Considerations to be aware of when planning travel that is ethical, responsible and sensitive to the land and culture.
By US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
And always, keep in mind that the privilege of non-Palestinians to travel to Palestine is, by design, premised on the denial of Palestinians to travel freely—and return—to their homeland.
A crucial component to challenging Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people is examining the harmful role of tourism in Israel. Palestinians, wherever they are, are denied the freedom to move freely to and within their homeland by Israel. At the same time, Israel cultivates a tourism industry that quite literally erases Palestinians from the landscape and history, appropriates Palestinian culture and cuisine, and whitewashes the reality of Israel’s state violence.
Whether in Palestine, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or New Orleans, typical travel and tourism enable ongoing colonization, gentrification, appropriation of native culture. Native lands and gentrifying neighborhoods are packaged and sold as tourist destinations, often featuring local culture as exotic entertainment while reinforcing negative and patronizing stereotypes of those communities. Many tourists travel effortlessly across borders and in places where oppressive governments are erecting walls, militarizing borders, dividing families, and denying freedom of movement to local communities. From Palestine to Mexico, from the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights to New Orleans, resisting racism means listening to the voices of those impacted by these systems of harm rather than normalizing and contributing to those systems through tourism.
If you’re considering traveling to Palestine, start by familiarizing yourself with the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel’s (PACBI) official guidelines for ethical travel to Palestine. The responsibility for ethical travel extends beyond Palestinian lands. Al-Marsad: Arab Human Rights Centre in Golan Heights has also called for responsible travel in the Israel-occupied Syrian Golan and provides these guidelines. And always, keep in mind that the privilege of non-Palestinians to travel to Palestine is, by design, premised on the denial of Palestinians to travel freely—and return—to their homeland.