“State of Palestine” Showcased at Berlin Tourism Fair

“The State of Palestine,” which exists in the eyes of some terror-loving United Nation members, had a booth at the ITB – the largest tourism trade fair in the world that takes place every year in Berlin.

“State of Palestine” exhibition booth at ITB

Israel “Land of Creation” exhibition booth at ITB

It was located in a different hall than Israel, which was situated peacefully next to Jordan and Egypt. On the last day of the event on Sunday, March 12, in the afternoon, the “State of Palestine” was completely empty, while Israel’s was still happening.

So what does the “State of Palestine” have to offer, judging from the brochures they left? Firstly, bad grammar. English copy editors should be able to find a lot of work in the State of Palestine. Just take a look at the introduction to Jenin. Let’s say the dull brochure does not make Jenin particularly appealing.

To “Palestine’s” credit, it did not list major Israeli cities (except for Jerusalem) in their territory, but they called the “State of Palestine” by Israel’s common designation, “the Holy Land.” Although, the designation is not entirely inaccurate, since the land the State of Palestine covets for itself is Judea and Samaria, the cradle of Biblical civilization. The only nod to Jewish history came in the Hebron brochure, which listed the Ma’arat HaMachpela (Cave of the Patriarchs) as its major attraction.

Palestinian marketing for Hebron

The Israel booth, in kind, did not visibly brag about tourism sites in the more contested areas of Judea and Samaria, especially those of Jewish interest, like Hebron, the site of the Tabernacle in Shiloh, Gush Etzion (home to the Herodian), the Mountain of the Blessing and the Curse, Joshua’s tomb near Ariel, Joseph’s tomb, the wineries of Samaria, and a host of other Biblical and modern tourism sites. A brochure about Jericho by “Palestine” completely skipped over Joshua’s famous conquest of the city. This basically means that the heart of Biblical society was ignored at the ITB from both sides.

Jericho brochure misses the Biblical miracles

The quest for the “two-state” solution has in effect emptied out of Holy Land of any Biblical significance from mainstream tourism outlets. A Judenrein “State of Palestine” means that major Biblical sites would be ignored as such, not to mention that its tourists will be subjected to horrible grammar given that emptying a region of Jews is the worst kind of brain drain a “state” could inflict on itself. If true peace existed that involved real co-existence, all these sites could be huge tourism draws.

Israelis living in the Biblical regions must take it upon themselves to market the tourist sites in the area to showcase their beauty, attractions, activities — and existence.


Orit Arfa

Orit Arfa is a is a journalist and author based in Berlin. Visit her website: www.oritarfa.net.

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