Kulanu Knesset member and Deputy Minister Michael Oren has called for a general boycott of the global Airbnb vacation rental listing service, based in San Francisco.
Oren said on Monday that no one should use the low-cost service, because its policy is “the very definition of anti-Semitism.”
The call came in response to a blacklist issued by the business, which has removed all Jewish apartments in Judea and Samaria from its listings — “not Palestinian apartments, not apartments in Turkish occupied Cyprus, in Morrocan occupied Sahara, not in Tibet or the Crimea,” Oren pointed out in a post on the Twitter social networking site.
“Airbnb’s policy is the very definition of anti-Semitism. No one should use its services.”
Airbnb blacklists Jewish apartments in Judea and Samaria – not Palestinian apartments, not apartments in Turkish occupied Cyprus, in Moroccan occupied Sahara, not in Tibet or the Crimea. Airbnb’s policy is the very definition of anti-Semitism. No one should use its services.
— Michael Oren (@DrMichaelOren) November 19, 2018
Likewise, Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin demanded the management of the Airbnb site cancel the move.
“This is a miserable decision and a disgraceful surrender by the company,” Levin said. He has ordered ministry staff to implement measures to restrict the activity of Airbnb throughout Israel, while encouraging tourism and hospitality throughout Judea and Samaria.
Strategic Affairs and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called the move a “submission to the anti-Semitic BDS organizations… a choice to take a racist political stance against some of Israel’s citizens.”
The announcement that Airbnb was removing the Judea and Samaria apartments from its listings precedes a Human Rights Watch report and campaign on the issue, according to a report by NGO Monitor.
“Airbnb is the latest target of the NGO network’s anti-Israel boycott campaign,” said Professor Gerald Steinberg, founder and president of NGO Monitor.
“Using the facade of international law, Human Rights Watch and allied Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, funded by European governments, are trying BDS warfare again after 18 years of failure.
“Unlike Caterpillar, HP, and SodaStream — which rejected discriminatory boycotts — Airbnb has succumbed to a misinformation campaign from so-called “experts,” he added.
“In all likelihood,” Steinberg commented, “the backlash against the company will have more of an impact than its misguided foray into politics.”