Cite: Weiss, Landscape at the Ben Gurion Airport

Weiss, Elliott. “Establishing Roots at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport Garden: Landscapes of National Identity.” National Identities 12.2 (2010): 199-210.

 

URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a922322109

Abstract

With the understanding that the planning of public space is a discursive practice, this article examines the cultural meanings encoded in the design of the grounds around Israel’s main airport, Ben Gurion International. Using the example of Terminal 3, the article discusses how the State of Israel leverages landscaped space as an ideological tool in the struggle for control over symbolic expressions of national identity. The design decisions here are framed in the context of the all important Zionist trope of ‘redemption’, or land reclamation in the image of Zion. The airport’s ‘Seven Species Garden’ is explained as part of a widespread mythology of an autochthonous people/land bond, deeply rooted in Jewish-Israeli consciousness, which draws upon the Bible for territorial legitimacy and national identity. Finally, the Orientalist bias betrayed in the airport grounds effectively bars entry of the county’s largest minority to the ‘gateway’ of Israeli national space because such references are based on ethnicity.

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