How you can challenge Israel’s erasure of Palestinians

Posted on May 9, 2019


Israel’s horrific attacks on the besieged Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip last weekend reminded us, once again, of our responsibility to support justice and freedom. As we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in the face of injustice, it’s important find ways that we, as people who live in the US, can take action.

One way to do this is by challenging Israel’s tourism industry, which quite literally erases Palestinians from the landscape and history, appropriates Palestinian culture and cuisine, and whitewashes the reality of Israel’s state violence. Palestinians, wherever they are, are denied the freedom to move freely to and within their homeland by Israel while Israel whitewashes their oppression.

There are many ways for you to take action. Whether you are planning to travel to Palestine, are a student considering study abroad, or simply want to take an online action, we’ve compiled a whole host of resources for you to learn (and unlearn!) about ethical travel to Palestine and the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Use these resources to:

  • Challenge corporate complicity from companies like Booking.com, Trip Advisor, and Airbnb
  • Learn about faithwashing trips and find ethical alternatives for your faith community
  • Join the academic (including study abroad!), cultural, and sports boycott
  • Learn about and challenge Israel’s attempts at pinkwashing
  • Learn about the connections between tourism, colonization, and gentrification
  • Learn about how Israel’s tourism industry in the Syrian Golan Heights is used to normalize Israel’s illegal annexation and how to support the native Syrian population

The issues laid out here extend beyond Palestine, and are mirrored in other colonized places like Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Learn more here.

People of conscience are already taking action. Just last week, New York University’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis voted overwhelmingly to adopt a resolution of non-cooperation with NYU’s study abroad program in Tel Aviv. The department cited Israel’s “longstanding practice of barring entry to persons of Palestinian descent, and its recent amendments to the Law of Entry prohibit entry to members of groups that are critical of government policies” as the reason for their decision.
No matter how much Israel tries to distract from its oppression of the Palestinian people, you know better. Groups worldwide and people like you have already engaged in this work, from challenging corporate complicity in Israeli tourism to calling on celebrities not to perform in Israel, from boycotting study abroad at Israeli universities to traveling on ethical delegations to Palestine. We hope you’ll use our tools to continue learning, educating, and challenging injustice!

Sincerely,
ANNA BALTZER
Director of Organizing & Advocacy