Update 2: Airbnb has put out a new statement and distanced themselves from the statement released by Israel’s Tourism Minister earlier today.
“Airbnb expressed its unequivocal rejection of the BDS movement and communicated its commitment to develop its business in Israel, enabling more tourists from around the world to enjoy the wonders of the country and its people,” the company said in a statement.
“We are here to meet with a variety of stakeholders and as a result of our meetings have an even deeper understanding that this is an incredibly complex and emotional issue. Airbnb communicated that we are developing the tools needed to implement our policy and that process includes continuing our dialogue with the Government of Israel and other stakeholders.”
Update: Israeli media is now reporting after talks with Israel’s Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, Airbnb has decided to lift the ban from Israel’s West Bank, and will not be implementing their new policy announced last month!
Will this change whether you use Airbnb or not?
Despite there being many disputed territories in the world, Judea and Samaria are now the only disputed locations in the world that are not welcome on the Airbnb platform. Airbnb operates everywhere else where it is legally allowed to do so.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging people to stop using Airbnb because of this policy, which it calls anti-Semitic. “We take note that Airbnb has no problem doing business in the territory of the Palestinian Authority, which names schools and shopping centers in honor of mass murderers who have killed innocent civilians and have a ‘pay to slay’ policy when it comes to killing Jews.”
Looking for alternatives to Airbnb? Tripping.com has a list of 9 other sites to consider using.
Will Airbnb’s decision affect how you use their platform?