24 March 2024

Werknemers Booking.com sluiten aan bij protest tegen bedrijfsbeleid tav Israëls illegale nederzettingen

Donderdag 14 maart bezocht een groep activisten van XR Justice Now, BDS NL & Workers for Palestine het hoofdkantoor van Booking.com voor een demonstratie. Het is de eerste van meerdere demonstraties in het kader van BDS NL’s B.Honest campagne om te zorgen dat Booking.com stopt met adverteren voor illegale nederzettingen op de bezette West Bank, zonder dat legitieme Palestijnse bedrijven worden geraakt.

Een twintigtal Booking.com werknemers kwam naar buiten en nam deel aan de demonstratie buiten het gebouw. Het is een duidelijk teken van de groeiende ontevredenheid van Booking.com medewerkers over de doorgaande medeplichtigheid van hun bedrijf aan Israelische Apartheid.

BDS NL hield een toespraak die direct gericht was tot de medewerkers waarin men uitlegde dat de medeplichtigheid van Booking.com ook hen medeplichtig maakt. Je kunt de toespraak hieronder lezen. 

Hello hello Booking.com,

Greetings from BDS NL!!! 

I’d like to start with a very important disclaimer to all Booking.com employees. We know that your leadership has led you to believe that coming to campus today would be unsafe because of us. They’ve created a sense of anxiety amongst you in the guise of protection. So let me assure you that we’re actually here to support you! Because it’s actually your leadership that’s putting you in a precarious position.

You! The hardworking, good hearted and well intentioned humans that make Booking.com such a great company to work for. It’s you that run these amazing initiatives like B.proud & B.equal, which ensure Booking.com is an inclusive workplace.

It’s you that make it such an attractive place to work that newcomers are proud to be accepted to join. And unfortunately, it’s you, the employees, that Booking.com is forcing you to be complicit in human rights violations without you even knowing it. 

See, everyday you all come to work with one mission: To make it easier for everyone to experience the world

To make it possible for people to travel to every corner of our beautiful world and see everything it has to offer from scenic nature in Peru to the bustling streets of Tokyo, diving head first into the rich cultures that the world has to offer.

But I bet most of you didn’t realise that you’re also depriving many from living in their own homes. Unable to travel within their own towns let alone the rest of the world.

Yup!! The company that’s always telling you to “do the right thing” is refusing to B.Honest about how it’s making you all complicit in apartheid.And please don’t take my word for it. The United Nations published a list of companies complicit in apartheid, and Booking.com is on it. 

NGOs like Amnesty international and various human rights reports such as the Don’t buy into occupation report of 2023 have all clearly outlined how Booking.com empowers and fuels Israeli apartheid. By allowing illegal settlements to advertise on your platform, you’re empowering a system built on oppression, destruction and ethnic cleansing.

Do you know what that means practically? Do you know what a settlement actually is and who lives in them? It means that the army kicked a Palestinian family out of their own home, made them homeless to allow an Israeli settler to live there instead. It means that entire communities have been wiped out to make way for settlements that house religious extremists that believe they are a superior beings to Palestinians.

It means that Ali Saad Dawabsheh couldn’t live past 18 month because he was set on fire by an Israeli settler in the West Bank while he and his family were asleep. Pogroms committed by these settlers against Palestinians have become part of daily life in the West Bank. Actual Pogroms!!! 

Booking.com tells you to do the right thing but in the same breath offers revenue streams to these terrorists. Well actually they’re making you do it!! They’re putting blood on YOUR hands!!

The inconsistent and frankly useless messaging that’s been added to some, not even all, of the settlements in the West bank is a ludicrous attempt to pay lip service rather than actually doing the right thing.

So we call on you the employees of Booking.com to do the right thing for them!!  You have the power! You, the developers, the designers, the customer service team, all of you are in control of the platform. You can change things with a click!!  You literally have the power!

Make it clear to Booking that you will no longer allow this to happen in your name! You will no longer allow your hands to be bloodied for them!!

It’s time for Booking.com to DELIST West Bank settlements!! 

without shutting down Palestinian businesses. 

Tourism is a big source of revenue for settlements and is an effective way to hold Israel and its settlers accountable for their actions. Especially now as we watch the horrific genocide go into it’s 6th month! You’ve all signed up to work at an innovative and inclusive company. A pioneer in the travel and hospitality industry. This is your chance to be that and more. You have the chance to be pioneers in ethical tourism!! 

To B.Honest! 

And most importantly to do the right thing.

Thank you!

BDS Nederland op Twitter