Campaigners in support of Palestinians are calling for Airbnb users to deactivate their accounts to protest the company’s decision to allow rental listings for settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy (PIPD) and Jewish Voice for Peace were among the organizations calling for a boycott.
“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, adding that he hopes the pressure would stop international companies from being “complicit in supporting war crimes and Israeli settlements.”
In January, Amnesty International denounced travel companies including Airbnb, Expedia and TripAdvisor for operating in Israeli settlements, which it said contributes to and profits from the settlements.
Airbnb’s April statement said that while the company would not be removing its listings, it would be giving the profits to non-profit organizations. Pro-Palestinian campaigners argue that it still brings profits to the settlers.
The protest coincides with the anniversary of the 1948 Palestinian exodus, also known as the Nakba or “the Catastrophe,” during which more than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes during the Arab-Israeli War.