Airbnb reverses ban on West Bank rentals, pledges to send proceeds to aid organizations – National

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Airbnb mentioned on Tuesday it will not implement a deliberate delisting of Israeli settlements within the occupied West Financial institution and would donate proceeds from any bookings within the territory to worldwide humanitarian support organizations.

Heeding calls from Palestinians who need the West Financial institution for a future state, Airbnb had mentioned in November it will take away the listings of some 200 settlement properties. That call was deplored by Israel and challenged in some U.S. jurisdictions.

Saying a decision of lawsuits introduced in opposition to it, Airbnb mentioned it “won’t transfer ahead with implementing the elimination of listings within the West Financial institution from the platform.”

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“However Airbnb will take no income from this exercise within the area,” mentioned an announcement posted on the corporate web site, implying the brand new coverage wouldn’t distinguish between settlement listings and Palestinian listings within the West Financial institution.

“Any income generated for Airbnb … will probably be donated to non-profit organizations devoted to humanitarian support that serve folks in numerous elements of the world.”

There was no fast response from Israeli or Palestinian officers.

READ MORE: Airbnb accused of ‘outrageous discrimination’ after pulling listings from Israeli settlements

Most world powers view Israel‘s development of settlements on occupied land as a violation of worldwide regulation, and Palestinians say it’s mistaken for corporations to revenue from them.

“Airbnb’s disappointing choice seems to reverse their stance to totally respect rights,” Human Rights Watch mentioned in an announcement. “By persevering with to do enterprise in settlements, they continue to be complicit within the abuses settlements set off.”

Airbnb was sued over its proposed delisting of West Financial institution residences final November in Jerusalem District Court docket and, individually, in a U.S. federal courts in Delaware and California.

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The Israeli lawsuit, a category motion, accused the corporate of “outrageous discrimination” and demanded financial damages.

The Delaware lawsuit accused Airbnb of violating U.S. housing discrimination regulation by “redlining” Jewish-owned properties whereas letting Muslims and Christians proceed to make use of the corporate’s service. The California lawsuit made related claims.

The Shurat HaDin Regulation Middle in Israel, which was concerned within the U.S. lawsuit in opposition to Airbnb, known as the corporate’s about-face “a robust defeat for the anti-Israel boycott motion.”

“The coverage Airbnb introduced final November was abject discrimination in opposition to Jewish customers of the web site,” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, one of many legal professionals within the U.S. case, mentioned in an announcement.

“We commend Airbnb for recognizing that it had landed on the mistaken facet of this concern and altering the coverage.”

Attorneys for the California plaintiffs couldn’t instantly be reached.

Airbnb has denied that its West Financial institution delisting plan had focused Israel normally. “Airbnb has by no means boycotted Israel, Israeli companies, or the greater than 20,000 Israeli hosts who’re energetic on the Airbnb platform,” the corporate assertion mentioned.

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