Visiting Holy Sites in Israel is Now a War Crime According to Amnesty International

by Avi Abelow

NGO Monitor has recently exposed the recent Amnesty International report targeting tourism companies that do business in Israel. The AI report singles out Jewish holy and historical sites such as the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, the ancient City of David in Jerusalem, and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, alleging that those who visit those sites or advertises them are committing war crimes.

The Anti-Jewish Bias of Amnesty

Amnesty International claims that Israel “legalizes occupation through tourism”. Only ones who ignore Biblical records of the people of Israel and the history books of Babyonian history, Assyrian history, Roman history etc. can say such a bombastic statement of lies.

These tourist sites are archaeological sites holy to the Jewish people for more than 3,000 years, from the time of the Bible! Even in Roman history, Jews were residing in Judea and Samaria. The whole rebellion against the Assyrian Empire took place in Judea & Samaria! And it was the Romans who destroyed the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem! A people can not “occupy” it’s own ancestral homeland. Yet, Amnesty International spends time and money pushing Israel as a war crime? Shouldn’t they be instead focusing on the thousands of Yazidis, Kurds and Christians the Muslims are massacring across the Middle East and in African countries like Nigeria? No, instead they focus on Israel as a war crime offender for developing ancient historcal sites to our history as tourist sites.

Here are some of the liest that Amnesty International is instead invested in spreading in their report:

Israel provides a range of financial incentives to businesses operating in settlements as part of its policy to help sustain and expand them. For example, Israel has designated 90 settlements as “national priority areas”, which allows businesses to benefit from reductions in the price of land, grants for the development of infrastructure and preferential tax treatment.

As part of this programme of government support for the settlement economy, Israel has increased support to the tourism industry linked to settlements in recent years. For example, in 2010, it allocated approximately US$110 million to protect and develop visitor infrastructure at historic sites “that reflect the national heritage of the Jewish people” across Israel and the OPT. These sites included 13 in East Jerusalem and 30 in the rest of the West Bank.

Within East Jerusalem, the government is developing ambitious plans to build tourism infrastructure in Palestinian parts of the city. In May 2018, it announced it would spend US$13 million on excavations at the City of David, a settler-managed archaeological site in the neighbourhood of Silwan. In May 2018, the Israeli government also announced a budget of approximately US$54 million for a controversial cable car project that will connect the visitors’ centre at the City of David to West Jerusalem.

In June 2016, the government announced an additional programme of “special financial aid”, with specific provisions to support the development of the tourism industry in settlements in Area C. This resulted in a grant of US$1.3 million for “public tourism infrastructure”. The Prime Minister’s Office also announced subsidies for the “establishment, conversion and expansion” of hotels, B&Bs and guest rooms in settlements in the West Bank.

Click here for more on Amnesty International’s antisemitism problem

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