Amnesty International has forcefully rejected claims of “anti-Semitism” by Israeli officials in response to a new report on tourism and illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
The report, published Tuesday, urges four major online booking sites – Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and TripAdvisor – to boycott listings in hotels, rentals and tourism sites in illegal settlements.
As reported by the Jerusalem Post, Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan tweeted that Amnesty “has become a leader in the anti-Semitic #BDS campaign”, describing the new report as “an outrageous attempt to distort facts, deny Jewish heritage & delegitimize Israel”.
.@amnesty has become a leader in the anti-Semitic #BDS campaign. The report it will release tonight on #Israel is an outrageous attempt to distort facts, deny Jewish heritage & delegitimize Israel. As Florida's decision re @Airbnb shows, surrendering to BDS now comes with a price
— גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) January 29, 2019
“As Florida’s decision re @Airbnb shows, surrendering to BDS now comes with a price,” Erdan added, a reference to measures taken by state authorities against the hosting site.
In response to remarks by Minister Erdan and others, Amnesty said that Israeli officials are trying to “silence reports of Israel’s war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories”.
The “anti-Semitism” claim is “blatant incitement based on lies, deceptions and distortions that are easy to refute and are intended to divert the discussion from the subject at hand, which is, war crimes and human rights violations against Palestinians in the occupied territories,” Amnesty said.
The statement added that “Amnesty International opposed all forms of discrimination, racism and hate crimes based on religion, nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and identity and other characteristics, including discrimination and antisemitism against Jews.”