Airbnb backpedals, will continue to list in illegal Israeli settlements

Posted on May 1, 2019

From our Staff and Members/Press Release

(New York City, NY) April 10, 2019: Today JTA reported an Airbnb reversal of their 2018 policy announcement and stated that Airbnb will not remove West Bank settlement listings from its website.

According to Airbnb:

“Airbnb will not move forward with implementing the removal of listings in the West Bank from the platform. We understand the complexity of the issue that was addressed in our previous policy announcement, and we will continue to allow listings throughout all of the West Bank, but Airbnb will take no profits from this activity in the region. Any profits generated for Airbnb by any Airbnb host activity in the entire West Bank will be donated to non-profit organizations dedicated to humanitarian aid that serve people in different parts of the world.”

This announcement was met with deep disappointment among the many human rights activists who’ve organized to push Airbnb to get out of illegal settlements.

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Reports by both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch outline how tourist businesses enable human rights violations by operating in the settlements. A multi-year campaign by coalition partners under the umbrella “Stolen Homes” have loudly taken to twitter to denounce Airbnb’s backpedaling and betrayal of the company’s own lens of anti-discrimination practices.

The coalition of groups known as the StolenHomes Coalition – which included organizations like SumOfUs, CODEPINK, American Muslims for Palestine, the US Palestinian Community Network, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, and Jewish Voice for Peace held multiple actions at Airbnb HQ and offices as well as created a petition supported by more than 150,000 people from around the world who urged Airbnb to stop listing vacation rentals in Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land and deemed illegal under international law.

“The reneging on a commitment to delist from the settlements is a betrayal of all the human rights organizations and activists who cheered Airbnb’s November, 2018 decision. If Airbnb wants to continue to allow rental suites on the ruins of Palestinian lives and land then they will continue to get pressured to do the right thing. There’s no “two sides” of a so-called conflict in the settlements. It’s stolen land from Palestinians, plain and simple.

– Granate Kim, Communications Director, Jewish Voice for Peace

“The idea that withdrawing from stolen land somehow discriminates against Jewish people is insulting. This is Palestinian land that Palestinians are not allowed to enter – it’s a fundamentally unjust situation, and the fact that Airbnb is putting profit over human rights is shameful.”

– Dr. Tallie Ben Daniel, Research and Education Manager, Jewish Voice for Peace

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Jewish Voice for Peace is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. JVP has over 500,000 online supporters, over 70 chapters and 15 student chapters, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.