Booking.com Issues Warnings Against Yehudah & Shomron; Bibi: “Read The Bible” [Video]

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The tzimmer Nof HaEretz on the yishuv of Yitzhar in the Shomron. (Photo: Tzvi Sukkot)

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The global travel reservation site Booking.com plans to issue warnings against listings in Yehudah and Shomron beginning on Thursday, Channel 13 News reported.

A statement will be placed next to listings in Israeli communities in Yehudah and Shomron saying: “A visit to this area may be accompanied by an increased risk to safety, human rights, and other risks to guests and the local community.”

A similar story occurred in 2018 when Airbnb delisted homes in Yehudah and Shomron. The company quickly changed its mind after it was hit by a lawsuit by 18 Jewish US citizens.

However, unlike Airbnb, which boycotted only homes in Israel, the Dutch-based Booking.com is also planning on issuing warning statements “in other conflict zones in the world,” the company told Ynet.

In response, opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu posted a video on social media suggesting that Booking.com should “really read the Book – the Bible. You know why Judea is called Judea? Because that’s where Jews come from. It’s been our homeland for close to 4,000 years. You should really get a history lesson.”

Netanyahu then switched to Hebrew, speaking to his followers: “Booking should be ashamed of its ignorance and hypocrisy. Judea and Samaria is the heart of our homeland, the heart of all of us. And you – in my heart – you’re the activists who fight against this abysmal hypocrisy. Kol Hakavod to you.”

Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov (Yesh Atid), slammed the decision, saying: “A business company will not determine for us what is the territory of Israel and what is not. I will convene an urgent meeting with senior Tourism Ministry officials to determine steps to deal with the decision.”

Razvozov also wrote a letter to the CEO of Booking.com, Glenn Fogel, stating: “I was surprised to hear about the company’s intention. As the Minister of Tourism, and also as an Israeli citizen, I strongly condemn it. The labeling of the State of Israel as a violator of human rights is unacceptable and does not do justice to the residents of Judea and Samaria who live in coexistence, and whose source of livelihood relies on tourism. This a biased and scandalous decision that may create unnecessary tension and destabilize the region. I call on the company to retract this decision.”

According to Professor Eugene Kontorovich, an anti-BDS expert, the announcement highlights the failure of BDS. “Ridiculous and inaccurate as this disclaimer is, it shows the failure of BDS campaigners to convince the company to drop its business in Israel – as they have been doing for over a decade,” he said. “It shows Booking.com has paid attention to the massive damage Airbnb and Ben & Jerry’s did to themselves when they adopted a boycott of Israeli-controlled territories. At the same time they want to throw a bone to anti-Israel activists.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


15 COMMENTS

  1. “In response, opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu posted a video on social media suggesting that Booking.com should “really read the Book – the Bible. You know why Judea is called Judea? Because that’s where Jews come from. It’s been our homeland for close to 4,000 years. You should really get a history lesson.””

    Zionists (except the “Religious” ones) don’t believe in the Torah. So this Zionist one to lecture anyone about the Bible, especially as these Booking.com guys probably believe in the Bible far more than does this Zionist.

    As well, the Zionists are not the representatives of the Jews, and their “State” is a Zionist, not Jewish “State”. Therefore, his little tantrum is anyways irrelevant.

    Finally, regardless of the above, it is absolutely proper to warn people of a conflict zone, regardless of who is or is not the aggressor in that conflict.

    As usual, we see that Zionist shmad is above all else, even human life.

  2. The issue here is not necessarily the claim that it may be unsafe. This may or may not be justified depending on which other places the disclaimer is issued for.
    The main issue is the claim that these areas are of higher risk of human rights violations. While they may be referring to Arab terror attacks, the wording implies that Israel is to blame. Zionist or not (and I’m not), in today’s world, anti-Zionism equals anti-Judaism.
    (I prefer not to use anti-Semitism, as Arba are also Semites.)

  3. @Kach

    there are plenty of places listed in bookings.com that are “hardly the safest”, starting with chicago, for example. if this was really about “safety” (or “human rights”), far more people in chicago are murdered (or have their rights violated), in chicago than in judea and samaria. so where’s their “warning” about listings in chicago?

  4. @ LAmother
    There is no such thing as “Palestinians”!
    These people are Jordanians and should go back to Jordan…..oh wait, Jordan threw them out because they tried to take over there too!

  5. @Hakatan is of course right, as usual. And by the way, that was one of his more moderate statements on YWN… I wonder why everyone got in such a tizzy specifically here…

    Anyways, I’m so confused: What is the indication that the company’s move was even anti-Israel in the first place?

  6. Anyone who believes that only some Jews have the right to the Torah while other Jews should remain frei is a disgusting human.

    As for booking, I do not see the problem. The West Bank is more dangerous and clueless tourists have the right to know when they are leaving official Israeli jurisdiction (and safety). While booking may have more nefarious motives, Israel needs to pick its fights and this is not one of them.

  7. @Yashar

    No, he’s not right and he always repeats the same thing over and over. But let’s see shall we:

    “Zionists (except the “Religious” ones) don’t believe in the Torah. So this Zionist one to lecture anyone about the Bible, especially as these Booking.com guys probably believe in the Bible far more than does this Zionist.”

    Why in the world is it more probable that Booking.com guys believe in the Bible more than Bibi?

    “As well, the Zionists are not the representatives of the Jews, and their “State” is a Zionist, not Jewish “State”. Therefore, his little tantrum is anyways irrelevant.”

    This is irrelevant. Even if you say that the Zionists don’t represent Jews (certainly more Jews are connected with the State of Israel than with Brisk/Satmar) that has nothing to do with Bibi making the historical claim that it’s called Judea because that’s where Jews came from and where a Jewish kingdom was 3000 years ago.

    “Finally, regardless of the above, it is absolutely proper to warn people of a conflict zone, regardless of who is or is not the aggressor in that conflict.”

    I agree but I think the criticism stems from the warning about human rights.

    I think your hatred of Israel and Zionism blinds you to actual constructive criticism of them and instead you pander to the wild rantings of Hakatan.

  8. @Marxist:

    Thank you for your detailed response; I appreciate your time.

    My answer to you is as follows:

    1) The line in question was very standard hyperbole; @Hakatan was saying that although Bibi does NOT believe in our heilige Torah, in fact, hundreds of millions of non-Jews believe in it more than he does. I’m not an expert in this matter, but I think it’s obvious that such a sentiment is accurate. Regarding the owners of Booking versus Bibi, however, I assume @Hakatan was just trying to make the point that it is actually not at all unlikely that they believe in the Bible more than he does.

    2) I understood @Hakatan’s point to be that it is a glorious chutzpah for Bibi the frei to pretend he can defend the Jews’ right to have a very G-dless state in the ancient Jewish homeland by quoting the very book which explicitly denies him and his other deliberately frei buddies any right to the land whatsoever and even Felipe area quite clearly just how the land will vomit said evildoers from its midst. I think that is quite relevant, actually.

    3) THANK YOU! As you can see in my above post, I did not understand what on Earth the fuss was! Thank you for highlighting the words “human rights.” At least now I understand what they were talking about!

    Kesiva vechasima tova.