Hundreds of Israeli Citizens to AllTrails: Don't Promote Settler Colonialism and Apartheid
Last week we sent AlllTrails a letter asking them to take down a route posted by an Israeli settler organization, of a race they are organizing on indigenous Palestinian land at Wadi Qana. Their customer service representative had an ethical gut response and immediately hid the post. However, the post was made visible again the next day. When we asked the representative what happened, she explained to us that AllTrails "can't control" user content.
We are hundreds of citizens of Israel who oppose our government’s continuing displacement of the indigenous Palestinian people via settler colonialism, military occupation and apartheid. We write to you in support of the indigenous Palestinian families of Wadi Qana (Qana Valley), and their request to remove the Karnei Shomron colony "First Wadi Qana Race" from your website. The event is featured on the AllTrails website (here).
Wadi Qana (Qana Valley)is an open area in the occupied Palestinian territories. Its natural springs make it a beautiful nature area as well as a site of traditional Palestinian agriculture, mainly cultivated by farmers from the village of Deir Istiya on privately owned lands. On weekends – when the weather is suitable – thousands of Palestinians arrive to enjoy Wadi Qana's springs and landscape which is a combination of nature and human made agriculture.
Israel has built several settlements – illegal by international law – around Wadi Qana and is continuing to create settler outposts – illegal even by Israeli law – around it. For the past decade these settlements are working with Israeli authorities to completely take over Wadi Qana and ban Palestinians from it. The "First Wadi Qana Race" is scheduled to take place on March 17th. It is initiated by the Karnei Shomron settlement. The race is intended for Israelis only. Moreover, from past experience such settler initiated events in Wadi Qana take place along with the Israeli soldiers preventing Palestinians from entering the area during the whole of the events where as Israelis are freely allowed to enter. The transfer of the occupying military regime's own civilian population into occupied territory is an attempt to alter the demographic composition of an occupied territory a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions.
This event, which excludes Palestinians from nature and their own history and present, is featured on AllTrails' website (see here). AllTrails is committed not only to share trails, spread the love of nature and promote respectful and responsible traveling, but also for that to be inclusive. As stated on AllTrails website, “we realize all the ways that nature connects us: to ourselves, to the past, to the ecosystems we live within, and to each other.” AllTrails' promotion of an event that takes place in the heart of occupied territory stands in contradiction to this and may very well constitute complicity with violations of human rights and breaches of international law.
We have no doubt that AllTrails never intended to publicise, and thus support, an exclusionary event, initiated by an entity that violates international law. This political take-over of nature, and misuse of the love of nature to further extreme political agendas, is of course not the agenda of AllTrails. This is why we have decided to bring this to your attention, and request that you withdraw any support and advertisement of this event.
Also, we have noticed that the race is published by the community center of the Karnei Shomron settlement which falsely states that it is from Tel Aviv. Where as Tel Aviv is in the state of Israel Karnei Shomron is an illegal settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories. We also call upon you to take down this user from the website.
We will be happy to answer any questions you may have
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within