of slow violence is made available to the tourist gaze. Tourism negotiates the reality of the West Bank as a conflict zone in different ways. Mainstream tourism makes it available to the tourist gaze in spite of the occupation while alternative tourism makes it available because of it. Mainstream tourism is explored here through a full-day tour of the West Bank by Abraham Tours, which aims to offer “unique quality products to independent travelers allowing them to explore and experience the region,” and states that it “does not promote a political agenda of any kind.”163 Alternative tourism is analyzed through a full-day tour of Bethlehem and Hebron by Green Olive, the organization from the previous chapter, which approaches the West Bank through its mission to “help heal and repair the rifts that cause oppression and dysfunction between people.”164 This difference speaks to the central tension in the imaginative geographies of “Israel as the Middle East” that shape international audiences’ understanding of the West Bank.  A Guardian article recommending tourist highlights in the West Bank opens with the line, “For most people, the words Palestine or West Bank won’t shout holiday destination,”165 and questions of “Is it safe to travel to the West Bank?” proliferate on travel forums. The message ultimately provided in these instances is not only that it is indeed safe enough to travel to the West Bank, but also that it is a worthwhile destination for visitors from abroad. This imaginary of the Middle East as both a space of insecurity and as a space of alluring difference falls within the long tradition of Orientalist discourse. Though international tourists take a variety of approaches to visiting the West Bank, a prevalent choice is to stay in Jerusalem and go on guided tours to the West Bank as a day trip. This invokes the classic Orientalist gesture of temporarily                                                       163 “About Us,” Abraham Tours,  164 “Vision, Mission & Values,” Green Olive Tours,  165 Sarah Irving, “10 highlights of Palestine,” Guardian, November 18, 2011,   115 accessing the potentially dangerous, foreign space of “the Middle East” and returning to the comparative safety and familiarity of Israel at the end of the day. In practice, the distinction between the space of insecurity and the space of otherness is often murky and collapsed. The bounded experience of the guided tour, during which participants are transported from site to site on their own bus, necessitates their production as a particular kind of subject in order for them to make sense of the place they experience. In participating on the guided tour, the tourists are invited to view the places through the framing provided. By delineating what is to be seen, these scopic regimes also necessarily establish what is not to be seen. This practice extends beyond the purely visual; the scripting of the guide’s narration and the embodied practices that tourists are invited to enact are also crucial to its functioning. Mainstream tourism relies on the structure of the tourist gaze, with which sites come to signify something beyond themselves for tourists’ personal gratification.  This chapter demonstrates how mainstream tourism actively contributes to the work of sustaining the occupation of the West Bank by normalizing its everyday violence. The first section follows Abraham Tours’ “Best of the West Bank” tour to show how they make certain aspects visible while making other aspects invisible. Though I will make some references in the course of this section to what is not being shown, these elisions and their significance will only become fully apparent in the second section, which examines Green Olive’s “Hebron and Bethlehem” tour. This structure is not meant to provide two case studies of tourism in the West Bank. Rather, it is an invitation to read these tours contrapuntally, as each is necessary to make sense of the other.   4.2 Abraham Tours: “Best of the West Bank” “‘Best of the West Bank’?” The immigration officer raises an eyebrow at me. “Haven’t heard that one before.” I’m sitting in a special waiting area at Ben Gurion Airport, where I was redirected after telling the first officer that I did, in fact, plan on visiting the West Bank on my trip. I explain that I’ll only be entering the West Bank as part of two guided tours from Israeli organizations, which prompts a flurry of questions (Do I know anyone in Israel? Do I know anyone in the West Bank? Am I sure?). At the Abraham Hostel in Jerusalem, however, the  116 attitude is markedly different. Brochures and flyers for the daily tours are found throughout the hostel, advertising not only tours to sites within Israel but also the ones into the West Bank and to Petra, Jordan. Guests excitedly chat about whether to take a guided tour or to explore the West Bank on their own.    “Leaving	Jerusalem,	the	tour	heads	to	Qasr-el-Yahud,	the	ancient	baptism	site	of	Jesus	on	the	banks	of	the	Jordan	River,	before	stopping	at	Jericho,	the	oldest	city	in	the	world.	As	well	as	the	historical	sites,	we	will	have	the	opportunity	to	view	the	Mount	of	Temptation	from	below,	where	the	biblical	story	of	the	defeat	of	the	Devil	took	place.		Next,	we	 explore	 Ramallah,	 the	modern,	 vibrant,	 cultural	 capital	 of	 the	West	 Bank,	where	we’ll	walk	through	the	city	and	visit	Arafat’s	Tomb,	before	moving	on	to	the	city	of	Jesus’s	birth,	Bethlehem.		The	final	stop	 is	Bethlehem,	where	we	will	visit	holy	sites	of	 the	city,	 including	the	Church	of	Nativity;	walk	through	the	Old	City	with	 its	colorful	market;	and	walk	alongside	the	separation	barrier	that	cuts	through	the	city	and	see	the	colourful	contributions	made	by	famous	graffiti	artist,	Banksy.	Finally,	we	head	back	to	Jerusalem	with	a	day	of	memories	that	will	not	be	soon	forgotten.		This	 is	 a	 chance	 to	 see	 different	 facets	 of	 an	 extraordinary	 region,	 covering	 a	 number	 of	 places	 and	topics	and	meeting	people	in	a	way	that	is	difficult	for	travelers	to	do	alone.”166	  The difference between the Israeli immigration officer and the international tourists at the hostel exemplify the ambiguity of the two narratives of “Israel as the Middle East.” Most western tourists to the West Bank arrive through Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, and such questioning reinforces a sense, for the visitor, that the foremost concern is security—yours, but also Israel’s. However, upon entering the space of tourism, this by and large dissipates, overshadowed or perhaps replaced by the desire to experience the appealing exotic otherness the West Bank has to offer instead. The “Best of the West Bank” itinerary promotes this narrative through this rhetoric: the West Bank is an alluring, unforgettable juxtaposition of ancient heritage and contemporary dynamism. The only indications of the conflict are a cursory reference to the Wall and an implication, in the last line, that the tour provides insider access to a place where travelers cannot reach on their own. Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Jericho are the three cities usually                                                       166 “Best of the West Bank Tour from Jerusalem,” Abraham Tours,   117 considered at a lower level of risk than other parts of the West Bank167, and according to Abraham Tours manager Gal Mor, the “Best of the West Bank” tour is the company’s most popular.168   It’s 7:30am and we’re gathered outside the hostel, waiting for the minibus to pick us up. A staff member goes around checking each of our names in the list of registrants. Several participants are chatting about the other Abraham Tours they’ve signed up for later in the week. As the 20 or so of us board the bus, the staffer informs us that our guide will be meeting us on the other side of the checkpoint—“Do you all have your passports?” The bus driver is silent as he takes us out of downtown Jerusalem until the Wall can be seen in the distance. Yawning, I flip through my notebook and listen to the ambient noise of the tourists’ chatter. A few minutes later, I’m taken aback to realize that, in this momentary lapse of vigilant attention to my surroundings, we’ve somehow already crossed into the West Bank.   The bus stops at the side of the road and a short man with an easy grin hops on. He introduces himself as Samir: “I am Palestinian. Muslim.” A pause. “Secular Muslim.” He tells us that he works in public relations, that he’s part of nonviolent peace activism, and that he supports Real Madrid. His bubbly good humor becomes apparent as he gives us a rundown of the day’s itinerary, before making his way down the aisle asking each of us where we are from. One young man, Freddie, says he’s from London. Without missing a beat, Samir blithely snarks at him, “Your country’s the reason for all of this! And your team was terrible in the Euros.”    “I live outside Jerusalem, so when the separation wall was built, the village was outside. That’s why you had to pick me up here.” He explains how Palestinians in the West Bank have to get permits from the Israeli army to go through the checkpoint, and there are a variety of permits they can apply for—but the army has the right to prevent Palestinians from entering Israel even if they have permits. The group is attentive but subdued as Samir continues, providing information ranging from the religious breakdown of the population to the varying degrees of Israeli and Palestinian control over Areas A, B, and C. Half-seriously, he tells us that the West Bank has several capitals: the biggest city is Hebron, Bethlehem is the capital of tourism, Nablus is the financial capital, Jericho is the agricultural capital, and Ramallah is the political capital.   As part of a whole system of mechanisms that stifle Palestinian life in the West Bank, checkpoints appear as technologies of control for those who are subject to its dispossession and indignity. Gil Hochberg describes checkpoints as “a meeting point of sorts between the scrutinizing gaze of the state/soldiers and the bodies put under surveillance,” and as representing “an apparatus of power that seeks to perform, produce,                                                       167 The Canadian government notes that “violence is not as common in Bethlehem, Jericho and Ramallah” and excludes these cities from the “Avoid Non-Essential Travel” status of the rest of the West Bank (“Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,”  168 Moshe Gilad, “Ten tourist hot spots in the West Bank (where the only thing missing is actual tourists),” Haaretz, January 30, 2017,   118 and reproduce the power relationship between occupiers and occupied.”169 But the checkpoint manifests differently for international tourists who are a third party to this direct power relationship between the Israeli occupiers and the Palestinian occupied. For most tourists, the checkpoint is simply another moment of transit rather than a static site in and of itself. Free from the structures and tactics that severely manage Palestinian movement, the experience of what Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez and Jana Lipman call the tension between “tourism’s will to perfect mobility and militarism’s disciplinary tactics” is unregistered.170 The contrast between the mobility of international tourists to, from, and within the West Bank and the Palestinians’ relative immobility is nowhere as explicit as in the passage through the checkpoint, yet this privilege of movement easily goes overlooked by the tourists.  The matter of meeting our Palestinian guide is presented as a logistical detail, common to tours anywhere, rather than as a significant issue that demands our engagement. We are hailed as a particular kind of viewing subject—as non-viewers of the occupation: the tour’s production of this passage as an utterly mundane experience invites us to accept that the checkpoint is a purely logistical matter rather than something else. This interpellation is emblematic of mainstream tourism’s approach in the West Bank, whereby tourists’ entertainment and personal edification in an enjoyable travel experience is prioritized. As the Lonely Planet introduction to the West Bank states, “it is true that dirt-poor refugee camps, barbed-wire checkpoints and the towering separation wall are rarely far from the eye. But there is another Palestine too, one of bustling cities and chaotic souqs, rolling hills and traditional villages… where biblical sites abound. But perhaps the most appealing is the chance to meet Palestinians who remain hopeful of peace and stability even under untold pressures…”171 In addition to reinforcing the juxtapositions of the “Best of the West Bank” itinerary, this image suggests that, if we just look in the right places and not at the wrong places—away                                                       169 Gil Hochberg, Visual Occupations: Violence and Visibility in a Conflict Zone, (Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 2015), p. 92. 170 Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez and Jana K. Lipman, “Introduction: Tours of Duty and Tours of Leisure,” American Quarterly 68.3 (2016): 516. 171 “Introducing West Bank,” Palestinian Territories, Lonely Planet,   119 from the ugly sights of the conflict that pervade depictions of the West Bank in global media—we will find a fulfilling tourist destination. But this frame is also constructed through the scripting of the sites and the embodied experiences made available to us. The guide’s lighthearted tone of narration both softens his references to the occupation and makes the otherwise strange landscape more accessible and even familiar. These practices significantly inform and shape how the participants apprehend the sights on the tour.  