The company behind the popular online marketplace for renting your home, Airbnb, has has decided to remove rental listings from homes in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who heads the government’s response to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement blasted them for this decision, calling its founders ”racist”.
Professor Eugene Kontorovich, director of International Law at the Kohelet Policy Forum echode the same sentiment durin an interview withCBN News Agency.
“Airbnb’s policy discriminates grossly against people of the Jewish faith and people of the Jewish ethnicity. They treat Jews living in the West Bank different[ly] from any other group,” he said.
Kontorovich said that in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas, the PA punishes Palestinians who sell land to Jews with death.
“So if you have an area where Jews are not allowed to buy houses, Jews are not allowed to live and Airbnb says, ‘there we have no problem listing.’ You have the Jewish areas where anybody can come, anybody can go, there’s free access and Airbnb says, ‘you’re not allowed to list’. So Jews living in their biblical homeland is the one group that Airbnb is keeping off their platform and that should be very disturbing,” he said.
Kontorovich also noted that in the whole world, Airbnb chose to make its point here.
“There is indeed a political dispute about the West Bank, but they’re not saying, ‘we’re not taking listings from the West Bank, they’re saying, ‘we’re not taking listings from Jews in the West Bank. That’s not just a double standard, that’s naked discrimination,” he said.
Airbnb’s practice of allowing listings in the West Bank has been a controversial issue for years, and advocates for Palestinians have decried the practice. Its discontinuation is seen widely as a win for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to inspire boycotts against the state of Israel and Israeli companies that profit off of ”occupied territories”.
Sadly, Airbnb has rendered itself politically motivated and involved in a most partisan manner, singling out Israel only. It is supporting and sanctioning an openly hostile movement that is intent on causing economic and cultural damage to Israel and aligning itself with hostile organizations and groups supporting acts of violence and terror against Israel.
The fact that Airbnb has allowed itself to be manipulated and pressured into singling out Israel and joining a boycott of Israel’s towns and villages in the West Bank is regrettable.
H/T ElderofZiyon Blog