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American Groups Stop “Eco-Tour” to Israel

The Tour was Stopped on Grounds of Boycotting Apartheid

Jerusalem24 – A campaign launched by progressive American institutions succeeded in canceling “eco-tourism visits” to Israel, due to its practice of the apartheid system.

The Sierra Club announced the cancellation of its trips to Israel after it was subjected to pressure from organizations that support the Palestinian right.

The Indigenous Rights Organization (NDN), Jewish Voices for Peace, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the Palestinian American Organizations Network, in addition to other organizations, participated in the campaign.

The participants launched a wide communications campaign with members of the governing body of the organization organizing the visit, and an e-mail campaign, which considered that the visit contributes to “providing legitimacy for the State of Israel, which is engaged in apartheid against the Palestinian people.”

The Sierra Club Foundation, founded by naturalist John Muir in 1892, is a charitable foundation concerned with nature issues, and its members, according to Wikipedia, have 750,000 members, while its annual budget for the current year is more than 97 million dollars.

The Foundation began its first trip to Israel in 1960 to explore biodiversity, bird migrations, desert landscapes, and ancient monuments, and the last trip was last year and was called “The Natural and Historical Landmarks of Israel”, and extended for two weeks in March with a budget of $5,000 per person.

The foundation decided to cancel the trip via an email sent to members by the foundation’s national outing team leader Mary Owens.

And the e-mail sent by Owens indicated that the Sierra Club’s decision to cancel flights to Israel scheduled for this month and others in 2023 came as a result of positions from progressive groups and that the decision to cancel was taken after a campaign “to urge us to cancel our flights to Israel (scheduled in 15 and 29 March 2022 and March 2023) on the accusation that we are legitimizing the State of Israel, which is engaged in apartheid against the Palestinian people.”

Owens’ letter added: “On February 22, the Board of Directors received a letter from a coalition of activist organizations threatening that if we do not cancel flights to Israel within a week, they will declare that the organization is violating the organizational values ​​on which it was founded.”

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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