We pass through another checkpoint, an event that I actually notice this time if only because the bus briefly slows down and the driver says good morning to the soldier. Samir says that we’re at the Jordan River now: Qasr el-Yahud is the site where Jesus is said to have been baptized. “There’s another one in the Galilee, but it’s much more commercial.” He gives us some information on the Christian significance of the site, and then comments, “we’re in the West Bank, but this is Israeli territory. There used to be conflict in this area, which is why there are land mines to your right and left.” No one asks for clarification as we follow him off the bus.  Qasr el-Yahud is an expansive but empty space peppered with signs directed at tourists. We walk down the dusty steps towards the river and Samir says, “this side is Israeli and that side is Jordanian. They let people swim or get baptized here, but you can’t cross.” He grins at us. “If you try to cross, they’ll give you their version of happy hour—three shots.” The group chuckles. He points out the Israeli soldiers at a distance from the water, a young man and woman with guns slung casually over their shoulders, laughing and looking at their phones. “Usually there are Jordanian soldiers over there,” he gestures at the other bank, “but I don’t know where they are now. Maybe they’re playing Pokémon Go.” We get a couple of minutes to ourselves; the group of Ethiopian pilgrims getting baptized is merely background setting for the participants dipping their feet into the water and having their pictures taken.     120  Figure 4.3. Tour participants taking photographs at Qasr el-Yahud, August 2016  On the short drive to Jericho, the bus pauses so Samir can point out the bright red sign that says, “This Road leads To Area ‘A’ Under The Palestinian Authority The Entrance For Israeli Citizens Is Forbidden, Dangerous To Your Lives And Is Against The Israeli Law.” Those on the left side of the bus scramble over to the right side to photograph it. We then drive past a checkpoint, where a bus full of passengers is stalled. Samir tells us that those buses are what Palestinians use to go through the checkpoint.   “For those of you who don’t know, we have Oktoberfest here.” Amused exclamations fill the bus and Samir insists, “Muslims here will drink beer!” He makes a joke about how whiskey tastes like plastic. We arrive in Jericho. The city is over 10,000 years old and not many people live here now, Samir tells us. The bus idles by a tree that Samir says is the sycamore tree that the tax collector in Roman times sat under. As we continue, someone asks about the agriculture here. Samir mentions that Jericho is a great place to be during the winter, and many Palestinians have winter homes here but don’t stay for the scorching summers.   We get off the bus in an empty parking lot near the entrance to Tell es-Sultan, the ancient city of Jericho. As we wait for another guide to meet us, Samir chats about how his brother’s in the Palestinian police and his cousin’s in the Ministry of Finance. People ask questions about the workings of everyday life in the West Bank, mostly related to the socioeconomic conditions. It’s an impromptu conversation, so the people getting their pictures taken with the camel and its handler nearby miss out on this information. Samir then introduces us to Mohammed, who’s wearing his license from “the State of Palestine Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities” on a lanyard around his neck. “The most important thing is to not believe anything he says,” Samir jokes. “If he says ‘good morning,’ don’t believe him!” and everyone laughs. Samir waves us off and we follow Mohammed up the stairs into the blistering heat.   121  Figure 4.4. Following the guide up Tell es-Sultan, August 2016  “This is the place that most pilgrims and tourists want to visit, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world,” Mohammed tells us. He talks about several biblical events that took place here, such as the temptation of Jesus on the nearby mountain. When he does mention contemporary Jericho, it’s when he says, “Jericho is only thirty minutes from Jordan—geographically, I mean, I’m not talking about borders because then it takes thirty hours!” and people chuckle. We follow him around the tel, listening to his descriptions of the 23 layers of ancient civilization and photographing the excavated sites. We’re sweating profusely by the time we come back down, and Mohammed herds us back to the parking lot, to a fountain with a description of the site’s biblical significance and an area labeled “Drinking Water.” After telling the story of the prophet Elisha blessing this spring, he invites us to drink from the fountain, and several people line up to do so. Meanwhile, Luis (a Chilean man in his thirties who now lives in Australia, I later learn) has donned a keffiyeh and is riding the camel.   The first site eases participants into the tour by showing the ways in which the itinerary makes the West Bank accessible for tourist consumption, both in a material and conceptual sense. Qasr el-Yahud had been closed to the public while under Jordanian control between 1948 and 1967.172 The part of the site that reopened in 2011 is surrounded by areas that are still mined, but the signs of militarism and violence are rendered unthreatening for the tourist experience. The guide demonstrates his savvy westerner-oriented                                                       172 Gili Cohen, “Israel to De-mine Christian Holy Site, Mostly Inaccessible Since 1967,” Haaretz, May 17, 2016,   122 humor with jokes about happy hour and Pokémon Go, and the only soldiers we see resemble typical teenagers, aside from their guns and uniforms. In addition to the lighthearted approach to the site, there is also an emphasis on the fact that “the conflict” (which is unspecified) is in some distant past. As the Israeli Ministry of Tourism’s website declares, “Now on the peaceful international border between Israel and Jordan, the ancient site is once again open for pilgrim’s baptisms,” which suggests that the legitimate biblical authority of Qasr el-Yahud has been restored.173 The tour experience of Tell es-Sultan and Qasr el-Yahud produces the West Bank as “Israel” by constructing a “Holy Land” geography that works to supersede the contemporary context of territorial contestation. It invokes Eretz Israel (Greater Israel, the whole Land of Israel), the ancient homeland in the Jewish tradition.174 This geography works through temporal distancing in highlighting the biblical stories and ancient history of Jericho. We come to see the desolate landscape as Eretz Israel, and the tourists’ embodied acts—drinking from the spring and dipping their feet into the Jordan River—provide a sense of spiritual communion with the biblical land, a superimposition of the ancient past onto our own present. Crucially, this Holy Land is represented as a specifically Judeo-Christian landscape from which Islam is excised, by returning to a past that predates the religion’s founding. This also subtly collapses “Muslim” and “Palestinian” into a singular erasure of Palestinians from the present landscape. Though Palestinians certainly live in Jericho, their absence from the scopic regime of the mainstream tour reinforces the landscape of “biblical authenticity” that legitimizes Israel’s connection with the land while simultaneously delegitimizing contemporary Palestinian identity in relation to it.175                                                       173 Government of Israel, Ministry of Tourism. “Qasr al-Yahud baptismal site,” Israel Land of Creation,  It is not addressed in our guide’s narration, but Qasr el-Yahud is located in Area B and is managed by the Israeli Nature & National Parks Protection Authority and the Judea & Samaria Civil Administration. 174 Though the Israeli government refers to the occupied territories of the West Bank as “Judea and Samaria,” mainstream tourism materials generally use the term “West Bank.”  175 Dora Apel, War Culture and the Contest of Images (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2012), p. 188.  123 This performance of the “Holy Land” also works through spatial distancing. While our own movement between biblical sites is informed by the crossings between Area A and Area B, attention is instead drawn to the settings for the stories about Jesus. Sites such as Qasr el-Yahud and the Mount of Temptation are linked with other places of Judeo-Christian significance within the boundaries of “Israel proper,” such as Jerusalem, the Galilee, and Nazareth. The tour’s narration of the past thus obscures the contemporary territorial reality we traverse. Moreover, the religious transcendence of geopolitical borders inscribes these sites within the wider global geography of the international Christian population. Not only does the tour flatten the nuances of Jericho as a place into a singular biblical narrative, cementing its importance for Christian pilgrimage, but it also portrays these sites as ones that are of interest for all tourists. Through these spatial and temporal constructions, the fragmented territories are smoothed into a single, reified “Holy Land” that is accessible for international tourist consumption; the contemporary violence of the occupation is made invisible.   Back on the bus, Freddie asks what our next stop is. Samir deadpans, “Kuala Lumpur,” and Freddie doesn’t seem to realize that it was a joke. As the driver takes us out of Jericho, Samir walks down the aisle offering us Jericho’s renowned medjool dates. We drive past Bedouin camps; Samir talks about how the West Bank borders have forced much of the historically nomadic population to stay put, resulting in economic difficulties for them. After some time, Samir takes a break to announce that we just passed through a “VIP checkpoint.” He raises his eyebrows at us. “So you’re all VIPs now.” He points out an Israeli military headquarters and comments, “now we’ve gone from the West Bank into the West Bank.” Again, no one presses for more explanation on the matter.  Samir talks about how Ramallah is the center of secularism and culture in Palestinian society; it’s the political capital of the Palestinian Authority, though most Palestinians consider East Jerusalem to be their capital. But because there has been no agreement with Israel, he says, Ramallah was chosen. We get off the bus outside of the Muqata’a—Yasser Arafat’s presidential compound, where he lived during the Second Intifada and was later buried. We’re greeted by several soldiers in Palestinian Authority uniforms and carrying guns, and Samir jovially informs us that they’re all his friends and encourages us to take selfies with them. The soldiers appear happy to oblige the members of our group who do so.    124  Figure 4.5. Tour participants taking photographs with PA soldiers in the Muqata’a, August 2016  At Arafat’s mausoleum, the tour again decontextualizes the site by producing it as something other than the West Bank. While Jericho was presented as “Israel” through the salient narrative of a Judeo-Christian Holy Land, Ramallah is instead produced as “Palestine.” It does this through the performance of a legitimate, sovereign State of Palestine that claims that the West Bank as a normal tourist destination like any other. Weizman writes that the Palestinian Authority intended the Muqata’a to be a temporary resting place for Arafat, “until a Palestinian state was formed, at which point his remains would be exhumed and reburied in the Haram al-Sharif. The quality and expense of the mausoleum suggest that the PA didn’t believe the move was imminent.”176 Without this knowledge provided in the narration, however, the effect of the monumental, symbol-laden structure instead provides a sense of majestic stateliness befitting an established capital city. For the tourists, this quality implies that the West Bank is something other than a territory under occupation. This imaginary is reinforced by the presence of armed soldiers in PA uniform and the proliferation of the Palestinian flag around the site. Ariella Azoulay and Adi Ophir argue that, for the Israeli soldiers in                                                       176 Eyal Weizman, “Short Cuts,” London Review of Books 36.1 (2014): 26.   125 the West Bank, the display of “withheld violence” in the form of “an actual weapon-carrying body” has power in the presentation of force.177 In contrast, for the PA soldiers, this display is better understood as symbolic representation. It contributes to the illusion of the Oslo process that Palestinians are sovereign subjects, “proto-citizens of their own political representation,”178 even though the PA is merely “an effect produced by the reorganization of Israeli power.”179 Because tourists experience the site without this context, the PA soldiers appear as embodiments of a legitimate nation-state through the authority of their uniforms, flags, and guns. The soldiers’ performance invokes Palestine as an equal actor in conflict with Israel. This is reinforced through the tourists’ photographs of themselves with the soldiers, a similar form of tourist photography in other capital cities. These practices suggest that, not only are we seeing the real Palestine, which lacks the tension and violence so often cited in global media, but that the real Palestine is a nation-state with sovereign authority and military power.   