FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEB 4, 2023
“Free Palestine!” Disrupters remind tourism conference that Israel was built on the ethnic cleansing of Indigenous Palestinians
CODEPINK corrects the record on the history and future of Israel’s tourism during Yael Golan’s propaganda-filled presentation
WASHINGTON -- On Saturday, CODEPINK organizer Olivia DiNucci and a Palestinian-American activist disrupted Yael Golan, Consul, Director, South Region USA, Israel Ministry of Tourism at the Travel and Adventure Show in the Washington DC Walter Reed Convention Center. The disruption occurred when Golan delivered her speech titled, Israel: Where History Meets the Future. The purpose of the disruption was to bring attention to the grotesque retelling of Israel’s false history and promoting a promising future that is built off the genocide of Palestinians to drive up tourism.
The disrupters took to the stage to the chants of "tourism on the backs of dead Palestinians."Carrying a sign that says “Free Palestine '' and the Palestinian Flag (Israel security minister banned the Palestinian to fly in public spaces) the two activists shut down the talk and then used the opportunity to educate the audience about Palestine. “The tourism industry doesn't talk about how its National Parks were built on top of Palestinian villages, that Gaza is the world’s largest open air prison 50 miles from Tel Aviv, or that US tax money funds the continued ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. It’s not shocking as this country was founded on the very ethnic cleansing of its Indigenous people,” Olivia DiNucci
“My parents are older than Israel, this is not only personal it must be shared with the rest of the word–tourists or not,” Palestinian-American activist.
Last year was the deadliest year for Palestinians since the second intifada, with 35 Palestinians already killed this month. Also in January, Israel banned the Palestinian flag from public spaces and deemed it a symbol of terrorism.
Promoting tourism to this area is the equivalent of promoting blood trips, vacations built off the death and suffering of innocent people. Like “birthright trips," tourism to Israel is unethical and should be discouraged while Israel continues its illegal occupation and human rights violations.