Calls for Airbnb users to shut accounts over Israeli settlements

Author: 
AFP
ID: 
1557907339885821600
Wed, 2019-05-15 07:30

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: Campaigners called on
supporters of the Palestinian cause to at least temporarily
deactivate their Airbnb accounts on Wednesday to protest its
listings in settlements in the occupied West Bank.
After Israeli pressure, the company last month reversed course and
scrapped plans to ban homes in settlements from listing on the
site.
The decision has led to fresh anger from groups opposed to the
settlements, which are considered illegal under international
law.
A range of organizations including Jewish Voice for Peace and the
Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy have backed a call for an
at least temporary deactivation, with organizers saying thousands
had pledged to do so.
“Ultimately we would like Airbnb to reverse its decision but we
know that won’t be easy,” Salem Barahmeh, executive director of
PIPD, told AFP.
“But I think what we ultimately want to do is end this culture of
impunity where international companies are allowed to be complicit
in supporting war crimes and Israeli settlements that have been
responsible for displacing Palestinians.”
Airbnb declined to comment, pointing instead to its statement from
the April reversal.
That statement says that while the company will not ban settlement
homes it will give all profits from those listings to
charities.
Campaigners say this does not stop the settlers from making
profits.
Around 400,000 Israelis live in settlements that dot the West Bank
and range in size from tiny hamlets to large towns, in addition to
200,000 living in settlements in annexed east Jerusalem.
Settlements are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their
future state.
The date of the protest coincides with the Palestinian
commemoration of what they call the Nakba, or catastrophe, when
hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were expelled from
their land in the war surrounding the creation of Israel.

Main category: 

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Source: FS – All-News-Economy
Calls for Airbnb users to shut accounts over Israeli settlements