Beginning Thursday, the global travel reservation site Booking.com plans to issue warnings against listings in Yehudah and Shomron, while also claiming that it is planning on issuing warning statements “in other conflict zones in the world,” as well.
The company intends to place a statement 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.”
Slamming the Dutch-based Booking.com for its hypocrisy, former Prime Minister and influential political leader Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video posted on his social media, “ 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.”
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov also took to rebuking 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 is a biased and scandalous decision that may create unnecessary tension and destabilize the region. I call on the company to retract this decision.”