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A Jewish settler walks at the Jewish settlement outpost of Adei Ad B in the West Bank.(Photo by: REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)
Amnesty International requests TripAdvisor employees to delist Jewish settlements
By ZACHARY KEYSER
07/22/2019
Amnesty blames the tourism industry for the thriving Jewish communities in the West Bank, and in this case they are calling out TripAdvisor.
Amnesty International penned an open letter to those employed by TripAdvisor, an American-based travel and dining recommendation focused website, for their "role in driving human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories," earlier this July.

The complaint details a report named "Destination Occupation" where Amnesty is claiming that TripAdvisor profits from war crimes by "listing tourist attractions and properties in illegal Israeli settlements," further claiming that the listings account as human rights violations against the Palestinian people due to the settlements being classified as breaches in international law due to the ongoing tensions and uncertainty of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"Our research found that TripAdvisor lists more than 70 different attractions, tours, restaurants, cafes, hotels and rental apartments in settlements across the Occupied Palestinian Territories," wrote Amnesty in the open letter. "Israel has built these settlements, in flagrant violation of international law, since its occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967."

According to the letter, the impact the settlements have on the Palestinian communities is "devastating" in line with the notion that Israeli-Jewish settlements are built upon the demolished houses of "tens of thousands of Palestinian homes," which have displaced these communities and "diverted water and other Palestinian natural resources for settlement use."

"To maintain and expand illegal settlements Israel imposes a system of institutionalized discrimination and human rights violations from which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians suffer on daily basis," Amnesty wrote.

Amnesty is asking TripAdvisor to take down these listings in an attempt to cut-off the growing economies of these settlements and restrict the tourism flow that goes into these settlements in order to keep them from expanding or flourishing any further.

The letter noted a Palestinian village they monitored called Khribet Susiya, where they said the communities now lives within "makeshift" tents and homes after a Jewish settlement expansion nearby evicted them from their homes, and according to Amnesty also refers to the Jewish-settlers as being aggressive towards the villagers.

"The settlements surrounded by vineyards and orchards and has a large swimming pool. By contrast, Israel has refused to connect Palestinian homes to the water and sewage system and electricity networks, making life for them a daily struggle. Villagers also suffer regular harassment from settlers and live in constant fear of their homes being destroyed," Amnesty said.

Amnesty blames the tourism industry for the thriving Jewish communities in the West Bank, and in this case they are calling out TripAdvisor "glossing over [Israel's] horrifying human rights record and normalizing" these settlements to the public - and therefore by restricting the economy, it's possible the settlements would inevitably suffer and be forced to either stay stagnant, reduce in size or become non-existent by the strategy.

"As TripAdvisor employees, we believe you too have a real power to make a difference by speaking outand demanding that the company stops listing accommodation and tourist attractions based in Israeli settlements," Amnesty wrote while noting their recent success with a project that was dropped by Google after the employees of the company spoke out against it. "By cutting business ties with illegal settlements, TripAdvisor would be leading the way in the travel sector and demonstrating a true commitment to ending human rights abuses."

Amnesty has also targeted similar sites such as Expedia, Booking.com and Airbnb to delist Jewish settlements to which they claim is profiting from "war crimes."
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