In November, the company suggested it would not conduct business in the sensitive area, stating it would “remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank,” recognizing that the area was at “the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.”
That position was shortlived when Monday, the firm stated it “unequivocally” rejects the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Now, the firm demonstrates a commitment to a different purpose aimed at benefitting Israel, as it wants to have “more tourists from around the world enjoy the wonders of the country and its people.”
The change in policy may indicate Airbnb has yielded to pressure from the Israeli government and decided to backtrack on its earlier stance.
After Airbnb’s November announcement, Yariv Levin, the minister of tourism for Israel, threatened to undertake legal action against the firm in the United States and at home.
Levin is pleased with Airbnb’s recent decision which he says “is a step in the right direction” and took the opportunity to promote the State of Israel saying he will “continue to make sure all Israeli citizens get equal treatment, and keep on strengthening tourism in Israel.”
In September, senior United Nations officials called on Israel “not to proceed with the demolition and to cease efforts to relocate Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank,” actions which are considered to be “contrary to international law,” as well as threatening the integrity of Palestine as they could “undermine the chances for the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state.”