On the bus, Luis tries to check-in to Ramallah on some social media app, but there’s no reception. Samir announces that we’re about to walk through the lively city center and “see our very own Times Square.” He uses his joking tone as he gestures out the window: “To the left, you’ll see one of our great tourist attractions—Pizza Hut and KFC!” When the driver parks the minibus, Samir leads us through the streets in a dispersed, ambling parade. We squeeze through a bustling marketplace as shouts of “welcome!” and “hello!” reach us above the din. We make our way down the crowded sidewalks to “Lions’ Square” and then on to “Times Square.”180 Samir points out the monument with a figure holding up the Palestinian flag at the top as some of the participants buy souvenir trinkets from a nearby stand.                                                         177 Ariella Azoulay and Adi Ophir, The One-State Condition: Occupation and Democracy in Israel/Palestine, (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012), p. 138. 178 Weizman, Hollow Land, p. 158. 179 Gordon, p. 172. 180 Although our guide didn’t name them at the time, he is referring to Al-Manara Square and Yasser Arafat Square (or what has been known as the “Clock Tower Roundabout”), respectively.   126  Figure 4.6. Walking through Ramallah city center, August 2016  It’s just past noon, but all the servers are serenading our party with a jovial “good morning to you” sung to the tune of “happy birthday” as Samir leads us up the restaurant stairs to a long table already set with yogurt and salad. Our oversized group awkwardly maneuvers around the small space to sit down. Several people ask Samir for the WiFi password. He goes around taking drink orders (several people order beer) and then heaping plates of rice and chicken are passed down the table. Samir explains that we’re eating maqluba, a traditional Levantine dish that Palestinians usually eat at home rather than in restaurants. Seated at a separate table, Samir and our bus driver eat something else—the flatbread that the other diners, mostly women and children, are having. The contrast between our raucous table and the quiet lunchtime buzz of the rest of the restaurant feels stark.   As we follow Samir back to the bus, he says we’re headed somewhere to have coffee, where we’ll see “another side of Palestinian society” in which women who don’t cover their hair are out in public smoking shisha. There’s a running joke between him and Freddie about whether shisha is marijuana. “Is it easy to get marijuana in the West Bank?” Samir, with a mischievous grin, answers that it’s easy if you know the right people. With slightly less levity, he adds that the government here doesn’t have as much authority as people think.   We arrive at Shishapresso, a café that wouldn’t look at all out of place in a North American city if it weren’t for the hookahs at some tables. I end up sitting with Freddie, Claudia (an Asian woman in her thirties from Australia), and Demetra (a young Greek woman who now lives in Belgium). We chat about where we’ve been in Israel so far; Claudia had been volunteering on a kibbutz in the Galilee for the past four months because she wanted to “try something different” from her marketing job. She doesn’t like the “modern city” of Tel Aviv as much as Jerusalem because the latter has more character. Freddie and Demetra gush about how fun Jerusalem’s shuk is at night. The three of them smoke shisha while I catch up on the notes I’ve written on my phone. “I love that we’re in the West Bank,” Freddie says, in a tone of relishing wonder. “Palestinian territory.”   127   Figure 4.7.  “Another side of Palestinian society” in Shishapresso, August 2016  In Ramallah, the tour performs the legitimacy of a sovereign State of Palestine that is a tourist destination like any other. Unlike the smoothed-over fragments of the “Holy Land” experienced in Jericho, the borders of Ramallah are not brought into the frame at all, allowing for its production as a normal capital city. Lonely Planet points out that, “As the economic and political heart of the West Bank, Ramallah is home to a good deal of expatriates, English is widely spoken and transport links are superb,” which make it easy for visitors to explore the neighborhoods “packed with trendy cafes and bars.”181 On the tour, the superficial similarities are crucial in drawing out this point: when tourists see their “very own Times Square” and the familiar fast food restaurants, there is a sense of Orientalizing appreciation for an unexpectedly globalized and “modern” part of the West Bank.                                                        181 “Introducing Ramallah and al-Bireh,” West Bank, Lonely Planet,  128 These practices contend that Ramallah is not so much a territory under occupation but rather a capital city in its own right. Western tourists see that daily life in Ramallah is quite familiar to our own everyday experiences. Moreover, the sense that we are seeing the real Palestine is strengthened. The experience of bustling, modern Ramallah is disconnected from the serene, desolate Jericho (that is in itself an active production). The embodied dimension of our practices becomes a more pronounced linkage of these disparate sites into a geography of leisure that, according to Rebecca Stein, works by “fictively denuding the occupation of its violence.”182 The quintessential tourist consumption—through maqluba and shisha, Elisha’s spring and Jericho dates—reinforces the normality of our experience in the West Bank.  The tour of Ramallah also works to cultivate a perfunctory rapport between the tourists and the residents of the West Bank. Though Palestinians are cast by global media as either victims or terrorists, mainstream tourism casts them in a third role: normal people just like you and me. Walking through the city center, we see people in their everyday routines in a way that is foreign enough to fulfill the thrill of the tourist gaze, but still familiar to our own lives. Furthermore, the guide’s narration goes beyond the direction of our gaze to actually ventriloquize the population before us. Aside from the serving of food and coffee, there is no interaction between the tourists and the Palestinians appearing in their frame. The guide’s narration thus becomes a stand-in for the views of the Palestinian population at large. In this way, the guide’s speech acts and our embodied practices sustain the performance of an ordinary Palestine. The scenes of life in Ramallah challenge our perceptions of what life under military occupation looks like, especially because what we see is intended to surprise us with its modernity. We are directed to see “another side” of Palestinian society, the one of Pizza Hut and cafés, familiar to the western gaze, instead of the instability and impoverishment associated with Palestine in the news. From this experience, we come                                                       182 Rebecca L. Stein, “#StolenHomes: Israeli Tourism and/as Military Occupation in Historical Perspective,” American Quarterly 68.3 (2016): 551.  129 away with the sense that Palestinians are people living more or less normal lives; the realities of the occupation become abstracted and distanced from the sights before us.  It’s 2:00pm and we’re back on the bus, a satiated lull hanging over us. Samir says, “Have you watched the movie Valkyrie or The Usual Suspects? Well, Israel for us is the usual suspect. If it’s too cold, blame Israel. If the coffee is bad in the morning, blame Israel. If the sports don’t go your way, blame Israel. Basically, every problem we have, Israel is behind it. The other night, my friend was drunk—and he said it was because of Israel!” His comedic delivery is perfect, and the bus is filled with laughter.  There’s a slight shift in tone as Samir begins explaining Palestinian politics—how Fatah and Hamas came to be, the “chicken president” whom people hate. “The reality here is that we don’t have political parties. It’s all run by families. We pretend there is democracy, but it isn’t really.” After a while, he jokes that we look like we want to go to sleep, so it’s time for a “commercial break.” If we’re still awake in a bit, he says, he’ll talk about the one-state and two-state solutions. A few minutes later, he begins: “Some say that Rabin’s assassination killed any hope for peace, and they were correct.” He describes what happened during the intifadas, emphasizing that “both sides” are paying the price for the leaders who care more about staying in power than about taking care of their people. There’s an interlude while he teases Demetra, who is recording his spiel on her phone, about what intelligence agency she’s working for—the overall mood is surprisingly untroubled, despite the seriousness of the subject. He talks about how the separation barrier came to be built, and how his grandparents and mother lived in one of the refugee camps in the West Bank. He also mentions that he and other activists used to go up to the Wall and just hang out, to show the soldiers that they weren’t interested in causing trouble. “It’s difficult. But if you want to achieve something, you have to continue.” There’s a brief pause before he switches gears into a playful story about how there was a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas during the Germany-Brazil game in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.   One of the Austrian women asks why the intifadas happened. Samir starts explaining but says that many Palestinians don’t want to think about those times; he mentions that he’s lost many friends in the intifadas. Before the mood gets too heavy, however, he takes another “commercial break” to point out the donkeys on the side of the road. He then shares a solemn anecdote about his friend getting shot in the head at Al-Aqsa Mosque. “The first two weeks were so bloody.” The German speakers ask a lot of questions while Demetra, sitting in the front row, puts her hand sympathetically on his. Even though he describes several personal experiences with specific incidents of violence, the participants are more enraptured by the livelier stories—there was one morning, he says, when he stepped out into his garden to have his morning tea and there was a tank right there. “I was like, oh my god, can I come and touch it!? It’s a real tank!” The bus fills with laughter and Samir beams. “This is something that Israelis, even the soldiers, admire about us: no matter what happens, we still have a sense of humor and we’re still going forward.”  Although it is one of the few moments of the tour where the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is addressed with any gravity, the guide’s narration actually points to the spectacularization of the occupation for tourist entertainment. The jokes elicit laughter from the tour participants because they defy expectations, perhaps breaking a taboo in making light of “serious” matters of violent conflict as well as of what tourists tend to  130 think of as a conservative, religious society. They also demonstrate a particular shrewdness with regard to western cultural references and humor norms of irreverence. In joking about soccer, Oktoberfest, and drugs, and presenting Shishapresso as “another side of Palestinian society,” the guide reinforces a main theme of the tour, which is aimed at surprising western tourists with how unexpectedly westernized and “modern” Palestinians can be. Such use of humor shapes the tour experience as predominantly one of entertainment, but these jokes accomplish more than that. They give the impression that the tensions of the West Bank are less consequential than we might think. If a Palestinian living under occupation can make cheerful quips about it, it must not be as bad as the news makes it out to be! The violence of the occupation is rendered invisible for the tourist gaze, as with the experience in Ramallah.   In this narration, Palestinian resistance to the occupation is decontextualized and ventriloquized in a way that transforms it into a self-tokenizing discourse. Implicitly countering portrayals of Palestinians in global media, his narration translates the events we have only encountered through the news into the bounded space of the tour. The explicit references to the occupation are made in a way that reveals little of the violence that underpins the matrix of control. Moreover, the embodied dynamics of these exchanges cast the tourists as passive receivers of the narration, signified by the guide’s lighthearted comment that he’ll talk to us more about the conflict if we stay awake. Rather than being interpellated as non-viewing subjects here, we are invited to view the occupation in a deliberately managed frame that would not disrupt any attempt to have a pleasant, enjoyable tour experience. This entrenches the positioning of the tourists in a “neutral space” located outside the conflict. On the mainstream tour, the participants are here to enjoy themselves and see the sights one ought to see, and the guide is here to provide this enjoyment and the authority of the tourist gaze to make sense of the sights. The tour thus gives the impression that we can comfortably explore the West Bank and partake in its offerings without having to engage in the politics of the occupation; our own comfort (whether physical or psychological) is paramount.   