Palestinians Condemn Airbnb for Backtracking on Delisting Israeli Settlements

Saeb Erekat says Airbnb's decision not to de-list Jewish homes in the West Bank 'signals the complicity of the company with the systematic denial of our inalienable right to self-determination'

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
File photo: a cat jumps at a guest house advertised on Airbnb international home-sharing site in Nofei Prat settlement at the West Bank, January 17, 2016.
File photo: a cat jumps at a guest house advertised on Airbnb international home-sharing site in Nofei Prat settlement at the West Bank, January 17, 2016.Credit: Tsafrir Abayov / AP

Airbnb's with excluding Jewish settlements in the West Bank from its accommodation listings Palestinian condemnation on Wednesday and accusations that it was helping to perpetuate Israeli occupation. 

Heeding calls from who want the West Bank for a future state, Airbnb had said in November it would remove the listings of some 200 settlement homes. 

>> Analysis:  ■ Opinion: 

That decision was deplored by Israel and challenged in some U.S. jurisdictions. 

Announcing a resolution of lawsuits brought against it, Airbnb said it "will not move forward with implementing the removal of listings in the West Bank from the platform." 

Chief Palestinian Negotiator said in a statement that this "signals the complicity of the company with the systematic denial of our inalienable right to self-determination." 

He said Airbnb's announcement that it would take no profits from its activities in the West Bank "is nothing but a shameful attempt at whitewashing their complicity." 

There was no official comment from Israel, which held a national election on Tuesday. 

Most world powers view Israel's construction of on occupied land as a violation of international law, and Palestinians say it is wrong for companies to profit from them. Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war. 

Airbnb was sued of West Bank apartments last November in Jerusalem District Court and, separately, in U.S. federal courts in Delaware and California. 

The Israeli lawsuit, a class action, accused the company of "outrageous discrimination" and demanded monetary damages. 

The of violating U.S. housing discrimination law by excluding Jewish-owned properties while letting Muslims and Christians continue to use Airbnb to let their accommodation. The California lawsuit made similar claims. 

Airbnb has denied that its West Bank delisting plan targeted Israel in general. "Airbnb has never boycotted Israel, Israeli businesses, or the more than 20,000 Israeli hosts who are active on the Airbnb platform," the company statement said. 

Comments