Airbnb reverses listings ban on Israeli settlements in the West Bank

By April 18 2019, 11:36 Latest News No Comments

Airbnb-2-770x529In a reversal of a 2018 policy announcement, Airbnb said this week that it will not remove West Bank settlement listings from its website.

The policy change came in a court settlement Monday between the company and a dozen American Jewish plaintiffs who had sued the company.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claimed that Airbnb was discriminating against them for being Jewish, given that it still allowed listings by Palestinian Muslims and Christians in the West Bank. A copy of the settlement obtained by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency says that Airbnb will now allow rentals in both Palestinian areas and Israeli settlements of the West Bank.

Airbnb announced in November that it would remove some 200 rental listings in West Bank settlements because it contended that the settlements “are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians”.

The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement at the time saw the decision as a victory.

Airbnb said in a statement that it does not support the BDS movement targeting Israel: “Airbnb has always opposed the BDS movement… Airbnb has never boycotted Israel, Israeli businesses, or the more than 20,000 Israeli hosts who are active on the Airbnb platform. We have always sought to bring people together and will continue to work with our community to achieve this goal”.

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