On Tuesday, Airbnb announced that it would end its policy prohibiting listings owned by Jews in Judea and Samaria from being listed on their platform.
Airbnb implemented the policy in November because they claimed that Jewish settlements in the West Bank “are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.”
“We know that people will disagree with this decision and appreciate their perspective. This is a controversial issue,” Airbnb said, reported The Daily Wire. “There are many strong views as it relates to lands that have been the subject of historic and intense disputes between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank.”
But now Airbnb is reversing the policy after a court settlement between the company and a dozen American Jewish plaintiffs, reported the Jewish Journal.
“Airbnb takes no position on the Host-Plaintiffs’ claims, or others’ claims, to legal title to the properties on which the accommodations are located,” the court settlement reads. “All listings for accommodations located in the Affected Region [the West Bank] will at all times be permitted on its platform, subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.”
The plaintiff’s attorney, Robert Tolchin, said Airbnb was not permitted to “provide services to selected religious group to engineer who it thinks should be allowed to live where.”
“We are gratified that the legal process has worked and that as a result of the case we filed Airbnb came to recognize the mistake it had made and changed their policy,” Tolchin added.
According to the Jewish Journal, although Airbnb had this policy, it was never actually enforced.
In a press release, Airbnb said although they would not move forward with removing Jewish-owned listings in the West Bank, they would “take no profits from this activity in the region.”
“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,” the press release said. “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.”
Airbnb added that the company “has always opposed” the Boycott Divest and Sanction movement.
“Airbnb has never boycotted Israel, Israeli businesses, or the more than 20,000 Israeli hosts who are active on the Airbnb platform,” the statement said. “We have always sought to bring people together and will continue to work with our community to achieve this goal.”
Airbnb also said that they will be evaluating other areas around the world with disputed territories.
Daily Wire Editor-In-Chief Ben Shapiro had pointed out how discriminatory the policy was.
This is the sheerest form of corporate anti-Semitism in recent memory. Not only did AirBNB specifically target “Israeli settlements,” according to Professor Eugene Kontorovich of George Mason Law, they’ve announced that they will only disallow listings in Israeli settlements when those listings are owned by Jews. In other words, if a Jew owns an apartment in East Jerusalem, that won’t be allowed for listing; if an Arab owns an apartment in the same neighborhood, it’s fine for listing.
This is absurd. As Dr. Michael Oren points out, AirBNB lists apartments in Turkish-occupied Cyprus, the Moroccan-occupied Sahara, Chinese-occupied Tibet and Russian-occupied Crimea. Not only that, but AirBNB allows listings in a wide variety of countries without any democratic rights and with wildly discriminatory policies.
Judea and Samaria are disputed territories, not “occupied” territories. Israel controls those territories thanks to repeated refusal by Arab states that repeatedly declared war on Israel to accept any peace deal. Radical Muslim anti-Semites and their left-wing apologists insist not only that these territories be turned over to the terrorist Palestinian Authority for control, but that Jews evacuate those territories entirely, making them Judenrein. Remember, this AirBNB policy isn’t targeting the Israeli government — it’s targeting Jews themselves for living in areas under international dispute.