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Airbnb bans West Bank Jews from using listing services

Conservative Review

The popular rental housing marketplace Airbnb has banned Israeli Jews from using its listing services if they happen to live in the disputed West Bank, or Judea and Samaria.

“We concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians,” read a statement from Airbnb.

The West Bank is split into three administrative divisions, with temporary but long-standing governance administered by the Palestinian Authority and Israel, pending a final status agreement. There has never been a sovereign Palestinian state, so there is no historical justification to claim the West Bank as wholly "Palestinian" land. The West Bank was occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967, when Jordan lost the Arab-Israeli Six Day War and departed the disputed lands. The Arabs left behind remained Jordanian citizens until Jordan renounced claims to the lands and the upstart Palestinian national movement claimed them as their own. 

It appears that the Airbnb policy applies only to Jews and does not affect Palestinian-owned lands in the West Bank. The discriminatory behavior has drawn outrage on social media.

Others noted that the policy only applies to one specific geopolitical dispute. For example, Airbnb will still allow listings in Russia-occupied Crimea and Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus.

Israeli activists warned that the blanket ban would empower groups committed to boycott and eliminate Israel

BDS supporters cheered the announcement.


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