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Keywords:

  • pilgrimage;
  • performance;
  • habitus;
  • Bible;
  • Jewish–Christian relations;
  • tour guide;
  • Holy Land

During biblical tours, Jewish Israeli guides and Protestant pastors become coproducers of a mutually satisfying performance that transforms the often-contested terrain of Israel–Palestine into Bible Land. Guides' emplaced performances of the Bible grant a significance to visitors' movement that constitutes the visitors as pilgrims. The professional authority of the guide is increased by his or her position as “reluctant witness” to scriptural truth and facilitated by historically transmitted practices of viewing, classifying history, and orientalizing shared by Protestants and Zionists. By examining guiding performances of orientation to biblical sites, I demonstrate how Zionist and Protestant understandings become naturalized while marginalizing Palestinian Arabs.