Skip to main content

Amnesty blasts Airbnb for settlement listings as company goes public

The London-based rights group called on Airbnb to unlist around 200 rental properties in the West Bank.
GettyImages-1091199026.jpg

As Airbnb's made its long-awaited public market debut, Amnesty International accused the home-sharing company of being “deeply compromised” by its Israeli settlement listings in the West Bank.  

The London-based rights group said Airbnb has some 200 properties for rent in settlements that are widely considered illegal by the international community.  

“Shamefully, Airbnb has been promoting and benefiting from a situation that is a root cause of the systematic human rights violations faced by millions of Palestinians on a daily basis," Saleh Higazi, deputy regional director for Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said in a statement. 

Airbnb “needs to do right by future investors and stop benefiting from illegal settlements,” Higazi said. 

In February, the San Francisco-based service was named in a United Nations database of 112 companies linked to Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including Booking.com, Expedia Group and Motorola Solutions. 

Amnesty said Airbnb’s regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) did not mention its business operations in the West Bank or that the company appeared on the UN blacklist. 

The Palestinians envision the land Israel captured in the 1967 war as part of their future independent state. In a reversal of decadeslong US policy, the Trump administration said last year that the settlements on the contested land do not violate international law. 

In 2018, Airbnb said it would get rid of its settlement listings, but the next year it reversed that decision and offered to donate the profits to “nonprofit organizations dedicated to humanitarian aid that serve people in different parts of the world.”

Airbnb’s shares opened at $146 on the company’s first day of trading Thursday, a 115% increase from its initial public offering price.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Free

The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.

Free

What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing
Expert

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to pro.support@al-monitor.com and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial