According to report, Amnesty International sent an open letter to the staff of Trip Advisor in an appeal to put an end towards “driving human rights violations” by removing its tourist listings in Israel’s West Bank settlements.
The international human rights activist organization called on the “hugely influential” tourism site to lead the way for other companies to follow suit in taking a stand against Israel’s violations of international law.
“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.”
We urge you to do the right thing: stand up for human rights and help us and your company put an end to decades of war crimes and other grave violations,” the letter concludes.
According to the letter, Amnesty cites its campaign that purportedly persuaded Google to drop its censored search engine in China.
Amnesty first raised the issue back in January, when it named TripAdvisor along with Booking.com, Expedia and Airbnb as “profiting from war crimes by listing tourist attractions and properties in illegal Israeli settlements.”
Even then Amnesty singled out TripAdvisor in its report “because of the company’s relative importance to the tourism industry in Israeli settlements.”
TripAdvisor has yet to respond to Amnesty’s plea, which was sent on July 10.
Home-sharing platform Airbnb originally decided to remove Jewish settler homes in the West Bank from its rental listings but quickly backed off the plan to as it faced various lawsuits brought by hosts.
However, Airbnb found a compromise arrangement by choosing not to take profits from its bookings in Israeli settlements, and instead donating its share of the revenue to various humanitarian groups.
Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law and are seen as major obstacles to peace as they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.
Some 600,000 Israeli settlers live among 2.6 million Palestinians in the West Bank, which was captured by Israel from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War along with the predominantly Palestinian eastern sector of Jerusalem in moves never accepted by the international community.