Jewish groups slam Amnesty International for attacking Israeli property listings in East Jerusalem

Amnesty attacked companies such as Airbnb and TripAdvisor for listing property in West Bank settlements and East Jerusalem


Amnesty International has been condemned for calling on tourist companies to stop listing Israeli accomodation in East Jerusalem. 

The human rights NGO "sees Jewish access to Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall as a reason to criticise Israel", Jewish groups said in response to the report.

Amnesty’s report attacked companies such as Airbnb and TripAdvisor, saying they were driving tourism to “illegal Israeli settlements and contributing to their existence and expansion” by listing rooms and activities "on occupied Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem".

In a joint statement, the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council said this reflected the human rights group’s “long record of double standards on Israel".

They said: “We will not forget how Amnesty recently left Jews out of its work on racism and refused to allow the Jewish Leadership Council to host an event at its offices.

"No surprise then, that they now see Jewish access to Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall as a reason to criticise Israel."

The World Jewish Congress said it was “disconcerted and disheartened” by the report.

“Amnesty International is a serious and respected human rights organisation, whose work to stop abuses around the world should never be underrated," said WJC executive vice president Robert Singer. 

"But its singular focus on corporate entities doing business in Israeli settlements is gravely misguided and undermining of the organisation’s true mandate."

In its report, Amnesty noted that Israel's three most popular destinations among foreign tourists in 2017 were all in Jerusalem’s Old City.

NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institute that is often critical of Amnesty, said the report only noted "in a footnote" that these three sites were the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

NGO Monitor said Amnesty seemed to think "foreign tourism to Israel is about supporting settlements, and not about religious and/or historical interest".

Amnesty accused Airbnb,, Expedia and TripAdvisor of “misleading their customers by failing to consistently indicate when listings are located in Israeli settlements”.

Israel’s minister of Internal Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan is considering banning Amnesty International following the human rights campaign group’s report.

He has instructed his ministry to "examine the possibility of preventing the entry and stay of Amnesty International in Israel" in the wake of the report.

Mr Erdan said: "The hypocritical Amnesty organisation speaks in the name of human rights, and in effect promotes boycotts against Israeli citizens as part of the antisemitic boycott and delegitimization campaign."

The minister said he had spoken to the finance minister about halting tax benefits for the organisation, which said tourism companies Airbnb,, Expedia and TripAdvisor “continue to operate in the settlements, and profit from this illegal situation”.

Israel’s Tourism Minister Yariv Levin also said: "No force in the world will change the simple historical truth - the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. We will fight this despicable antisemitic decision.

"No one can boycott Israel or parts of it."

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