JERUSALEM — One host, Moriyah, lists the location of her bed-and-breakfast on Airbnb, the home rental site, as Biblical Shiloh, Israel.
It sleeps up to 12 guests for under $140 a night. It has a hot tub. And the area around it offers hikes and springs, workshops and holistic treatments.
What the listing does not make clear is that this B&B, named “Peace of the Valley,” lies in a Jewish settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Most of the world considers the settlements, built on land Israel captured in the 1967 war, to be a violation of international law. Even the Israeli authorities have deemed illegal some of the unauthorized outposts where Airbnb accommodations can be found.
On Monday, Airbnb, long under pressure from Palestinian officials, anti-settlement advocates and human rights groups to end its West Bank settlement listings, announced it would do just that.
“We are most certainly not the experts when it comes to the historical disputes in this region,” the company said in a news release. “Our team has wrestled with this issue and we have struggled to come up with the right approach.”
In the end, the company said it would remove about 200 listings in West Bank settlements that “are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.”
The decision prompted an immediate uproar in Israel.
Israel’s tourism minister, Yariv Levin, called on Airbnb to rescind its “discriminatory decision,” which he called “a disgraceful surrender.” He said he had ordered his office to come up with immediate measures to limit the company’s activity throughout the country, without elaborating.
Referring to the West Bank by its biblical names, Mr. Levin said he had also instructed his ministry to promote a program to encourage tourism and accommodation in vacation apartments throughout Judea and Samaria.
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of strategic affairs, also took issue with Airbnb’s decision.
“National conflicts exist all over the world,” said Mr. Erdan, whose duties include combating the so-called B.D.S. movement, for boycott, divestment and sanctions. “The senior management of Airbnb will have to explain why they specifically, and uniquely, chose to implement this political and discriminatory decision in the case of citizens of the state of Israel.”
Mr. Erdan called on the Airbnb hosts affected to file lawsuits against the company under Israel’s anti-boycott law. He also said he would take up the matter with American officials to discuss whether the decision violated anti-boycott legislation that exists in 25 states.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/19/worl ... -bank.html
IF I HAD UNDERSTOOD THE SITUATION A BIT BETTER I SHOULD HAVE PROBABLY JOINED THE ANARCHISTSGeorge Orwell