A global coalition launched today a campaign against the international home-renting company, Airbnb, for reversing its decision to delist properties in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, according to a press release.
In April, Airbnb confirmed it would not implement a planned delisting of Israeli settlements, which are considered illegal under international law, in the occupied West Bank and would “donate proceeds from any of these bookings to international humanitarian aid organizations,” even though the listings are “at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.”
The global coalition is requesting that people worldwide should deactivate their Airbnb accounts on May 15th on Nakba Day or “catastrophe.” So far, thousands of people across the world, from Chile to Indonesia, have answered the coalition’s call to action and have committed to #deactivateAirbnb.
The press release said that “Israeli settlements are considered war crimes under international law and are responsible for the displacement of Palestinians and the theft of their land. By doing business in these settlements, Airbnb and other international companies are contributing to the economic viability of settlements and are normalizing Israeli annexation of Palestinian land.”
Despite the intense documentation and scrutiny from prominent human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Airbnb is choosing to directly promote discrimination, oppression, and injustice – and failing to uphold its corporate responsibility to respect human rights, the press release said.
Salem Barahmeh, executive director of the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, “It is time to end this culture of impunity that has allowed the occupation, oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people to continue.”
Barahmeh added, “International companies are complicit in perpetuating this injustice and must be held accountable. Through the #deactivateAirbnb campaign, people can choose whether to be complicit in supporting war crimes or ending them.”
On May 15th, the 1948 Nakba or “catastrophe” will be commemorated for the 71st year, re-focusing the world’s attention on the 750,000 Palestinians displaced during and after the establishment of the state of Israel, and the more than five million Palestinians who remain refugees as they wait to return to their lands in Israel.