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Amnesty Int’l calls on online tourism companies to delist Judea, Samaria

(JNS) Amnesty International on Jan. 26 released a study called “Destination: Occupation,” in which it urged tourism giants Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor and Expedia to erase Jewish listings, activities, attractions, and accommodations from their sites if they are located in Judea, Samaria or eastern Jerusalem.

“In doing business with settlements, all four companies are contributing to, and profiting from, the maintenance, development and expansion of illegal settlements, which amount to war crimes under international criminal law,” said Amnesty International. More than 800,000 Jews live in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem – about 12 percent of all Jews in Israel.

“To boost bookings, many listings in settlements boast of their proximity to areas of natural beauty in the occupied territories, such as the Dead Sea, nature reserves and the desert,” said the organization. “By listing and promoting these natural features and nature-based activities and attractions the digital companies are increasing the attractiveness of the listings, securing greater numbers of tourists and ultimately benefiting financially from the illegal exploitation of Palestinian natural resources.”

Israeli politicians expressed outrage over the recommendation, blasting Amnesty as an antisemitic organization. “The hypocritical Amnesty organization speaks in the name of human rights, and in effect promotes boycotts against Israeli citizens as part of the antisemitic boycott and delegitimization campaign,” said Minister of Internal Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan.

In 2017, Amnesty International launched a campaign to prevent businesses from operating in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and promoted a video encouraging viewers to “fight with Israeli army soldiers in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.”

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