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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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


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.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International