Vacation from History: Ethnic Cleansing as the Club Med Experience


When Club Med arrived in Israel in 1961, it found on the country’s northern coast a golden beach with picturesque ruins and no people—the kind of place where a weary European could “feel so far away, yet be so near.” Palestinians who once lived in the coastal village of al-Zib feel the same way. Driven from their homes in 1948, some returned to the vicinity of their destroyed village after the war, to resettle on the margins of Israel’s conscience and the globalized fantasies of leisure that have since been enacted on the ruins of their homes.

PETER LAGERQUIST, is a writer and journalist based in Israel and the West Bank. An earlier, shorter version of this essay appeared in the German edition of Le Monde Diplomatique in January 2006.

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