What at first like a generous promotional stunt by Israel to aid the Palestinians’ struggling tourism industry turned out to be defense minister Avigdor Lieberman’s so-called “carrot and stick” policy – a campaign that rewards and punishes Palestinians according to their behavior!
A recent video invites tourists to visit “Judea and Samaria”, the Biblical names Israel uses to justify the illegal Jewish settlements that dominate much of the West Bank. The deception reveals much about Israel’s long-term policy towards the Palestinians. The tourists can visit but Palestinians must first concede that these are Israeli sites.
Christian pilgrims with little understanding of the Palestinians’ long history of dispossession are being encouraged to explore Greater Israel oblivious to which side of the Green Line they are on. The distinction between Nazareth and Bethlehem, in Israel and the occupied West Bank, respectively, is increasingly blurred. This rebranding process is already well under way in Jerusalem, which Israel annexed in violation of international law decades ago. Tourism maps are littered with Jewish settler sites, marked as prominently as important holy places such as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and Al Aqsa mosque.
Read more on the Palestine chronicle website