Skip to main content

Airbnb battle threatens Israeli tourism industry

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin is willing to sacrifice Israel's tourism industry for the sake of his pro-settlement ideology and the fight against the boycott movement.
Read in 

The global property rental giant Airbnb announced Nov. 19 it was removing some 200 listings in Israeli settlements located in the West Bank. ”We concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians,” according to the company’s press release headlined “Listings in Disputed Territories.” The company went on to describe the process that led to its decision, including discussion of “whether companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced.” It concluded by expressing hope “that someday sooner rather than late … there will be a resolution to this historic conflict.”

Airbnb had been mulling the issue for some time. PLO Executive Council head Saeb Erekat demanded in 2016 that the company remove from its listings houses in West Bank settlements, arguing that they had been built illegally on Palestinian lands in violation of international law. This week, he welcomed Airbnb’s decision as “an initial positive step.”

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.