UK Jewish tour groups affiliated with United Jewish Israel Appeal ‘operating unilateral BDS’

The UIJA “seems to be ignoring the fact that Abraham’s grave is beyond their imaginary ‘Green Line,’” says Rabbi Leo Dee.

By World Israel News Staff

A major UK-based Jewish group will require tour operators to request permission before taking visitors to sites located over the Green Line or in areas claimed by Palestinians, including the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA) of Great Britain announced to tour groups affiliated with the organization that any visits to places that aren’t within Israel’s pre-1967 borders need to be formally approved in advance.

The policy apparently came after a logistical snafu saw a tour group spend time at Kibbutz Almog, which is located in the Judean desert near the Dead Sea. The kibbutz was not a destination originally on the agenda, but provided last-minute lodging to the group after a previous plan for accommodations fell through.

In a statement, the UJIA claimed that using their funding to finance trips over the Green Line could potentially lead to questioning from British charity watchdogs.

The UJIA downplayed the ramifications of the new policy, including that tour groups would need permission to visit the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites in Judaism.

UJIA said that they were “remaining neutral on the politics of the situation” and that they “cannot promote any political position beyond its charitable purposes.”

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A spokesman said that tour operators would simply need to fill out an additional form in order to do so, and that permission would obviously “be granted.”

However, that statement did not acknowledge that mandating advance permission to visit an important Jewish heritage site located in Israel’s capital city strengthens the Palestinian narrative that eastern Jerusalem is not under Israeli sovereignty.

Rabbi Leo Dee, whose wife and two daughters were brutally murdered by Palestinian terrorists during the Passover holiday in April, told the Jerusalem Post that he was “saddened at the apparent anti-Zionism of the UJIA.”

Dee told the Post that the UIJA “seems to be ignoring the fact that Abraham’s joint grave, which he purchased for Sarah and was authenticated in the best-selling book of all time, is beyond their imaginary ‘Green Line.’”

Dee noted that there appear to be differences in policy and ideology between the UK and American Jewish tour operators.

“I have been requested by many of the American tour groups to be available over the summer to address their youth,” he said to the Post. “Sadly the UJIA is operating a unilateral BDS over Judea and Samaria. Their loss.”