While Israel denies Palestinians their rights and freedom of movement, it recruits international celebrities, politicians, pilgrims, and others on visits that obscure the reality of Israel’s state violence. These trips, usually part of the Brand Israel campaign, engage figures in promoting a false image of Israel as fun, exotic, and a safe haven in a sea of hostile Arab countries, rather than an ongoing perpetrator of violence and apartheid against the native population.
Challenge Corporate Complicity
Google, Put Palestine on the Map: Join the campaign by 7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media calling on Google to stop mislabeling Palestinian villages, cities, and roads on Google Maps.
Booking.com: Tell the Truth: Sign Jewish Voice for Peace’s (JVP) petition calling on Booking.com to stop listing and mislabeling places in occupied East Jerusalem, as reported by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
TripAdvisor: Pull Out of Illegal Settlements: Sign Amnesty International’s (AI) petition to ask TripAdvisor Inc. to stop listing or promoting properties, activities, and attractions located in illegal Israeli settlements or run by settlers.
Stolen Homes – Airbnb: In 2018, Airbnb committed to removing all listings in illegal Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, except those in East Jerusalem. In April 2019, Airbnb reversed its decision, choosing to remain complicit in Israel’s displacement of Palestinians.
Challenge Whitewashed Study Abroad & Birthright
Learn more about the academic boycott of Israel, which targets Israeli universities as major, willing, and persistent accomplices in Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism, and apartheid.
Boycott Study Abroad in Israel: Sign the pledge to uphold the academic boycott of Israel by refusing participation in study abroad programs in Israel that ignore and perpetuate Israel’s ongoing violations of academic and other freedoms of the Palestinian people.
Return the Birthright: Sign JVP’s pledge not to go on Birthright Israel’s free trips for Jewish youth that are premised on the denial of Palestinian refugees’ right to return and obscure, rationalize, and defend Israel’s violence against the Palestinian people.
Support Palestinian civil society’s call for a boycott of Israeli cultural institutions, which are used for propaganda and whitewashing of Israel’s violence. Thousands of artists have canceled events in Israel or refused to travel there. For example, following calls to #SkipTheTrip, 2016 Oscars host Chris Rock and 25 top nominees were offered free trips to Israel and not a single star visited.
Normalization in the international sports arena is an important component of Israel’s public relations and status-seeking. As in the movement to boycott apartheid in South Africa, the sports boycott is an important tool to challenge Israeli oppression and stand in solidarity with Palestinian athletes and others. Scholars, athletes, and others have called on FIFA to revoke the Israeli Football Association’s membership over its inclusion of several football teams based in Israeli settlements. In 2017, Super Bowl star Michael Bennett and 5 other athletes canceled a trip to Israel, citing a commitment to justice and refusing to be used for propaganda purposes.
Christian Zionist Pilgrimages
30+ US colleges have partnered with Philos, a Zionist organization, to send 1,000+ Christian students each year on Israeli propagandizing delegations as part of a program called Passages. Contact Friends of Sabeel – North America at firstname.lastname@example.org to join them in calling on colleges to end the partnership and to provide justice-oriented delegations to their students.
Pinkwashing is Israel’s campaign to distract from its egregious violations of Palestinian rights by promoting an image of false progressivism, cultural liberalism and its supposedly fun, fabulous, and gay-friendly culture.
Politicians: Skip the Trip
Some Zionist groups fund trips for US public/municipal officials to strengthen US political support for Israel by whitewashing its violations of Palestinian rights. Pro-Israel groups also fund propaganda trips at the state level for legislators. Organizers can insist legislators refuse propaganda trips and only attend trips that respect human rights. However, many of these trips are being challenged. In 2018, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) rebuked the tradition of elected officials’ traveling to Israel on AIPAC-sponsored trips and announced her intention to lead her own delegation to Palestine focused on issues of justice for the Palestinian people. In addition to encouraging congressional participation in responsible, human rights-centered delegations to Palestine, activists are also encouraging Congress to skip AIPAC’s propaganda trips that whitewash Israeli crimes. You can also campaign for your local officials to skip such trips.