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TWiP Counters Zionist Erasure of Palestine

By Rima Najjar

Since its launch in late 1999, TWiP has been up against the lies and misrepresentations of the occupation authorities whose tourist industry, to this day, portrays Israel as the “Holy Land,” and promises expert English-speaking guides “who will reveal the deepest secrets of the places mentioned in the holy books.”  And when Israel’s tour buses disgorge tourists into these places, maneuvering their every move and thought, many of these tourists end up believing that they really are in Israel wherever they go. After all, their English-speaking guide says so – while portraying 4,000 years of Palestine’s rich history in Zionist-fabricated narratives, never mentioning, for example, that Jerusalem, far from being “Israeli” or “Jewish,” has no “final status” in international law, and that East Jerusalem is occupied territory. And if these tourists pick up any Israeli English newspaper, say the Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, or Haaretz, they will rarely encounter the word “Palestine,” even though the first recorded mentions of Palestine date back more than 3,200 years. Furthermore, the Hebraization of Palestinian place names in the mouths of guides and on maps and street signs contributes poisonously to that erasure.The tourists who manage to pick up a copy of TWiP or find their way to its website, however, are quickly educated and disabused of Israel’s propaganda. TWiP helps them realize that an Arab Palestinian claim to all of historical Palestine is a very real, longstanding, and ongoing claim based on the history and culture that come alive on TWiP’s pages, just as it is preserved in the collective memory and frequently suppressed narrative of the people of Palestine. TWiP is thus at the forefront of our fight against Zionist erasure that targets not only our cultural heritage but also the indigenous population itself.

  • Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem and whose mother’s side of the family is from Ijzim, south of Haifa. She is an activist, researcher, and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank. You can read more of her articles on her blog: https://rimanajjar.medium.com/.

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