Know More About Palestine

Tuesday Oct. 19, 2010 10:31 AM (EST+7)
Israeli MK proposes bill to exclude Palestinians from giving tours

Read more: East Jerusalem, tourism, tourists, tour guides, Knesset minister, Knesset

RAMALLAH, Oct. 19 (JMCC) - An Israeli Minister of Knesset has proposed a bill that would bar any East Jerusalem resident from giving guided tours of the city, potentially stripping the livelihood of hundreds of Palestinian residents.

MK Gideon Ezra of the Kadima party proposed the bill along with seven other Knesset members because they object to any information given to tourists which does not follow the Israeli national narrative.

...Ezra, who said he was temporarily freezing work on the bill so as not to damage the negotiations with Palestinians, said in the introduction to the bill he believed Palestinian residents of Jerusalem should not be certified guides because they did not represent Israel's national interest well enough and in an appropriate manner.

...The bill proposes that a guide leading a group of over 11 people, or traveling in more than one vehicle, must be a citizen of Israel. Most Arab residents of East Jerusalem have residency status but not citizenship, and so would be banned from guiding a majority of the tourist groups.

Israel has valuable tourism sites, the text of the proposed bill reads. Oftentimes there are disagreements on the manner of the presentation of these sites historically, religiously, culturally and more. The city of Jerusalem, with its many historic sites, is an example of a site about which there are such disagreements. Some of the residents of Israel, like those in East Jerusalem, often have 'dual loyalty,' since they vote in elections of the Palestinian Authority... 

Read the full story at Haaretz...






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