Airbnb Removes Chicago Apartment That Won't 'Tolerate' Zionism

The listing also said unaccompanied straight men 'should look elsewhere'

Ron Kampeas
Ron Kampeas

Airbnb removed a Chicago-area listing after a prospective renter posted its prohibition on expressions of “zionism.”

“This apartment strives to be a safe space – no sexism, homophobia, zionism, racism, classism, transphobia, xenophobia, fatphobia, or other hatred and prejudice is tolerated,” said the listing that appeared earlier this month advertising a bedroom in a “massive loft” located “at the heart of Wrigley and Boystown.”

“Guests who make the space unsafe or exhibit problematic behavior WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE WITHOUT A REFUND,” it said.

Nick Papas, a spokesman for the popular tourism rental website, told JTA on Monday that the listing was suspended and Airbnb will investigate.

“Airbnb hosts may not decline a guest based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status,” Papas said.

The listing also said unaccompanied straight men “should look elsewhere.”

The Airbnb host is named Sarah. With her listing removed, she could not be reached for comment.

Suzanne Vega, a New Yorker who planned a visit to see friends in Chicago, first posted the listing on Facebook and noted her concerns. An acquaintance, Lea Speyer, reposted it on Twitter.

Vega, 27, of Brooklyn, told JTA that she was searching the site for “progressive” spaces because she is LGBTQ.

“I needed an environment that was going to be safe to me all around,” she said.

Vega believes in engaging with those with political differences, but not those who would negate the rights of LGBTQ people.

“I can’t get along with ultra-right people,” she said.

The listing unsettled her, Vega said, because the ban on expressions of “zionism” and the penalty for doing so would inhibit her talking about her Judaism and her recent visit to Israel.

“What does it entail? I can’t say anything about Israel, I can’t say anything about being Jewish?” she said.

Additionally, Vega noted, the listing did not prohibit exhibitions of anti-Semitism.

“It bothered me so heavily I posted about it,” she said. “I felt unsafe.”

Vega said she was on the alert heading into her Chicago vacation because of the controversy last year when the Chicago Dyke March banned marchers showing Jewish pride by bearing Stars of David.

“I’m very progressive and somewhat left-wing for sure,” she said. “The extreme left are incapable of having a dialogue.”

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


נתניהו עם כיפה שחורה על הראש נשען בשתי ידיו על הכותל

Israel Is Heading for Its Most 'Jewish' Election Ever

An El Al jet sits on the tarmac at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Thursday, in 2003.

El Al to Stop Flying to Toronto, Warsaw and Brussels

FILE PHOTO: A Star of David hangs from a fence outside the dormant landmark Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2021.

American Judaism Is in Decline. That's Great News for American Jews

Crowds at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, in April.

U.S. Official: West Bank Entry for Palestinian Americans Unrelated to Israeli Visa Waivers

Haaretz spoke with several people who said they had fled Ukraine, arrived in Israel,  and were asked to undergo DNA tests in order to establish paternity.

'My Jewish Grandmother Has a Number on Her Arm, Why Does Israel Greet Me This Way?'

People taking part in the annual "March of the Living" to commemorate the Holocaust, between the former death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, four years ago.

It’s Not Just the Holocaust. Israel Is Failing to Teach the History of the Jews