By Randa Darwish
It has been years since pro-Palestine boycott groups started an international campaign to pressure home-renting company Airbnb to stop operating in Israeli settlements built on the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank.
On Monday, November 19, 2018, Airbnb announced they are corresponding to the pressure and will remove all properties listed in Israeli settlements after they were accused of benefiting from the rents in illegal outposts.
According to international law, the settlements are a critical Israeli violation of human rights.
Airbnb’s decision has led to endless controversy on social media. With major support for Airbnb’s efforts to stand up for justice and stop getting benefit at the expense of Palestinians.
Palestinians also celebrated the decision.
In the meantime, the news sparked anger inside Israel and among its politicians. The Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan called on hosts of Airbnb inside Israel to file lawsuits against the company if the decision harms them according to Israel’s anti-boycott law.
Israel's Deputy Minister for Diplomacy, Michael Oren, tweeted expressing his condemnation of Airbnb’s stance that comes as a definition of “anti-Semitism."
He also condemned Airbnb’s silence on the “Turkish occupation of Cyprus” and “Moroccan occupation of Sahara”.
His tweet was widely mocked.
However, many rode on the same wave criticizing Israel for its “double standards”.
Some Israelis announced their deactivation of Airbnb accounts as kind of a response to the “discriminatory” decision announced against Israel.
On the other hand, some criticized Airbnb anyway, accusing it of being “careless” about social justice matters. All that matters to the home-renting company is their reputation that might be affected if they continued operating in Israel.
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