131 In Bethlehem, Samir hands us off to Basim, a portly man wearing a tour guide license around his neck who introduces himself as a Christian Palestinian who has lived in Bethlehem his whole life. He enthusiastically ushers us down the steps of the Milk Grotto Chapel, where he talks at length about the significance of the site in Christian tradition—legend has it that Mary and Joseph stopped here to feed baby Jesus. We’re given a few minutes to look around in hushed reverence. Afterwards, we walk to the Church of the Nativity and Basim explains that the main entrance is so short for two reasons: to keep people riding animals from charging in, and to make people bow upon entering as a sign of humility to Christ. He leads us around the different denominations’ sections of the church before heading downstairs to the silver star that marks where Jesus was said to have been born. If we want photos with the star, he says, he’ll take care of it. “I want you all to be happy, because then you’ll tell your friends and family to come to the Holy Land! And by ‘Holy Land,’ I mean, Jerusalem and Bethlehem.”   The grotto is stuffy and crowded as several other oversized tour groups also maneuver towards the silver star at one end of the room, but Basim patiently and efficiently gets all interested members of our group their photo with the star. Once we surface, we move to the courtyard between the chapels and Basim recounts historical events of Christian interest. Before we leave, he asks us if we want to hear him sing the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, “the language that our Lord Jesus Christ spoke.”     Like Qasr el-Yahud and Tell es-Sultan, the tour of the Milk Grotto and the Church of the Nativity produces the West Bank as “Israel” through the construction of a “Holy Land” geography. The handoff of our group to a specialized Christian tour guide reinforces the distinction between those places that are located in a biblical history and those that belong to the present. His narration of religious significance is intensified by his own Christian faith, which again distances the site temporally and spatially from Bethlehem and the West Bank more broadly. The mainstream experience of Bethlehem links it to Judeo-Christian sites in “Israel proper” through the flattening of the city to its biblical relevance and the exclusion of modern life from the frame. Though Bethlehem is entangled in the matrix of control—it is the location of three refugee camps and the municipality suffers severe socioeconomic consequences due to the Wall’s route restricting Palestinian movement and land use—none of this is apparent in what we see and hear from the guide. The realities of Palestinian life under the occupation recede from the frame, and Bethlehem is produced solely as a site of spiritual edification.  Still in Bethlehem, we pull over on a nondescript road where the famous Banksy graffiti of a man throwing a flower bouquet is seen in the distance. Those of us who want a closer look follow Samir across the street. Several people take selfies before we rejoin the drowsy participants on the bus. We also stop in an empty sweet shop  132 where we’re each given a cup of coffee and a square of knafeh while Samir makes his way to each table, cracking jokes and asking how we’re doing. Back on the bus, Samir tells us we’re going to Banksy’s Shop, where we can buy political postcards, t-shirts, and keffiyehs if we want. And then we can write on the Wall ourselves—“Just don’t throw the cans of spray paint at the Israeli soldiers!” he laughs.    Figure 4.8. Photographing a piece of Banksy graffiti in the distance, August 2016  “We’re driving past a refugee camp right now. People have been living in camps for sixty-eight years. They took their ownership papers and keys from their houses in Israel.” Freddie looks out the window. “What refugee camps? These are just shops!” Samir explains how the camp is behind the row of shops on the street. It’s been so long that buildings have replaced the tents, but they nonetheless constitute a refugee camp. A German woman asks why they still have their ownership papers; Samir explains the refugee situation from 1948. Then, the driver parks the van and we file out into the golden late-afternoon sun.   The section of the Wall where we’re dropped off is a corner of imposing concrete covered in vivid, chaotic graffiti. Samir tells us that whenever there are violent clashes in Bethlehem, they happen here. As the last stop on our full-day tour, there’s a climactic quality to our arrival. Samir doesn’t provide further narration, and the participants filter out along the Wall, taking photos of the graffiti and of themselves against its backdrop. A man walks alongside our group, selling keffiyehs. Luis buys one and wraps it around his head. Outside of Banksy’s Shop, some people browse the souvenirs while others take cans of spray paint Samir provides and add their own graffiti to the chaotic palimpsest. Several people have their picture taken in ready-to-graffiti poses.183                                                        183 This site has since become the location of the Walled Off Hotel, which opened in spring 2017. The “art hotel” set up and financed by Banksy has generated complicated responses. Critics have argued that it normalizes the occupation and profits from Palestinian suffering. Others, such as Jamil Khader, a professor at Bethlehem University, contend that it makes “a powerful anti-colonial statement about British colonial history, Zionist settler colonialism, Israeli occupation and apartheid politics in Palestine”  133     Figure 4.9. Tour participants at the Wall in Bethlehem, August 2016                                                                                                                                                                               (Jamil Khader, “The Walled-Off Hotel Controversy: How Banksy Universalizes the Palestinian Struggle,” Middle East Research and Information Project, March 22, 2017,   134   The Wall is a hyper-visible structure of the occupation, but the mainstream tour transforms it into a tourist spectacle. The foreground of our gaze is filled by the eight-meter-high concrete slabs covered in vivid graffiti, and the quality of its physical existence becomes more important than its context. Beyond its material consequences, the Wall provides what Weizman refers to as the “reassuring iconography” of a “contiguous political border,” an illusion in which Israel and Palestine are “ordinary, territorially defined nation states,” thus disguising “the violent reality of a shifting colonial frontier.”184 Azoulay and Ophir describe it as a monumental structure that “conceals the internal fragmentation of the Occupied Territories, the disrupted space that exists in its shade, and Israel’s acts therein,” which “not only exacerbates destruction and devastation but also distances them from the Israeli gaze...”185 But for most tourists, the illusion is highly successful because of our dependence on the tour’s scopic regime and narration to make sense of what we see.  Because our encounter with the Wall only happens once we have crossed from Israel into the West Bank, the tour establishes a clear distinction between the relatively untroubled space of Israel and the space of conflict on the other side of our crossing. Rather than seeing the Wall as part of the matrix of control that is pervasive throughout the West Bank and is part of the Israeli geopolitical project, we see the structure of the Wall as a spectacle that conceals how it is embedded in an entire regime of regulatory practices that do violence beyond this linear block in the landscape. In the context of the tour, our experience of the Wall fixates on its material existence. We are directed to engage with its physical immediacy—its looming height, its hard grey surface—in a way that emphasizes its hyper-visibility as a representation of the occupation. Its spectacular abnormality reinforces the normalcy of scenes like Ramallah through the                                                       184 Weizman, Hollow Land, p. 179. 185 Azoulay and Ophir, p. 130.  135 contrast. Despite being one of the most recognizable symbols of the occupation, it remains just that—an abstracted symbol.  As the sightseeing highlight of the tour, the Wall is rendered unthreatening for the purposes of tourist consumption. The way in which the tourists engage in photography is typical to tourism anywhere. The desire to take their own photographs (including ones of themselves) at a site that already has thousands of existing and accessible photographs taken of it pertains to the staging of authenticity. The tourists normalize the Wall as a tourist sight through this practice, as placing oneself in the frame becomes the predominant concern. The violence of the occupation thus transforms into mere backdrop for tourists’ personal gratification—proof of their experience. Their engagement with the graffiti also reflects this prioritization of the personal. Dora Apel notes that Palestinians “who live in the shadow of the Wall disagree on whether to beautify it with art or whether the art draws the world’s attention to the disgrace of the Wall, but most welcome the solidarity it represents, while taxi drivers and business owners welcome the tourist trade it attracts.”186 However, the tourists’ own scrawls—“I was here” signatures and a few saccharine messages of peace—fulfill a different function. They may satisfy some sense of feel-good intention, but they also contribute to the occupation’s violence by foregrounding the personal act over the collective suffering the Wall represents and enacts. The tourists’ graffiti literally and conceptually covers over “the disgrace” of the Wall with the satisfaction of their own personal desires: I was here becomes more salient than the meanings of the Wall itself. Such prioritization of tourist consumption and personal gratification is in line with other aspects of the tour that, on the one hand, portray the West Bank as a tourist destination like any other, such as purchasing souvenirs and tasting local delicacies. On the other hand, there is a placelessness that frames these practices. The embodied experiences expected from these sites become more salient than the context in which they take place. The Banksy graffiti exemplify what Ashley Toenjes points out as “the painful                                                       186 Apel, p. 210.  136 familiarity of Orientalism, where the realities of the Wall and its impact on Palestinian lives become not the focus, but the objectified backgrounds in the stories of named and important Western actors.”187 As a main tourist attraction, the famous graffiti become sights in their own right, despite being regarded as a critical, political reaction to the occupation. Both Palestinian suffering and resistance are obscured through these practices, which also serve to position tourists as being outside the space of the conflict. We laugh when the guide jokes to us about not throwing paint cans at Israeli soldiers because we know there is no danger for us in these scenarios, although what goes unspoken is how acts of Palestinian resistance would result in violent retribution.188 The tourists are thus invited to engage with the Wall as non-viewing subjects of the occupation’s violence—cognitively, through the guide’s ventriloquism, and corporeally, through the encouragement to add our own graffiti. The violence that the Wall both represents and enacts is thus obscured from our view. As “outsiders” from abroad, tourists are able to experience the Wall primarily or even solely as a site of temporary personal gratification, which invisibilizes its effects on the Palestinians who must live with it.  Throughout the mainstream tour, the sites and sights of the West Bank are produced as an appealing juxtaposition for the tourists to experience. This presentation is accomplished through the production of three narratives about place. The “Holy Land” of Jericho and Bethlehem invokes an expansive geography that reaches into the ancient past and out toward the global Christian population. The “State of Palestine” of Ramallah provides the illusion of a territorially bounded nation-state (whose boundaries are never disclosed) that stands as a legitimate sovereign counterpart to Israel. The tourist spectacle of the Wall paradoxically cultivates a sense of placelessness, as the spectacularization of the material experience of the Wall transforms it into an abstracted signifier of geopolitical contestation instead of contextualizing it as                                                       187 Ashley Toenjes, “This Wall Speaks: Graffiti and Transnational Networks in Palestine,” Jerusalem Quarterly  61 (2015): 64. 188 For example, during the First Intifada, Palestinians were arrested, beaten, and imprisoned for writing graffiti on the walls of refugee camps (Rich Wiles, “Palestinian graffiti: ‘Tagging’ resistance,” Al Jazeera, November 26, 2013,   137 part of the specific matrix of control in the West Bank. Rather than imparting tourists with an understanding of the West Bank as a complex whole, the “Best of the West Bank” tour manages to elide the occupation’s violence and curate a disparate collection of gratifying tourist experiences.  4.3 Green Olive: “Hebron and Bethlehem”  “The	 tour	 begins	 in	 Jerusalem	 and	 passes	 through	 the	 Bethlehem	 Checkpoint	 where	 the	 Palestinian	guide	will	meet	the	group,	due	to	the	restrictions	prohibiting	most	Palestinians	from	entering	Jerusalem.	