Airbnb has a problem in Israel...

This is not new, but – still – it’s important:

Following a number of media reports that its accommodation listings included settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, the world’s most popular online lodging platform Airbnb was added to the BDS list of companies and individuals profiting from the Israeli-Palestinian war.

BDS (short for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement) is a global campaign organization dedicated to convincing people and governments to increase both economic and political pressure on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian land and the Golan Heights. As a part of the campaign, BDS has organized numerous protests and demonstrations and aired multiple petitions and press articles to put pressure on companies and individuals that have contracts concerning Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. The organization has also come up with an annual series of academic rallies and lectures aimed at educating people of the Israeli occupation of West Bank and Gaza.

The hosts listing their properties on Airbnb are also required to list its accurate location. According to Husam Zomlot, the ambassador-at-large for Palestine, listing one that is located in occupied Palestinian territories as located in Israel is “not only controversial, it’s illegal and criminal.” His conclusion: “This website is promoting stolen properties and land.”

On the other hand, it’s hard to determine the degree to which Airbnb is responsible for its users” particular listings.

No matter the take, it’s advisable to be careful.

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Image Credits: By israeltourism (via Wikimedia Commons) CC BY 2.0

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