Israeli tourism ministry omits top Muslim, Christian sites from visitor’s map

Alwaght- While a map is meant to guide a visitor through an unknown area, the Israeli regime is instead using the diagrammatic representation to obliterate the history of Jerusalem (al-Quds) by misleading tourists through purposeful omission.

A newly-produced visitor map of Jerusalem’s Old City pinpoints dozens of Jewish sites, including ones that are not even familiar to local guides, while disregarding most Christian and Muslim landmarks.

The legend of the English-language map lists a total of 57 Jewish highlights in the Old City but the map only shows five Christian sites and only one Muslim site, the Dome of the Rock. The editors of the map were keen to omit Arabic names of sites in the Old City and replace them with Hebrew or English terms.

One example is its use of the terms “Har Habait,” “Temple Mt.” and “Mt. Moriah” for the Temple Mount area, but ignores Haram al-Sharif, or Al-Aqsa. The mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites, is not even named although it is depicted on the map. The area east of Al-Aqsa is marked as Solomon’s Stables.

The motives, however, cannot be doubted as proof of underground excavations under the holy edifice has already emerged. The digging is threatening the foundation of the mosque and has triggered an outcry across the Muslim world. The map seems inconsequential before such a situation, but it is rather a part of the project to take over Al-Aqsa by erasing its name from maps and the memory of the international community.

Additionally, the map lists all the buildings occupied by Israeli settlers in the Muslim Quarter making up 25 structures of the mentioned locations along with synagogues and yeshivas that are barely known even to Jewish guides.

Contrastingly, well-known and significant Christian sites have been neglected. For example, while the Via Dolorosa is listed, the stations along the road have been overlooked. Millions of pilgrims march there every year.

The Haaretz newspaper reported, accused the map, which is marked with the logo of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, of “bias towards the settler narrative.”

“On the Mount of Olives the Maaleh Zeitim neighborhood of some 100 Jewish families is illustrated and marked, while no mention is made of the thousands of Palestinian families living in the area,” Haaretz remarked.

The Tourism Ministry defended the map, claiming it is fairly beneficial.

“The Tourism Ministry of the State of Israel stands behind what’s presented on the map. The map, which was produced in cooperation with tour guides and took into account their recommendations and the vast knowledge they’ve accumulated, is useful and convenient, listing the main tourist sites,” the ministry said.

Tel Aviv has not only occupied Palestinian land, but also continues to attempt to occupy its culture, claiming it as its own. In other cases, the Israelis work to delete the most significant aspects of Palestine, particularly, Jerusalem, from remembrance, to strip it from its Arab identity and dress in a strictly Jewish attire.

By Alwaght