It's disturbing to me as a longtime Airbnb host that Airbnb is allowing people in the illegal settlements on the West Bank in Palestine to rent their "properties." (A UN resolution declared them illegal). If the Palestinian people can't got there, why should foreign tourists be going there? Come on Airbnb -- get responsible!
I'm very upset by it too!
I just saw this video from Jewish Voice for Peace
and it really got me thinking that as a host it's my duty to put pressure on AirB&B to change their policies about illegal settlements
My husband was British Consul in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip at the end of the 90s and we feel exactly the same way: AirBnB should not be allowing hosts in the Occupied Territories which are illegal under international law. But realistically, I don't think they will take much notice. After all, you can buy olives in Tesco that were grown in the Occupied Territories.
AirBnB will only take notice if it impairs their image, and to do that this practice would need to be brought to the attention of the media or to their attention by a petition from their hosts all over the world. I read that AirBnB is now a multi billion dollar company. Image means a lot to them, otherwise it's all about the $$, not community responsibility or doing the right thing.
It is aproblam and disturbing me as well. Get real Anita, have you ever been to the west bank or Israel.
The plaestinians got astart the Gaza streep to RULL & GOVERN what did Israel got back ? some few thausend rockets.
Did you ever felt a rocket land near you.
It is very disturbing that you are using this unick place to talk politcs.
Air b&b will you let this shrade take place here ?
Its also not great having someone throw you out of your home at gunpoint and bulldoze it, then build their own house on your ancestral land. Palestinians don't throw rockets for no reason. Can you imagine any race of people in the world who would have an entirely non-violent reaction to being expelled from their own land and homes against international law? In spite of this an extraordinary number of Palestinians are pacifists. I haven't been in the West Bank but my son has lived there. He speaks Arabic and is a lecturer in International Relations specialising in terrorism and political violence, so I have some knowledge of the subject.
In the resolution, the Security Council determined: "that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East"
Airbnb should definitely not list any illegal rentals - in particular, they should not list rentals in illegal settlements in the West Bank.
Here's a quote from
"An opinion by a legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State found the settlements contrary to international law in 1978, though no Administration has officially stated so since the Carter Administration. On April 21, 1978, Legal Adviser of the Department of State Herbert J. Hansel issued an opinion, on request from Congress, that creating the settlements "is inconsistent with international law", and against Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.Hansell found that "[w]hile Israel may undertake, in the occupied territories, actions necessary to meet its military needs and to provide for orderly government during the occupation, for the reasons indicated above the establishment of the civilian settlements in those territories is inconsistent with international law." This opinion, "has neither been revoked or revised", and remains the policy of the United States according to Hansel, The Washington Post, and the Rand Corporation's Palestinian State Study Project. The Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations all publicly characterized the settlements as illegal."
I am a host with Air BnB and find it suits my business very well - holiday cottages and yurts for ecotourism & glamping in Scotland. As current market leader they get the most bookings and take the least commission. But I am also very concerned about the behaviour of Air BnB in Palestine and Israel. We are boycotting Air BnB with our yurts because my business partners (my children) feel very strongly about this issue. And I agree with them.
I would like to be able to use Air BnB for letting the yurts as well, but won't until I get a satisfactory answer from them regarding this bad situation i.e. I want to hear that they have made a decision to stop advertising stolen Palestinian homes as being in Israel. Does anyone know how to even write to Air BnB's ethical committee and ask them a question? They are such a big organisation it seems almost impossible to actually speak to them.
It doesn't fit with the BnB brand to allow hosts in the illegally occuplied terriotories in the West Bank, as they promote themselves as an ethical organisation.
BnB have been asked many times to clarify their position on why they continue to allow hosts illegally occupying property there to host, but refuse to do so.
The only conclusion we can come to is money is more important to them than what is happening there.
Thank you. As a Palestinian American directly affected by what continues to occur throughout Palestine and to my people, I’m deeply gratified for those like you who boycott and advocate for our cause. This abuse at the hands of the Israeli government needs to end once and for all.
We are a Palestinan family and with the assitance of our Israeli freind we try to open an account of Airbnb. The problem is that we cannot approve our location. We live in a small village but even when we try to put the name of the big city near us (Qalqilia) it is not possible to set our location. We wonder if anyone else in the Palestinian Terriroties can help us, as the people from Airbnb are not responsive.
There are at least 3 issues that Airbnb needs to sort out if they wish to be a company that welcomes and respects all people as they say they are trying to do:
1. Acknowledge the occupied west bank as Palestinian, showing Palestinian roads, towns with their Palestinian names, allowing Palestinians to rent out their own homes.
2. Remove all rentals from the settlements, who use, occupy stolen land of the Palestinians. These homes are illegal and therefore have no right to rent. They, by their nature, discriminate.
3. Allow Palestinians to rent homes, when desired, in Israel. I have been turned away countless times when I try to bring my Palestinian friends into west Jerusalem. Israel makes no pretense of discriminating against Palestinians, even though they make up 20% of their population.
I encourage everyone to act to make sure Airbnb lives up to what they say, "a responsibility to ensure that hosts and guests can use our platform without encountering prejudice or discrimination." This does not happen in Palestine.