Philistine, 1997, instillation by Khalil Rabah is constructed from the 1997 American edition of The Oxford Desk Dictionary and Thesaurus, open to pages 592-593, and hammered with masonry nails to cover the whole spread except for the definition of one word. On this page the word ‘Philistine’ is defined as “member of a people opposing the Israelites in ancient Palestine; Person who is hostile or indifferent to culture.” The definition itself is part of a broader euro-centric narrative and religious justification that has historically and collectively assigned the Eastern Mediterranean basin a past which functions solely according to the needs of colonial Europe and, by extension, its own antisemitism. It insinuates that Palestine is forever stuck in this ancient past, somewhere around 12th century BCE, where the complex evolutions of history, cultures, and movements can so easily be dismissed as an unimportant footnote in history. This perspective has made room for the primarily European Zionist colonialist ideology of proclaiming the land empty of semitic people, and/or that the people there are not native to the land. Simultaneously, it asserts through its lack of historical contextualization that, by extension, all Palestinians across history are outsiders to the land, and are “indifferent to culture”, “vulgarian”, “unenlightened”, “uncultured”, and “barbarians”. In other words, it dehumanizes them entirely by depicting them as borderline savages whose only goal has been “opposing the Israelites in ancient Palestine”. Rabah is bringing to attention how the most ubiquitous dictionary, and thus of thought, in the English-speaking world, so easily defines worldwide perceptions regarding an entire people. By surrounding that specific section with a barrage of hammered nails, Rabah is forcing the viewer to associate this understanding of the word with the violence it allows to be perpetuated.