The	 Checkpoint	 is	 one	 of	 the	 few	 entry	 points	 into	 Bethlehem	which	 is	 surrounded	 by	 fences	 and	 8-meter	(25	ft.)	high	walls.		From	 Bethlehem	 the	 tour	 will	 travel	 to	 Hebron	 seeing	 the	 Israeli	 settlements	 en-route	 and	 learning	about	home	demolitions	and	travel	restrictions	that	the	Israeli	authorities	place	on	Palestinians	living	in	the	 area.	 Inside	Hebron	 the	 group	will	 visit	 the	 Ibrahimi	Mosque,	 and	 the	 city's	market	where	 Israeli	settler	 strongholds	have	 squeezed	 the	 life	out	of	 the	 formerly	 thriving	area.	You	will	walk	 though	 the	market	with	time	for	shopping.			The	tour	sometimes	varies	to	include	a	glass	factory	or	one	of	the	aid	organizations	in	the	city.	On	the	return	to	Bethlehem	you	will	visit	the	Separation	Barrier	and	the	famous	Banksy	Graffiti	and	the	Church	of	the	Nativity,	and	have	a	walking	tour	of	the	Deheishe	refugee	camp.		Both	cities	are	administered	by	 the	Palestinian	Authority	while	being	 isolated	 from	Jerusalem	and	 the	northern	West	 Bank	 due	 to	 Israel's	 construction	 of	 the	 'Separation	Barrier',	 hundreds	 of	 checkpoints,	'Israeli	only'	 roads,	and	restrictions	on	travel	 into	Jerusalem.	This	unique	tour	provides	an	overview	of	the	situation	on	the	ground.”189	  It’s 8:30am and I’ve arrived outside the Jerusalem International YMCA building, where a minibus with a Green Olive sign is parked. The driver hands me a “Brief History of the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict” pamphlet and I wait with three others: Sylvie, a stylish young Asian woman from Switzerland, and a middle-aged couple, Michael and Merav (English and Israeli, respectively, but they’ve lived in Spain for a while now). The driver announces that the two other people who were registered are no longer coming, so we board the bus to head to Bethlehem. On the way, he talks about the history of the occupation, the Wall, and refugee camps. As a Palestinian living in East Jerusalem, he says, he has an Israeli ID and a Jordanian passport. “I have family in the West Bank and I can go see them, but they can’t come see me in Jerusalem.” His house has been demolished three times. As he drives, he points out signs of Israeli military presence that I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed, like the yellow gate to the security road. Sylvie asks a lot of questions, such as whether Palestinians use the shekel. The driver answers, yes, “because Palestine is not a country. Palestine has no control.”                                                         189 “Hebron and Bethlehem Tour,” Green Olive Tours,   138 We barely pause when we go through the checkpoint, and Michael seems taken aback. “That’s it? That’s the checkpoint?” The driver explains that they mainly check IDs and cars that come back to Jerusalem. He continues pointing out the window and providing context for what we see—the refugee camp located behind the street of shops we were driving past, the settlement in the distance that was built after the Oslo Accords. He says, “Palestinians want peace. I don’t want to take where they live now in Israel, I just want my land from 1967. That’s what we want. But America stopped the peace process.”   The bus pulls up outside the study center of the Alternative Tourism Group and we’re greeted by our guide, Fouad. He introduces himself as he ushers us into a van: after high school, he had gone to Jordan to study tourism “but not to be a religion tour guide, but a political tour guide.” He’s worked for the ATG for six years. He’s from Beit Sahour, a town just east of Bethlehem, but he lived in Denver for a few years and his eldest son was born there. Before we set off for our tour, however, we make a quick stop to his house because he had forgotten his sunglasses. He points out his father, standing on a terrace, and tells us his name is Edward, which elicits an amused chuckle among us.   On the alternative tour, the passage through the checkpoint into the West Bank is as uneventful as it was on the mainstream tour, but the difference in the way it is handled speaks to the fundamental contrast between the tourist gaze of the former and what I will call “the witness gaze” of the latter. While the tourist gaze centers the personal gratification of the tourist, the witness gaze instead prioritizes an evidentiary objective that is oriented towards a wider public. According to Gil Hochberg, witnessing is the main counter-visual practice that seeks to undermine the dominance of the Israeli military gaze in the West Bank.190 In addition to the surveillance power of the Israeli military, there is a dominant mode of social knowledge that Adi Kuntsman and Rebecca Stein identify as working to  “contain the effects of Israeli state violence on the civilian everyday,” casting the military occupation of the West Bank as a regime separate from a democratic Israeli state.191 The contestation of this public secrecy is a fundamental component of the witness gaze because it pushes back against the tacit agreement to not see the violence of the occupation.  From the outset, the alternative tour hails the participants as a particular kind of viewing subject: we apprehend the sights of the tour in order to learn, understand, and witness. The itinerary text draws attention to the strangeness of touring a conflict zone, in contrast to the mainstream tour itinerary’s subtle                                                       190 Hochberg, p. 118 191 Adi Kuntsman and Rebecca L. Stein, Digital Militarism: Israel’s Occupation in the Social Media Age, (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2015), p. 15.  139 elision of the occupation. It addresses the matter of meeting our Palestinian guide on the other side of the Wall with the context of the matrix of control. And simply by announcing, “Palestine is not a country,” the driver exposes the public secret that colors the language of mainstream tourism, which mainly refers to the territory as “the West Bank” instead of a more geopolitically-charged designation. On the mainstream tour, the driver was a silent presence fulfilling a logistical function and our passage through the checkpoint went unremarked upon by the participants. The Green Olive driver, though he does not formally establish himself as a voice of authority in the way a tour guide does, shares his lived experiences as a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem with the evidentiary quality that characterizes the dynamics of the witness gaze. We are the ones who fulfill a function—that of witnessing the realities of the occupation. The attention drawn to the ease of our crossing also challenges the fiction of tourists being positioned outside the occupation. Though we do not experience the checkpoint’s violence, the contrast between Palestinians’ restricted mobility and our expansive one is precisely the point being made on the alternative tour, and constitutes a significant aspect of the witness gaze’s framing of the West Bank.   Fouad gives us an overview of our itinerary for the day and points out one of the 28 settlements in the area as we drive through Bethlehem. He explains the Oslo Accords and how settlements nevertheless continued to be built. “In that settlement, there are 34 dunams that belong to my dad,” he says. “Even today, we have the papers.” He directs our attention to an IDF security road in the distance—“even today, they’re still building.” Merav murmurs, “I bet Rabin is turning in his grave.”   After we see the Church of the Nativity, we head to Banksy’s Shop. “Look,” Fouad points out the window. “You can see part of the Wall at the end of this road. It’s going inside the city, confiscating some of the land and going around Rachel’s Tomb. So we’re in Bethlehem, but behind the Wall… is still Bethlehem.” In the shop, Fouad pours us cups of coffee and pulls out several laminated photos. “Remember the small door of the church? During the intifada, people went inside to hide themselves.” He recount the events of the 2002 siege during Operation Defensive Shield while showing us photos of tanks in Bethlehem and IDF soldiers at the church. He shows us a map from the Stop the Wall Campaign as well as his own ID card to talk about how the point of the permit system is humiliation. He shares his own experience of crossing the Wall illegally in order to attend his appointment with the American consulate in Jerusalem and compares the system to Mexicans working illegally in the United States, how America needs their labor so they’re less inclined to stop them. The Wall is a strategy, he says. The purpose is to get Palestinians to leave on their own, by making life too hard for them in the West Bank. He emphasizes that he’s talking specifically about the government: “There are Israelis who want to live peacefully with us, but the radical religious ideologists make problems, and Fatah and Hamas are corrupt. There needs to be a distinction between the governments and the people—of Israel, of Palestine, of everyone.”  140  We get a few minutes to walk along the Wall, including around the corner to a different section I hadn’t seen the other day. In our smaller group, it’s easier to take in the gravity of the structure, and we silently read the testimonials posted every few feet on the Wall. A man and his son are walking by and invite us to have tea at their house, in Aida, one of the refugee camps. We dither awkwardly for a moment until Michael graciously declines on everyone’s behalf.  Back in the van, Fouad tells us that they usually had a bus for the tours before 2014, but fewer people have come since then. As he drives, he points out the occupation’s structures that tourists wouldn’t pick up on their own: how Rachel’s Tomb is inaccessible though it’s just on the other side of the Wall from where we are, the big concrete blocks in the road that imperceptibly mark the change from Area C to Area A. On our way to Dheisheh, a refugee camp, Fouad recounts the history of the 1948 refugees and how the UN rented the land and had to keep renewing it. Sylvie, who happens to be an international relations student, asks several informed questions. Before we get to the camp, we pick up Fouad’s aunt. He explains that she’s hitching a ride because she has to buy something in Hebron for her textile business, but would join us for the rest of the day.    Figure 4.10. Dheisheh refugee camp, August 2016  We walk through the narrow paths between the buildings of Dheisheh, our voices muted in the quiet atmosphere. Fouad and his aunt talk about what everyday life is like here, more conversational than a tour guide’s narration. We learn that Dheisheh is one of 19 refugee camps in the West Bank. Established in 1949, it was intended to serve 3,000 refugees. Today there are around 15,000. Fouad points out particular areas as he talks about IDF incursions into their houses, the curfews that were imposed and the residents who were arrested during the intifadas. He talks about how the Oslo process gave Israel the right to take the water underneath the West Bank and sell it back to the Palestinians, but it’s not enough, so they store water in the black tanks found on all the roofs. “You won’t see water tanks on any settlers’ houses.” The only people we encounter are gaggles of children playing in the street. They laugh and wave at our cameras, which makes me feel simultaneously charmed and uncomfortably voyeuristic. When we come out of the camp, we stop at a convenience store where Michael and Merav buy bags of coffee to take home and Fouad offers us tea from a nearby stand.    141 Unlike mainstream tourism’s production of Bethlehem as both a space of the distant Christian past and as a placeless spectacle of the Wall, the alternative tour engages with its contemporary landscape and how it came to be this way. The guide provides historical and political context to frame our understanding of the West Bank as a territory under occupation. The violence is foregrounded through the direction of our gaze to particular sights (rooftop water tanks, the IDF security road), an awareness that then structures our embodied practices at the sites we experience. At the Wall, we are made to understand the ways in which it is part of a system that extends far beyond the material-spatial structure itself, as the guide conveys how it impacts the everyday lives of Palestinians. The participants do not take selfies or add their own graffiti to the Wall; it does not become a spectacle for the sake of tourist gratification. The different intentionality of the witness gaze is even more apparent in the tour experience of Dheisheh, as it takes us to a space in which the violence of the occupation is unavoidably visible. We see the water tanks and painted portraits of young men killed in the intifadas, and we get a sense of the crowded living conditions entrenched by decades of the occupation as the population grew but the space did not. Our embodied excursion inside Dheisheh brings us closer to its violence, as we viscerally experience the physical space of the camp and see the inadequate infrastructure. The guide’s narration allows for us to make sense of what we see, to apprehend Dheisheh in the broader context of the occupation and its history of displacement. As Nina Gren writes, refugee camp residents have experienced decades of “repeated unpleasant encounters with Israeli soldiers… being beaten in the street, having one’s food stolen, having one’s home ravaged or destroyed, and seeing family members arrested.”192 We are made to understand the extent to which the occupation is a form of slow violence, as an accumulation of everyday deprivations in combination with the generations of displacement over the course of half a century.                                                       