Critical Discourse Studies 14 (3):309-323 (2017)

David Landy
San Francisco State University
ABSTRACTThe ‘City of David’ in Silwan is on the original site of Jerusalem. Located in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, it is both an illegal Israeli settlement in a Palestinian neighbourhood and a popular international tourist destination. This article examines how the site is narrated by tour operators and tourists through fieldwork, interviews and analysis of tourist comments on the TripAdvisor site. It argues that Israeli settlers have successfully harnessed tourist discourse in order to present their vision of a Jewish Jerusalem in which Palestinian existence is ignored or treated as a threat. The site allows tourists to connect to and experience a mythical biblical past, something which answers to tourist desires to have an authentic encounter with the destination culture. In the site’s narratives, the presence of Palestinians in the area is elided over through spatial and linguistic separation and by denying their legitimate presence. This indicates how the congruence between Zionist and tourist discourses discursively legitimises Israeli colonisation of Silwan.
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DOI 10.1080/17405904.2017.1284684
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