I can no longer say I didn’t know. “Visiting the area may pose increased security and human rights risks, as well as other risks to local communities and visitors.” Plans to visit Israeli-owned accommodation in the West Bank travelers will be warned. booking.com will display warning messages informing users of the political and military situation they are about to enter.
Officially, the online booking giant is required to keep users safe throughout the nearly 6,000 km2 of land Israel has occupied for over 50 years. “Some conflict-affected areas of the world can pose a high risk to travelers, so as part of our decision-making process, we want to provide information to help our guests make decisions and help governments We encourage you to check the official travel guidelines of , ”said a company representative quoted by Israeli television channel Channel 13.
The Amsterdam-based online service company lists over 145,000 destinations in nearly 200 countries and territories, currently dotted with over 200 hotels, dozens of apartments, hostel homes and youth hostels. We offer a section dedicated to “Palestinian” accommodation. Major Palestinian cities such as Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem and Jericho. Accommodation in the ‘Israeli Settlement’ of ‘Palestine’ is also available. For example, this air-conditioned villa that offers a ‘garden with terrace’ with views overlooking the valley and ‘continental or kosher’ for just over $150 a night.
In addition to the warning message, booking.com now refers to the West Bank as “occupied” territory. The site, which stopped classifying Jerusalem as an “Israeli settlement” in 2018, is also reportedly considering expanding the classification to some housing offered in East Jerusalem. The eastern part of the Holy Land was also conquered by Israeli forces in June 1967 after the Six Day War. More than 600,000 settlers now live in Israeli settlements built over the past 50 years straddling the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
On the Israeli side, leaders are shouting foul play and denouncing political maneuvering. Tourism Minister Yoel Razbozov denounced that no one has the right to decide “what is and what is not the State of Israel’s responsibility” in the name of Israelis. “I have urgently summoned the leadership of the ministry to address this fantastic decision and determine the measures to be taken to protect the activities of tourists throughout Israel,” said Yesh Atid party. continued the centrists belonging to Yair Lapid. According to Israeli daily Haaretz, executives’ counterattack is expected to include a pressure campaign to overturn a decision against booking.com and marketing efforts to encourage tourism in the target area. The decision by the company’s management comes at a time when a growing number of multinationals are rocked by scandals over the ethics of their business practices in occupied territories. One Airbnb backed out in April 2019 after deciding months ago to remove more than 200 properties from its Israeli settlement site in the West Bank. The founders of American ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s have been in a months-long stalemate with parent company Unilever to block sales of their products in the colonies.
Despite the denunciations that challenge the normalization of trade with the settlements, the majority of Israeli and Western companies continue to sell, import and sometimes produce in the occupied territories. In a 2016 report, Human Rights Watch stated, “In addition to the shopping malls built within the settlements, there are about 20 Israeli-controlled industrial areas in the West Bank covering about 1,365 hectares.” Stated. 9,300 hectares of farmland,” the human rights group continued.
I can no longer say I didn’t know. “Visiting this area may pose an increased safety, human rights or other risk to local communities and visitors. As of this week, the site of…