192 Nina Gren, Occupied Lives: Maintaining Integrity in a Palestinian Refugee Camp in the West Bank, (Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press, 2015), p.44.  142 The tour of Dheisheh dismantles the fiction that Palestinians are people living ordinary lives just like us, but it also upholds the uneven power relations of all tourism in the landscape of occupation. Although the dynamics of our small group bear less resemblance to a formal guided tour, our temporary experience as international tourists coming into the refugee camp is nevertheless structured through our privileged mobility. To be sure, what is being said here about the nature of Palestinian existence is entirely different from that of the mainstream tour’s narration of Ramallah. In the latter, the tourists are immersed in a normalcy in which we can imagine our own lives parallel, whereas in Dheisheh, we are presented with the abnormality of everyday life that is shaped by the occupation. But just as the tourists do not talk to any Palestinians in Ramallah, we do not interact with Dheisheh residents here, either. This demonstrates that we cannot be positioned outside the occupation because our presence as tourists in the refugee camp is inherently embedded in its structural violence.    On the drive to Hebron, Fouad continues giving context to the things we see: the different levels of mobility signified by the different colored license plates, the settlements dotting the landscape and their Old Testament names, Gush Etzion Junction’s history of terror attacks that spark further violence. We learn that Hebron is surrounded by 27 settlements, with four inside the city itself. In response to the violence between settlers and Palestinians, the Hebron Agreement divided the city into H1, under Palestinian control, and H2, under Israeli control. “Hebron is different from other cities,” Fouad states. As we enter the city, he points out the long line of cars going out of the city and says that that checkpoint isn’t always there.193  We spend some time in a glass workshop in H1, where we learn about the long history of the Palestinian craft and have the opportunity to make purchases.194 We then drive to H2 and Fouad tells us to have our passports ready, even though there’s a high chance we won’t be checked because we’re tourists. “It really depends on the army’s mood, so be prepared.” He also cautions us not to take photos of any settlers without asking them first. Leaving the van parked in a deserted alleyway, Fouad leads us on a walk through the Palestinian souq, pointing out the settlement of Beit Hadassah with Israeli flags fluttering, and referencing the high soldier-to-settler ratio in H2. He directs our attention to the garbage collected in the wire mesh hung above our heads, thrown from                                                       193 The temporary checkpoints to which he is referring are known as “flying checkpoints.” According to Hagar Kotef, they are used to demonstrate military presence and make military patterns more difficult to predict (Movement and the Ordering of Freedom: On Liberal Governances of Mobility, Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 2015, p. 192). 194 In one sense, this demonstrates that alternative tourism still conforms to the expectations of tourism in general by bringing tourists somewhere to buy souvenirs, and thus testifies to both the normalcy of Palestinian life and the normalcy of the tour itself. In another sense, this experience perhaps more significantly makes a point about how Palestinian life goes on under the occupation: we learn about an industry that predates and continues under the Israeli occupation, and the tour provides economic support to the Palestinian population in encouraging visitors to make purchases directly from the producers—part of Green Olive’s mission.  143 the upstairs buildings, home to settlers, at the Palestinian shops below. “We are living under military occupation. There are Israeli checkpoints inside this place—is this Palestine?”    Figure 4.11. Restrictions on Palestinian Movement in H1 and H2 of Hebron, August 2011. Source: B’Tselem, by permission  We follow Fouad through another part of the city to a Palestinian home for lunch (“We like to help out these three Palestinian families still living in H2 as much as possible”). He directs our attention to a ladder on the side of a building, saying that the people living there have to go through checkpoints just to leave their house through the entrance, so they use the ladders to come and go through the side window. As we walk, teenage boys yell “hello!” and “welcome!” at us. We reach the checkpoint, joining the slow-moving single-file line of bodies filling the tunnel-like alleyway. Shuffling through the narrow turnstile, a metal detector, and then a second turnstile, I can’t help feel uneasy at the soldiers milling around. There’s a brief moment when the first turnstile gets stuck, and a tense anxiety buzzes through our group. At the last turnstile, Fouad explains to the soldiers that we’re from Switzerland, Spain, and America; they stare at each of us in turn before letting us through.   144  Figure 4.12. Watchpoint and settlement seen from the Palestinian souq, August 2016   Figure 4.13. Going through a checkpoint, August 2016   145 Our host, Ahmed, lives mere steps from the checkpoint. In the living room, Fouad greets the small children with familiarity. We pour each other grape juice as a tray of maqluba and salad is brought out. While we eat, Ahmed and Fouad talk about the intensity of life in H2. Ahmed tells us that despite having being beaten and harassed over the years, he doesn’t want to leave—this is his home. “The Palestinian struggle is about being accepted as humans,” Fouad says, and Sylvie and Michael have an especially lively discussion about this. Ahmed’s anecdotes are interspersed with more laidback conversation about his family. Afterwards, we sit in the storefront downstairs while Ahme’d son passes around cups of coffee and a soldier patrols nearby. “This is surreal,” Michael comments. Sylvie quietly adds, “It’s sad.” When we finish drinking our coffee, Fouad gives us instructions for exploring the “ghost town” of Shuhada Street. The four of us assure him we’d be back in fifteen or so minutes and set off towards the checkpoint.  The two soldiers step into the open street as we approach. One of them asks where we’re from and examines each of our passports before waving us past. Though we’re clearly allowed to be there, the entire atmosphere feels foreboding—the sign declaring “THIS LAND WAS STOLEN BY ARABS,” the Israeli flags painted on concrete blocks, an empty military jeep parked near the settlement. The rundown buildings give off a sense of lingering tension. When Sylvie wanders toward a side road, Michael nervously calls her back. The only people we see are two lone pedestrians near the settlement.   Figure 4.14. Entering Shuhada Street, August 2016   146  Figure 4.15. On the left, empty Shuhada Street today. On the right, the guide shows  a photograph of Shuhada Street before its closure. August 2016  Back in the shop, Ahmed’s son is showing us a B’Tselem map of the occupation in Hebron. Michael asks how he feels about his shop being just meters away from the checkpoint and he replies, “It’s the best worst place in the world.” Fouad gives us instructions for seeing the Tomb of the Patriarchs (the Cave of the Macphelah), the synagogue side of the building. Although there are twelve days a year when Muslims can pray everywhere in the building and twelve other days when Jews can do the same, Fouad is never allowed in the synagogue side; “On normal days, I’m not Israeli, and on the special twelve days, I’m not Muslim.” He tells us about how once he managed to sneak in for a few minutes—he was leading a tour and dressed like a tourist with a big camera and told his group not to treat him like a guide. But once he was inside, he noticed a guard staring at him, so he quickly had someone in his group walk them out. “In case they ask your religion,” he says, we should tell them we’re Christian so we won’t have any trouble seeing either side.   Figure 4.16. IDF soldiers inside and outside the Tomb of the Patriarchs, August 2016   147 Sylvie, Merav, Michael, and I set off toward the large group of soldiers at the foot of the steps. We pass a watchpoint, where they ask where we’re from before waving us through. Closer to the building, there are several metal detectors in a row and we walk through simultaneously, laughing a bit at the cacophonous buzzing they set off. Inside, we move quietly around the rooms as the handful of praying settlers ignore us. A soldier paces in the sanctuary. Conspicuously large security cameras are nestled in several corners. On the way back down, Michael jokes that I’m braver than he is for snapping so many photos of the soldiers, but once we’re near the shop again—at some distance from the largest group of soldiers—he quickly sneaks his own shot.  We rejoin Fouad, who leads us through the checkpoint to access Ibrahimi Mosque on the other side of the building. “People don’t really come here to pray, because praying five times a day means going through the checkpoint ten times.” Inside, we follow Fouad around the interior as he describes the religious significance of the architectural details. We also look at the bulletproof glass filling the space between the cenotaphs and the inner wall of their room. On the other side, a window looks into the room from the synagogue. Fouad tells us about the massacre that resulted in the intensification of Israeli security measures in H2.195   Figure 4.17. Bulletproof glass and a cenotaph seen from the mosque side, August 2016  The alternative tour of H2 provides an embodied experience of the everyday violence of the occupied city, as well as the historical and political context necessary to begin comprehending the landscape                                                       195 In 1994, Baruch Goldstein—a settler involved in the extremist Kach political movement—killed 29 Muslim worshippers and injured 125 in Ibrahimi Mosque before he was beaten to death by the crowd. Afterwards, the IDF allocated part of the mosque for Jewish worshippers, closed off Shuhada Street, set up checkpoints in the area, and restricted access for Palestinian residents (Nigel Wilson, “Remembering the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre,” Al Jazeera, February 25, 2016,   148 of the conflict. This approach dismantles the fictions of mainstream tourism in several ways. The most notable point that is conveyed is that the West Bank cannot be understood without apprehending the extent of violence that underpins the reality of its existence as a territory under military occupation. The participation in the tour of H2 necessitates a firsthand experience of the banality of violence, as we simply could not arrive at our destinations without walking through checkpoints or encountering the gaze of Israeli soldiers.  More specifically, the tour of H2 disrupts mainstream narratives about the West Bank. The Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs unsettles the “Holy Land” geography that is invoked in exclusively Judeo-Christian terms at other sites in the West Bank and in Israel, as the Muslim heritage and religious significance is indelibly part of this site. Many international tourists coming to Israel/Palestine for religious interests do not make it to Hebron due to its heightened security situation. But for tourists who do come, traversing the separate checkpoints to the building and peering at the bulletproof glass by the cenotaphs, the reified “Holy Land” also breaks down because the occupation’s violence is unavoidably visible. H2 also dismantles the fiction of an existing “Palestine” through the presence of Israeli soldiers and settlers (and the material structures that house them) in the souq and on Shuhada Street, unlike other places in the West Bank where signs of the occupation are less overt and immediately recognizable. International tourists’ experience of H2 through the embodied physicality of being there precludes the normalization of the occupation’s violence. Furthermore, the tour critically unsettles the fiction that Palestinians living in the West Bank are people just like us. The mainstream tour offers an instrumentalized, superficial empathy whereby Palestinians are confined to a commodity of tourist experience. On the alternative tour, however, the focus—and purpose—is not about our tourist consumption but about Palestinians and their lives. Through our interactions with Ahmed and his family, the tour casts us in the role of the witness: we get a glimpse of the violence (both spectacular and mundane) they have experienced in Hebron, but we also see the ways in  149 which their lives cannot be reduced to the occupation. Our conversations impress upon us that they are indeed fellow human beings, but living under extraordinary circumstances of occupation that we can hardly imagine. Embedded in these exchanges is an implicit call to action, an appeal to an ethical response to what we see, which is omitted in the normalizing fictions of mainstream tourism.  