“Is what Airbnb doing internationally illegal, or simply a disgrace?
“Imagine a gorgeous home for your next getaway: a well-stocked kitchen, pool out the patio doors, nice linens, flowers on the bedside table. Sounds great, right?
“Here’s the problem:
“That house: stolen.
“That land: stolen.
“The roads on that stolen land to take you to the stolen house: segregated.
“The borders and checkpoints and airports you took to get there: closed to the very people whose homes they are.
“Airbnb, the global tourism giant, is profiting from vacation rentals in Israeli settlements, built on stolen Palestinian land and illegal under international law. Every time someone rents an Airbnb house in a Palestinian settlement, Airbnb takes a cut.
“Airbnb’s anti-discrimination policy states that they prohibit listings that promote racism, discrimination, or harm to individuals or groups, and require all users to comply with local laws. But their listings in settlements are just another example of a trend we’ve seen time and again: corporations turning a blind eye to flagrant violations of international law so they can profit from Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestine.
“This isn’t the first time that Israel has used tourism as both a means and an end: expropriating more Palestinian land and resources in the name of tourism, while also using those tourist images to distract from its human rights abuses. Beach scenes beckon gay men to Tel Aviv — never mind that Palestinian fishermen less than 40 miles away in Gaza can’t work for fear of being shot. Images of fancy wineries promise idyllic getaways — just ignore the illegal settlement outpost beyond the visitor center. And archeological digs offer riveting history lessons — but don’t ask about the Palestinian villages they’re digging under.
“Settlers know as well as Israeli politicians that tourism is a way to legitimise their illegal prescence. By allowing settlement “hosts” Airbnb is doing Israel’s dirty work”. (Jewish Voice for Peace Jan 2016, as composed by them).
The above was written by concerned Jewish activists, not by me.
Airbnb should be comprehensively boycotted until they stop renting these houses. The trouble is that the Western media refuses to broadcast the facts for fear of being branded “anti-semitic”. Therefore the public are quite unaware of the problem. Israel spends a fortune on public relations, and tourists are treated as VIPs, never seeing the other side of the story. Decent, kindly people who have been to Israel and rented houses, instead of staying at hotels, will quite likely excoriate me for even raising the matter, so thorough and comprehensive is the PR produced by Israel. We are all easily persuaded by smiling, happy faces in magazines and on TV, but content not to look too closely at the real situation, comfortable in our denial.