The popular rental housing marketplace Airbnb has banned Israeli Jews from using its listing services if they happen to live in the disputed West Bank, or Judea and Samaria.
“We concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians,” read a statement from Airbnb.
The West Bank is split into three administrative divisions, with temporary but long-standing governance administered by the Palestinian Authority and Israel, pending a final status agreement. There has never been a sovereign Palestinian state, so there is no historical justification to claim the West Bank as wholly “Palestinian” land. The West Bank was occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967, when Jordan lost the Arab-Israeli Six Day War and departed the disputed lands. The Arabs left behind remained Jordanian citizens until Jordan renounced claims to the lands and the upstart Palestinian national movement claimed them as their own.
It appears that the Airbnb policy applies only to Jews and does not affect Palestinian-owned lands in the West Bank. The discriminatory behavior has drawn outrage on social media.
This is an overtly anti-Semitic act. @Airbnb ought to be sued for anti-Jewish discrimination. Fighting antisemitism means fighting discrimination against all Jews, not just leftist Jews. https://t.co/SNCq7uLryg
— Caroline Glick (@CarolineGlick) November 19, 2018
.@airbnb says it won't list places in "disputed territories" when those residences are owned by Jews, and not otherwise. That's not a policy about disputed territories, but about Jews.
— Eugene Kontorovich (@EVKontorovich) November 19, 2018
I’ve voiced my criticism of settlements before, but this is idiotic at best. How will they recognize Jewish houses in the West Bank? By names?
And why does accommodation website takes political stand and favoring one side over another? What’s going on with @Airbnb? https://t.co/WcCURi9DsE
— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) November 19, 2018
Others noted that the policy only applies to one specific geopolitical dispute. For example, Airbnb will still allow listings in Russia-occupied Crimea and Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus.
Airbnb blacklists Jewish apartments in Judea and Samaria – not Palestinian apartments, not apartments in Turkish occupied Cyprus, in Moroccan occupied Sahara, not in Tibet or the Crimea. Airbnb’s policy is the very definition of anti-Semitism. No one should use its services.
— Michael Oren (@DrMichaelOren) November 19, 2018
— Boris Zilberman (@rolltidebmz) November 19, 2018
Israeli activists warned that the blanket ban would empower groups committed to boycott and eliminate Israel
— (((Gerald M Steinberg))) (@GeraldNGOM) November 19, 2018
Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs, @giladerdan1 attacks @airbnb for their decision to stop advertising apartments in settlements in the occupied West Bank. "This is a surrender to the antisemitic BDS organizations" https://t.co/PvU504jWvP
— Elizabeth Tsurkov (@Elizrael) November 19, 2018
BDS supporters cheered the announcement.
— IPSC (@ipsc48) November 19, 2018
VICTORY! @Airbnb just announced they are removing all listings in West Bank settlements!
Let's keep up the social pressure to cut ties to Israel in support of Palestinian human rights! Call on @edsheeran not to perform in Israel! https://t.co/599KuLu4eU pic.twitter.com/j77ngJjFxt
— CODEPINK (@codepink) November 19, 2018
✊🏽 Enfin ! Airbnb annonce la suppression de toutes les annonces de logements situés dans les colonies israéliennes. Cela fait suite à une mobilisation de longue haleine menée par plusieurs orgas dont BDS & @SumOfUs_Fr
— Sihame Assbague (@s_assbague) November 19, 2018