At the same time, however, we see that there are limits to our empathetic engagement. Though our own passage through the checkpoints makes imminent the mundane violence Palestinians experience everyday, the tour puts this in context of the sharp contrast between our experience and that of the residents for whom it is their lives. As Jennifer Lynn Kelly notes, Palestinian guides often bring tourists through spaces in which they cannot go in order to strategically “use tourist mobility to highlight their own immobility under military occupation.”196 When we separate from our guide to see Shuhada Street or the Tomb of the Patriarchs, we simultaneously witness and enact the occupation’s disparate treatment of Palestinians. As a built-in component to the tour, these moments make us aware—corporeally and cognitively—of the privileged mobilities we embody. While the authority of the tourist gaze derives from the guide’s narration of the sights we see, the power of the witness gaze in such moments of separation is one of affect. The unmooring of our gaze forces us to negotiate the immediacy of the emotional, visceral experience before we can make sense of what it is we are experiencing. This challenges the fiction of tourists being positioned outside the occupation. Although we are outside its material structures and political restrictions, we are embedded within the witness gaze’s appeal to an ethical negotiation of what we see.  We walk back to the van, which involves squeezing through an unguarded turnstile in a deserted alley. “I hope the checkpoint isn’t there now,” Fouad says as we head out of the city—and it isn’t. Instead of the long line of cars that had been there earlier, the road is empty. On the drive back to Bethlehem, the atmosphere is intimate and light and Fouad tells several jokes and shares an amusing story about his older brother’s wedding with a                                                       196 Jennifer Lynn Kelly, “Asymmetrical Itineraries: Militarism, Tourism, and Solidarity in Occupied Palestine,” American Quarterly 68.3 (2016): 725.  150 really old American car.197 But he also talks about how a rocket from Gaza once came by mistake to Beit Sahour and injured eleven people, and how he could get a permit to travel to Jerusalem on Christmas and Easter but he hopes to explore other parts of Israel one day. “You know, when people come for the first time to the West Bank, they have the image that we don’t live real lives. But inside the occupation, life goes on.”   4.4 Routes out of the West Bank As we conclude the tour, Samir looks over at all of us. “It was my pleasure having you today. You have a friend now in the West Bank. Any time you’d like to come, let me know.” His expression becomes uncharacteristically solemn. “Before, we used to say, we die for Palestine. Now we say, we live for Palestine. If you want to help the Palestinian cause, it is to be alive and take a positive action for it. We teach the younger generation that when we were your age, the situation was much worse, so we’re trying to work for a better future. We want you also to appreciate what you have and enjoy life. We hope for peace.” The gravity of his statement abruptly dissipates as he grins—“That’s it! Now enjoy your vacation. Go to the beach. You know, one of the things we say is how Israel and Gaza have beaches but we don’t!” He gives us his social media information, says goodbye, and hops off the minibus. When we reach the checkpoint, the driver relays a message from the soldier: no pictures. Luis, sitting in the front row, is still wearing his keffiyeh, and people make jokes about whether that would cause problems. But there’s barely a pause before the bus is through and speeding up on the highway once more. The dusty landscape transitions into the familiarity of Jerusalem, and the bus is quiet—pensiveness or exhaustion, I’m not sure. Around 6:30pm, we’re deposited back in front of our hostel and Freddie muses, “Palestine gets such bad press. I mean, we obviously didn’t see everything, but they seem like nice people.”  *** “We are waiting for you guys to carry our message to your countries. That we are human here.” Fouad parks the van and we file out. He gives us each a hug and says he hopes to see us all again. We board the same minibus that had brought us to Bethlehem in the morning, where a few people from another Green Olive tour are chatting among themselves. When we pass through the checkpoint, it happens quickly and smoothly; Michael comments, “That was easy.” The driver chuckles and says, “Easy, because you’re tourists.” It’s 5:30pm when we’re dropped off at the YMCA, back in West Jerusalem.    A contrapuntal reading of these two tours reveals significant differences in how mainstream and alternative tourism in the West Bank operate. Mainstream tourism produces three interlocking fictions. First, it asserts that the West Bank is something other than a territory under military occupation. The distinct portrayals of sites as either “Israel” or “Palestine” nevertheless dovetail to overlook the fundamental reality of the West Bank as an occupied territory. Second, it insists that Palestinians are people living ordinary lives just like us. The tour asserts the ultimate normalcy of life in the West Bank in a way that                                                       197 A boy asks his mother about the origin of humans and his mother explains that people are descended from Adam and Eve. He then goes to his father and asks the same question, and his father explains that people evolved from monkeys. The boy returns to his mother and tells her what his father said, and she exclaims, “I was talking about my side of the family, not his!”    151 erases the extraordinary condition of the violences they experience. Third, the mainstream tour positions tourists as being outside the occupation. We get the impression that we tour the West Bank through a neutral space, with a perspective that is on neither the Israeli nor Palestinian “side,” free from the complications of the conflict’s politics and the occupation’s violence. Together, these fictions naturalize and legitimate the occupation, rendering its everyday violence invisible. The structure of the tourist gaze centers participants’ personal gratification, which prioritizes the experience of an enjoyable day trip into the West Bank. These fictions assert the normalcy of tourism to the West Bank and hail the tourists as a particular kind of viewing subject. The frame through which we view the scenes before us functions to uphold the imaginary of an exotic tourist destination in which there is nothing to disrupt our own enjoyable experience.  In contrast, alternative tourism’s application of the witness gaze indicates its public orientation and evidentiary intention. This scopic regime challenges the fictions of mainstream tourism by foregrounding the violence of the occupation and contextualizing sites with history and politics. The witness gaze demands that we see the mundane violence that colors life in the West Bank, which contests the dominant public secrecy of the occupation by revealing the ways in which it is much more than the episodic periods of spectacular violence that appear in the news. In providing context for the sites both in terms of their history and their connection to other places in the West Bank, the tour asserts the interconnectedness of the political, social, and economic dimensions of the conflict. Alternative tourism also contests the mainstream fictions by providing tourists with experiences of the “facts on the ground” in the landscape of occupation. The embodied dimension is a crucial component of the witness gaze because it allows us to achieve a proximity to the occupation in a way that is precluded from mainstream tourism. Through these embodied experiences, the tour also centers genuine engagement with Palestinian residents of the West Bank instead of incorporating them in merely functional roles or as sources of entertainment for the purposes of tourists’ personal gratification. It emphasizes that they are  152 people just like us, but, crucially, living under conditions we can hardly imagine. As a result, the fiction of tourists being outside the occupation is also disrupted and complicated, because we are ultimately outside the strictures in which Palestinians live. And yet, the alternative tour demands that we carry the occupation with us afterwards. The witness gaze makes visible the stakes of what we have seen. While mainstream tourism ultimately sustains the military occupation of the West Bank, alternative tourism seeks to renegotiate its parameters. The animating contrast manifests through the personal orientation of the tourist gaze on the former and the public orientation of the witness gaze on the latter. Even the names of the tours themselves speak to this difference: Abraham Tours’ “Best of the West Bank” implies that it provides “the best” for the tourist, bringing together select parts of the West Bank in order to maximize the tourists’ own edification and enjoyment, whereas the straightforward “Hebron and Bethlehem” of Green Olive leaves salient the places themselves and the context of their geography. However, the difference cannot be reduced to a dichotomy of the tourist gaze and the witness gaze, as every person who goes into a conflict zone is in some measure a witness to what is happening, even if they fulfill this role reluctantly or passively. The mainstream tour can be thought of as artfully inviting participants to be witnesses to the absence of the occupation and its violence. This reinforces the dominant geopolitical project of the Israeli state by enrolling international tourists into the public secret of the occupation: no crime has been committed here, everything is normal. In challenging these notions, alternative tourism calls participants to actively engage in the intentional witnessing of the occupation’s violence.   4.5 Coda To return to the opening photograph and the title of “Shooting Palestine”: what the tourist’s camera and the soldier’s gun have in common is the distancing they both demand. The IDF soldier can only do what he is required to do in the West Bank if he views the Palestinians as different from himself, a disconnection that is linked to the broader societal process of viewing the occupation and its territory as distinct from the  153 national political imaginary of Israel as a democratic state. The tourist in the West Bank can only take photographs as a declaration of difference from what is normal and familiar. Both of these types of distancing are premised on the privileging of the gaze—the military gaze upon which much of the occupation’s violence is predicated, and the tourist gaze through which the sights come to signify and invoke broader political imaginaries. For both the tourist and the Israeli soldier, there is an outside to the occupation in the sense that because both can and do leave, while Palestinian residents of the West Bank cannot be extricated from the matrix of control. This exposes the complicity of all tourism in the landscape of occupation; although there are forms that bring tourists closer to the occupation’s violence in an embodied way, it is nevertheless a proximate experience. Though the desires and intentions of the tourists may vary, the space through which they move is ultimately that of the occupiers and not the occupied. It is this imbalance that sustains the slow violence of international tourism to the West Bank.   Figure 4.18. A man and his son, residents of the Aida refugee camp, and a participant  on Green Olive’s tour at the Wall in Bethlehem, August 2016  154 Chapter 5. Latent Images In this thesis, I have examined how “Israel” is produced in the scopic regimes of tourism and revealed the political imaginaries that are embedded in the different places made available for the tourist gaze. I argued that the tourist gaze is often a form of slow violence that legitimizes and naturalizes the dominant geopolitical project. This project is about securing Israel both as a state that is like any other—in the sense that it has a territory, and as a state that is unlike any other—in its identity as a Jewish state. It relies on a spatial process of imagining the West Bank as part of its territory, but there is also a temporal dimension to establishing that the roots of the Israeli state reach back into this land long before the state came into being. By analyzing the sights and sites that international tourists are allowed to see or made to see in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the West Bank, this thesis explored how the dominant geopolitical project plays out in the different landscapes of Israel/Palestine.  The tourist landscape of Tel Aviv-Jaffa produces the imaginary of “Israel as Europe,” which asserts the modern, western, progressive urban character of the city. This imaginary relates to Israel as a national political imaginary by setting up Tel Aviv as an exception to it, a peaceful bubble in a conflict-ridden country. This exceptionalism suggests that Tel Aviv is populated with secular, liberal, and laid-back Israelis in contrast to the religious, conservative, and “political” ones exemplified by Jerusalem. This imaginary involves the pivotal mythic narrative of the city’s founders leaving Jaffa for the empty sand dunes, which suggests that the presumed blank slate of this beginning is what allows for Tel Aviv to be free from the geopolitical tensions and contestation faced by the rest of Israel. Tel Aviv is thus implicated in a broader Mediterranean geography that links it with other global cities, especially of Europe and North America, and away from the Middle East.  