Some 200 hosts are affected. Israel, in response, said it would try to restrict Airbnb in the country and also encouraged affected hosts to file lawsuits under Israel’s anti-boycott law.
Airbnb noted the policy change on its website.
“As a global platform operating in 191 countries and regions and more than 81,000 cities, we must consider the impact we have and act responsibly,” Airbnb said. The company cited “conflicting views” about doing business with companies “in the occupied territories.”
Israeli’s Tourism Minister Yariv Levin demanded that the management of the Airbnb accommodations reverse its decision.
“This is a disgraceful and miserable decision and a disgraceful surrender by the company,” he said.
Former Ambassador to the United States and present Israeli cabinet member, MK Michael Oren tweeted: “Airbnb blacklists Jewish apartments in Judea and Samaria – not Palestinian apartments, not apartments in Turkish occupied Cyprus, in Moroccan occupied Sahara, not in Tibet or the Crimea. Airbnb’s policy is the very definition of anti-Semitism,”adding that, “No one should use their services.”
Homeland Security Minister Gilad Erdan went as far as to urge Judea and Samaria home owners to sue the American company for discrimination.
“Airbnb executives will have to explain why they chose to take a racist stance against part of Israel’s citizens,” said Erdan, adding that he plans to urge American lawmakers to make sure Airbnb’s new policy is not breaking American state laws against boycotts.
It appears however that only Jewish properties are banned: Airbnb continues to list properties in other occupied and disputed territories, according to International Law Professor Eugene Kontorovich, including Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara and Turkish-occupied Cyprus among others.
Post on Facebook and Twitter with #BoycottAIRBNB, saying you will no longer use AIRBNB until they reverse this policy. Now others, like Booking.com, are being pressured by loud, even if small, leftwing groups to discriminate against Israel.