NEW YORK – The World Jewish Congress is disconcerted and disheartened by Amnesty International’s newly launched campaign calling on the world’s leading digital tourism companies – Trip Advisor, Expedia, booking.com, and AirBnB – to stop listing in Israeli settlements, and to governments to bring in regulation to prevent these businesses from operating with or in these communities.
“Amnesty International is a serious and respected human rights organization, whose work to stop abuses around the world should never be underrated, but its singular focus on corporate entities doing business in Israeli settlements is gravely misguided and undermining of the organization’s true mandate,” said WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer.
“If Amnesty wishes to involve itself in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it should center its attention on the real human rights abuses ongoing in Palestinian territories, and not attack corporate businesses who strive to bridge divides and build peace through global tourism and interaction,” Singer said.
“Amnesty has expressed its concern that these businesses are profiting from and contributing to what it calls human rights violations caused by the settlements. Let it be reminded that in the Palestinian territories today, convicted terrorists who murder innocent Israeli civilians are awarded handsome salaries for their so-called martyrdom, by the Palestinian Authority. This is profit from terror and human rights abuses, plain and simple,” Singer said.
“Amnesty International would do well to shift its focus and campaign against this atrocious policy and urge corporate entities and governments to halt any funding to the Palestinian Authority that might be used for terror payments, and advocate loudly and clear against the continued incitement and encouragement to terrorism that proliferates in these territories,” he added.
“The World Jewish Congress stands ready and willing to engage with Amnesty International and work together against the real human rights abuses and abusers threatening our world today, and to ensure that the price of unbridled hatred is never forgotten,” Singer said.