ITB Berlin: Supporting Israeli Tourism Industry is Supporting Apartheid

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Supporting the Israel tourism industry is supporting Israeli Apartheid. These is the messages visitors to the ITB Berlin international travel show are confronted when entering the venue at Messe Berlin today.

A German organization BDS organized this protest outside the ITB venue today. In flyers BDS says: ” The Israeli Government continues to break international law and brutally violates the right of the Palestinian people. At the ITB the Israeli Ministry of Tourism markets Israel as an attractive tourist destination. This is aimed at distracting the tourist industry from recognizing Israel’s colonial occupation and settlement policies. Affiliating your business with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism legitimizes Israel’s apartheid policies.

“We, therefore, urge you to consider your participation in enabling these inhuman policies by engaging with companies that are complicit in these violations of the law or supported by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism.

“The Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) offers all people of conscience to act in solidarity with the victims of Israeli apartheid. With each passing day that Palestinians are imprisoned behind a 700 km separation wall, their lands and livelihoods are stolen by illegal settlements. Israel’s tourism industry props up this systematic oppression. Your cooperation with Israel directly assists in destroying the homes, lives, and dignity of the Palestinian people. It deprives them of their right to life and freedom.”

In mids, two people holding up an Israeli flag responded voicing their support of Israel.

 

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.