Five months after announcing that it was delisting homes in the "disputed" West Bank Jewish settlements, international vacation rentals giant Airbnb has reversed its decision.
Airbnb found itself beset by lawsuits by the owners of properties in the Jewish settlements and potential customers wanting to rent accommodation there. Among the suits, Jewish residents of the West Bank claimed they were being discriminated against because properties belonging to West Bank Christians and Muslims would continue to be listed by Airbnb.
Airbnb said, "Airbnb is announcing that we have settled all lawsuits that were brought by hosts and potential hosts and guests who objected to a policy the company recently announced concerning listings in disputed areas."
"Under the settlement terms, Airbnb will not move forward with implementing the removal of listings in the West Bank from the platform. We understand the complexity of the issue that was addressed in our previous policy announcement, and we will continue to allow listings throughout all of the West Bank, but Airbnb will take no profits from this activity in the region. Any profits generated for Airbnb by any Airbnb host activity in the entire West Bank will be donated to non-profit organizations dedicated to humanitarian aid that serve people in different parts of the world. Airbnb will also implement the same approach for listings in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two other disputed areas where the company has previously announced that we would take action."
"Airbnb has always opposed the BDS movement. Airbnb has never boycotted Israel, Israeli businesses, or the more than 20,000 Israeli hosts who are active on the Airbnb platform. We have always sought to bring people together and will continue to work with our community to achieve this goal."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 10, 2019
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