Andits, Petra. “‘Whose Conflict Is It Anyway?!’ – Israeli Activists Narrate Conflict Zone Tourism in Palestine.”3rd ISA Forum of Sociology, July 13, 2016).
Several Palestinian villages are sites for weekly non-violent protests which are regularly visited by both Israeli activist and foreign tourists/activists. While these protests are intended to be non-violent, military actions, such as arrest, tear gas, rubber coated bullets and live ammunition are commonplace. Based on ethnographic research, this paper investigates the perception Israeli solidarity activists hold about foreign protesters. Some Israelis see them as justice tourists who could potentially play an important part in achieving justice and respect for human rights in Palestine. Others however, take a more cynical view and regard them as conflict-zone or dark tourists, who are fascinated with danger, and participate in the protests for indulging in a thrill. More specifically, I examine the emotional interactions between the Israeli and foreign activists and look at the ways in which specific emotions such as suspicion, anger or care towards the foreigners play out in an already tense and emotionally loaded space. Considering emotions and affects experienced and performed during the protests facilitates a more critical understanding of danger-zone and justice tourism and advocates the emotional turn in tourism studies. In addition, I also offer a so far missing academic critic about the seeming virtues and effectiveness of justice tourism by investigating the ways in which peace-building and tourism are interconnected. The major originality of this paper is attempt for a cross-fertilization between studies on conflict and peace, emotions, social movements and tourism.