Amnesty International has long sought to isolate Israel by lobbying governments, international bodies, and civil society to adopt boycotts against the Jewish state.
The organization reached new levels of discrimination in its recent report, “Digital Tourism and Israel’s Illegal Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” In it, the international NGO superpower attempts to criminalize Jewish and Christian tourism to holy sites in Jerusalem and the West Bank, erasing the Bible, and denying the Jewish people’s connection to its historic homeland.
According to Amnesty, travel platforms such as Airbnb, Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, TripAdvisor and others, are “contributing to human rights violations” by facilitating and advertising travel to Judaism and Christianity’s holiest sites, because these lie beyond the 1949 Armistice line – the “Green Line.” Specifically, Amnesty presents as deeply problematic tourism to Old Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, as well as to Jewish historic locations in the West Bank.
For Amnesty, biblical sites in particular, alongside other locations of importance and interest in Jerusalem and the West Bank, are inconvenient, legitimizing Israel’s historical narrative as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Regardless of the political future of these areas, there can be no denying their historic Jewish significance. Amnesty, however, is attempting to sever, erase, and even ban these ties.
In diminishing these religious and cultural connections, Amnesty accuses Israel of creating a “settlement tourism industry” to help “sustain and expand” communities beyond the Green Line. Israel’s interest in Jewish archaeology is reduced to artificial manipulation, used “to make the link between the modern State of Israel and its Jewish history explicit,” while “rewriting of history [which] has the effect of minimizing the Palestinian people’s own historic links to the region.”