In Jerusalem, the tourist landscape is dominated by the imaginary of “Israel as the Holy Land,” which is about the sacred landscape of biblical history and the Abrahamic religions. This imaginary intricately ties  155 Jerusalem to the national political imaginary by presenting the city as the unified, eternal capital of Israel, which is reinforced in the emphasis on the Jewish population of Jerusalem. The pivotal narrative is the 1967 war and Israel taking over the Old City from Jordanian control, which presents the idea of Jerusalem being an ancient Jewish place that has become rightfully redeemed by the Israeli state. This imaginary ultimately implicates Jerusalem in an absolute, eternal geography of the Judeo-Christian holy land that is one and the same space as the contemporary state of Israel.  These tourist landscapes operate through a series of exclusions that reinforce the public secret of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Public secrecy, the form of social knowledge in which people agree not to acknowledge something, functions in the context of Israeli society to fulfill the fantasy of an absent occupation. For international tourists, it manifests through the subtle boundaries drawn through the dominant imaginaries. Tourists are positioned from a Jewish-Israeli perspective that views Palestinians as implicit others—the familiar western character of Tel Aviv and the Judeo-Christian sanctity of Jerusalem. The dominant mythos of Tel Aviv’s tourist imaginary erases Palestinian history by pointing to the founding of the Jewish neighborhood as the beginning of its narrative and the domestication of Old Jaffa as a sanitized tourist landscape further excludes Palestinian lived reality in the present. These elisions are so thorough that there is no fissure that allows the history of the conflict and the ongoing dispossession to be accessed through the tourist gaze. In Jerusalem, the dominant mythos shaping the tourist imaginary is an assertion of Jerusalem’s fixed meaning as political symbol and lived reality as the rightful Jewish-Israeli capital in which Muslim and Palestinian claims are not legitimate. This selective view is constructed through the emphasis on the Judeo-Christian sacred landscape of the Old City and the complete omission of East Jerusalem from the frame of the tourist gaze. The perspectives that challenge the dominant Jewish-Israeli imaginary are covered over, leaving little room for tourists to see the pervasive contestation of Jerusalem’s landscape.  But in the West Bank, a zone of ongoing conflict, public secrecy has a particularly forceful iteration. Its tourist landscape engages with the imaginary of “Israel as the Middle East,” which enforces an Orientalist  156 discourse of the West Bank as simultaneously a space of danger and exoticism. There is an emphasis on the portrayal of Palestinians as people just like you and me, which works to conceal all the ways in which their lives under military occupation are not like those of the tourists. This narrative is also premised upon the presentation of the West Bank as atemporal in the sense of being disconnected from the events that put it in the news headlines. It is for this reason that, while the tourist discourses of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem have a central historical event upon which their imaginaries are hinged, there is less of one for the West Bank because that would disrupt the public secret of the occupation and how it has come to be. The strategy of obfuscation also manifests in how the West Bank is made available to the tourist gaze only as its discrete sites, which are implicated in different national and geopolitical imaginaries: the biblical sites invoke Israel through the Holy Land geography, while Ramallah provides the image of “Palestine” as a legitimate, sovereign geopolitical entity that is an equal actor to Israel. This imaginary ultimately elides the reality of the West Bank as a territory under Israeli military occupation, which produces an especially powerful form of the Israeli public secret because it makes an ontological assertion.  Across the three landscapes, the ostensibly apolitical tourist gaze reinforces the dominant geopolitical project by creating and sustaining particular fictions. Tel Aviv’s fiction is that it is a paragon of European modernity in the Middle East, Jerusalem’s fiction is that it is the reunified, eternal capital of the Jewish state, and the West Bank’s fiction is that it is not a territory under Israeli military occupation. Each of these imaginaries depends on spatial distancing and temporal fixing. Tel Aviv is distanced from the rest of Israel and its entanglement in the Middle East conflict and incorporated into a westernized geography of the Mediterranean, and this exceptionalizing narrative is premised upon a sense of timelessness where Tel Aviv has no history to hold it back as it propels forward in progressive modernity. The Jewish-Israeli imaginary of Jerusalem distances it from the highly charged contestation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by incorporating it solidly within the political imaginary of the stable Israeli state, distinct and isolated from the West Bank and the ongoing occupation. It fixes Jerusalem with a sense of timelessness by emphasizing its  157 Jewish history as continuous from biblical times to the modern Israeli state, which also distances it from the earthly tensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in foregrounding the city’s eternal holiness. The West Bank is distanced from the Israeli state so that the occupation is perceived as a distinct, separate situation, as though its geopolitical issues are not directly entangled with Israel. This imaginary manipulates the temporality of the sites encountered by tourists, such as with the passage through the checkpoint, so that the tourist landscape is further distanced from the violence of the occupation. These fictions allow for tourists to experience the complex and contested landscapes of Israel/Palestine in a way that reinforces the dominant geopolitical project.  The tourist gaze can thus be understood as a form of slow violence because it both obscures the slow violence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and enacts its own layer of it in doing so. Despite the messy, multiple, contingent, and dynamic understandings of Israel/Palestine, tourism does its best to present “Israel” as a stable entity with clearly delineated meanings and boundaries. As Dora Apel argues, war is not only about the direct application of violence but also about making suffering invisible.198 Though the presence and resonance of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are discernible to different degrees in the three sites I examined, they are nevertheless deeply embedded within each of them; the Israeli geopolitical project celebrated in Tel Aviv’s Independence Hall is fundamentally connected to the military occupation of the West Bank. The slow violence of the conflict is in the dispossession of Jaffa’s Palestinians past and present, in the excision of Muslims and Palestinians from the symbolic and lived landscapes of Jerusalem, and in the matrix of control constricting the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank. Tourism actively contributes to this slow violence by obscuring these facets, legitimizing and naturalizing the selective view of the tourist gaze.  But for all the power of the dominant geopolitical narrative and the seductiveness of the imaginaries offered by mainstream tourism, it is important to note that the tourist subject is not fully constituted by                                                       198 Dora Apel, War Culture and the Contest of Images, (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2012), p. 12.  158 them. It is not that international tourists are necessarily passive subjects formed by these processes, but rather that the possibility of confronting these imaginaries is made much more real through the alternative tours that invite participants to take a critical approach. This thesis showed how the tourist gaze can be used to try to renegotiate the slow violence of the Israeli geopolitical project. While there is relatively little discrepancy between the dominant tourist imaginary and actual landscape of Tel Aviv, the disparities found in Jerusalem and the West Bank make room for alternative tourism to challenge the mainstream narratives and practices. Alternative tourism in Jerusalem contests the exclusively Jewish-Israeli narration of the city’s past and present by providing a variety of situated perspectives that disrupt the absolute meanings of Jerusalem claimed in mainstream tourism. In the West Bank, alternative tourism unsettles the fictions of the mainstream approach by foregrounding the violence of the occupation and showing how it shapes the everyday lives of Palestinians. It also crucially demonstrates how tourists cannot avoid being implicated in the power dynamics of the occupation. These strategies are about putting Palestinians and their narratives back into the frames of the tourist gaze and denaturalizing the Israeli perspective of the contested landscape. Rather than distancing sights and sites from their spatial, historical, and political contexts in order to obscure the violence of the Israeli geopolitical project, alternative tourism foregrounds the context so that the violence becomes visible.  These different processes reveal how the tourist gaze is not monocular in Israel/Palestine. In Tel Aviv, the self-mythologizing imaginary shapes the physical landscape so that the tourist gaze sees it as precisely what the mythic view projects. The animating tourist practice of viewing is encapsulated in the photographs that bookend Chapter 2. The opening photograph depicts the popular tourist snapshot of the shoreline that replicates the mythic narrative of Tel Aviv’s origins and progress forward. The closing photograph of the place that was once Manshiyyeh shows how the Palestinian historical narrative and present-day claim to Jaffa is completely erased from the scopic regime of the tourist gaze—and, indeed, from the physical landscape itself. The absoluteness of the erasure is what is evoked in the chapter title of  159 Imag(in)ing: the very image of the landscape has come to reflect the imagining of Tel Aviv as a modern, western city unburdened by the tensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In Jerusalem, the conflict and contestation are less easily removed from the physical landscape; the animating tourist practice of scripting shapes how different narratives sediment particular perspectives within the chaotic landscape. The power dynamics that bring some narratives forward over others are represented in the opening and closing photographs of Chapter 3. The opening photograph depicts the Western Wall, an iconic tourist sight and holy site, but the alternative tour exposes the ambiguity of its meaning by narrating the history of the Mughrabi Quarter that is concealed from the dominant script. The closing photograph, a snapshot of the Wall and a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, asserts that the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem and the difficulties of Palestinian lived reality are very much part of Jerusalem despite mainstream attempts to keep it out of the sacred Old City and the landscape of Jewish redemption of West Jerusalem. The chapter title of More than Just the Holy Land: a Less-than-Just Jerusalem encapsulates these tensions: while mainstream tourism scripted Jerusalem as a holy landscape beyond the reach of earthly political disputes, alternative tourism revealed how this concealment worked to obscure the violence of the selective imaginary for Palestinians. In the ongoing conflict zone of the West Bank, the impossibility of completely scripting around the contestation is navigated through the animating tourist practice of embodying. It gets at how tourists can only ever be proximate to this violence while actually moving through the space of the Israeli occupiers; the opening photograph of Chapter 4 introduces this idea by placing tourists and Israeli soldiers in the same frame. The closing photograph of the fence separating the tourist and the Palestinians suggests that the embodied difference limits the ultimate possibilities of empathetic engagement by international tourists in the West Bank.  From the moment that someone decides to visit Israel/Palestine as a tourist, it is difficult to see how that could ever be a wholly innocuous and apolitical decision—even for those who go in order to “see for themselves.” No matter what they might claim, everyone who travels to Israel/Palestine as a tourist has  160 a set of pre-imaginaries, pre-knowledges, about the place. What is at stake in the perception of tourism as apolitical is the role that it plays in giving these pre-knowledges a shape, a substance, and a force. It is precisely because of Israel/Palestine’s geopolitical situation encountered by tourists and navigated by tour companies that tourist practices are inevitably doing something political. 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