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The OECD Tourism Conference, analyzed here by Marian Houk, was held in Jerusalem this October amidst great controversy. Ostensibly held in order to encourage tourism to the holy land, several states (UK, Sweden) immediately withdrew their partcipation and human rights and anti-occupation activists rallied against the conference. The Israeli government used the conference in order to buttress its claims to East Jerusalem and its holy sites, as well as to gain legitimacy for ‘the united city’ as the capital of Israel. The Palestinian Authority, after some initial hesitation called for a boycott of the meeting for the same reasons, in reverse. They believed that holding an international meeting with such weighty participation from the Paris-based organization (made up of the leading industrial nations) would give legitimacy to Israel’s annexation of the city, and further credence to the blockade imposed on Palestinian and Arab access to the city. The conference meets after Israel was admitted to the OECD, the spring of 2010, making it the 33rd member in this club of economically advanced nations (Russia is still excluded from membership).
$0This issue of the Jerusalem Quarterly continues the theme of Pilgrims and Pilgrimage published in JQ 43 with two essays: Mona Kattaya’s on Nineteenth Century Conceptions of Jerusalem; and Thomas Hummel on Russian Pilgrimage to Jerusalem. At the turn of the century Russian pilgrimage to Ottoman Palestine constituted the number one ethnic visits to the holy city. The Russians were known as the most pious and devoted visitors to the country. Before the Bolshevik Revolution they left a noticeable impact on the material culture of Palestine evidenced in churches, clinics, hostels (The Russian Compound), and not least educational seminaries. The Russian College in Nazareth played a leading role generating a literary Renaissance among its graduates. $0
$0The attempted assassination of Alan Sigrist, a British CID officer during the Palestinian rebellion of 1936-39, is the subject of a fascinating archival study by Matthew Hughes, who transforms the event into a window into the lives of two militants (Ansari and Abu Gharbiyyeh) during that period. The well-known writer Khalil Sakakini provided an entry from his diary on the public reaction to the event, which ended with the killing of Abu Gharbiyyeh and the lionization of Ansari in the popular imagination. $0
$0Barbara Bair, the head of the American Colony Collection in the Library of Congress, contributes here a fascinating study of the early photography in Palestine associated with the Colony. Kamal Boullata highlights the work of Daoud Zalatimo, an early Mandate period painter. Boullata’s recent outstanding work on the history of Palestinian painting traditions, brings back to life several figures whose forgotten input was a crucial link between the early iconography of the mid and late nineteenth century, and the post-1948 revival of art in Palestine and the Diaspora. $0
$0Finally Stephen Bennet's essay studies the shifting American media coverage of Jerusalem and the Arab-Israeli conflict during the 1948 and 1967 wars, comparing the two periods in terms of the impact of biblical, orientalist and millennial conceptions in popular culture on policy making. $0
$0This issue of the Jerusalem Quarterly goes to press with two tragic death announcements. Dr Omar Khalidi (1953-2010), born in Hyderabad in 1953, and was the Middle East librarian at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. Khalidi was the author of more than two dozen books and scores of academic articles. His famous book 'Hyderabad: After the Fall' captured the events during the police action in then Hyderabad State in 1948 and the subsequent developments. His other books include 'Khaki and Ethnic Violence in India: Army, Police, and Paramilitary Forces During Communal Riots' and 'Muslims in Indian Economy'. Dr Khalidi was a friend of the Jerusalem Quarterly and contributed an article titled “Indian Muslims and the Palestinian Awqaf” (JQ no. 40, 2009). $0
$0Rhonda Saad (1981-2010) died in an Istanbul accident on September 11, 2010 at the young age of 31. Rhonda was finishing her PhD in art history at Northwestern University, in Chicago. Rhonda’s thesis was on Palestinian painting traditions during the Mandate period, and she was contributing a chapter on the work of Zulfa Sa’adeh to the Jerusalem Quarterly. $0

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