Reclaiming the pro-Israel position back from the Right to counter demonization by the Left.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Flotilla Passengers As Thrill-Seeking, Post-Modern Tourists
"The post-modern tourist seeks to provoke and thus create history..."
My mom sailed to Gaza and all
I got was this lousy T-Shirt
I'd been searching for an analysis of what seemed like "compassion tourism" to describe the flotilla and flytilla mania, and found it. This essay by Dr.Evgeni Klauber, a Fullbright Scholar and Visiting Lecturer in Comparative Politics and International Relations at Tel Aviv University is brilliant. Here is an excerpt from+972mag.com:
"For some of its Western participants, the Gaza Peace Flotillais not just an ordinary political protest: it is an exotic and dangerous cruise that involves a heroic element. In this sense, the flotilla represents a fashionable new type of tourism – call it “post-modern tourism.”
"In the 21st century, the geography and the characteristics of tourism underwent extensive changes. Once, tourism was an activity designed to expand our experiences of time and space – it involved seeking new specific locations to be explored for a limited and specific period of time. Modern tourists sought to observe undiscovered paradises, to widen their traditional frameworks, to break away from routines.
"Post-modern tourists, by contrast, do not want to just expand their space-time frameworks: they want to experience new systems of meanings. Post-modern tourists have made their way to the detention facilities at the Guantanamo Bay prison to spend a whole day in captivity; they have traveled to Gulag in Siberia to spend a week in conditions designed to make them feel the crimes of Stalin’s dark regime on “their own skins.”
"Today, post-modern tourists sign up for the exotic tour to Gaza to buy a moment of excitement and emergency that they expect Israel will provide as it resists the flotilla’s challenges its sovereignty. The experiential peak of the flotilla was supposed to be immediate: one can sign up on-line for the “overpriced” third-class cruise, and after several days of an exotic tour – the short, intensive, and high-pressure moment of meeting the Leviathan, a powerful Hobbesian sovereign which will emerge out of the sea to make order. The difference between modern and post-modern tourists is that the former try to personally experience objects that belong to history, while post-modern tourist seeks to provoke and thus create history (perhaps inspired by the 2010 flotilla)." Carry on reading here. ________________ Postscript: Check out Eyeless to Gaza for an excellent send-up of the Flotilla enterprise.