Amnesty International has called on TripAdvisor employees to use their power to demand that their company stops profiting from war crimes by listing tourist attractions and properties in illegal Israeli settlements across the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).
In an open letter addressed to TripAdvisor staff, the organisation said the settlements have had a devastating impact on the human rights of Palestinians, with tens of thousands of homes demolished and large numbers of Palestinians forcibly displaced to make way for their construction, in flagrant violation of international law, since Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967.
“Israel’s policy of settling Israeli citizens on stolen Palestinian land in occupied territory is a war crime. By promoting tourism in these illegal settlements, TripAdvisor is helping boost their economies and contributing to the immense suffering of Palestinians who have been uprooted from their land, had their homes destroyed and their natural resources plundered for settlement use,” said Mark Dummett, Head of Business and Human Rights at Amnesty International.
“To maintain and expand illegal settlements Israel imposes a system of institutionalised discrimination and human rights violations against Palestinians making their daily lives a struggle. We urge everyone working for TripAdvisor to stand up for human rights and join us in demanding that the company removes all its listings in settlements and of settlement-related attractions in the OPT. War crimes are not a tourist attraction.”
In January, Amnesty International published Destination: Occupation, an investigation into the way online booking companies are driving tourism to illegal Israeli settlements and contributing to their expansion, maintenance, and normalisation. It found that TripAdvisor, one of the most visited online tourism websites by foreign visitors to Israel, lists more than 70 different attractions, tours, restaurants, cafes, hotels and rental apartments in settlements across the OPT.
The open letter was shared with TripAdvisor staff following the company’s response to Amnesty International’s report in which TripAdvisor appeared to suggest that the company had no responsibility to stop advertising activities in or with Israeli settlements or other listings that violate international law.
For more information about Amnesty International’s campaign calling on TripAdvisor to stop listing or promoting attractions and properties in illegal settlements in the OPT click here.