Airbnb’s act of corporate anti-Semitism
Airbnb says: No Jews allowed. The apartment-sharing service has sided against Israel by banning and delisting the apartments of peaceful Jewish civilians living in Judea and Samaria. And that’s not even the worst part.
Nor is the worst part that Airbnb is helping propel the destructive myth that Jews would abandon their claim to the disputed West Bank if only there were enough international pressure.
No, the worst part is that Airbnb has singled out Jews, and only Jews, as the one group in the world that is worthy of such censure. That’s what makes its boycott a naked act of corporate anti-Semitism.
Airbnb says an entire team “struggled to come up with the right approach.” And the right approach evidently was to bar Jews from listing the apartments and homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Airbnb is only targeting Jews — not the present government of Israel or the “Zionists” or any political entity — who live on disputed land.
“Many in the global community have stated that companies should not do business here because they believe companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced,” reads an Airbnb blog post that sounds like it was written by some poli-sci freshman who just wrapped up his first Chomsky tome.
The “global community” is a euphemism for a conglomerate of theocrats and authoritarians, who use the Middle East’s sole democratic state as a distraction to deflect from their own transgressions. It also includes various Western Israel obsessives with misleading names like Human Rights Watch.
Bravo, Airbnb! You have now adopted the immoral hypocrisy of that community.
Because, don’t worry, you can still snag a “modern apartment studio” in the city-center of Sevastopol, Ukraine, annexed by Russia. And Airbnb will hook you up with a “Cozy Studio” near Gulshan-Baridhara in “Tibet, China” — formerly known simply as Tibet. Hey, the Turkish have been depopulating Kurdish towns for decades, but Airbnb is
there for you.
If you want a place on the Gaza Strip, where the state fires hundreds of rockets at Jewish civilians to cheers of the populace, no problem. I mean, Hamas’ charter might say that there’s “no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad,” but for 55 dollars a night, Airbnb has a solution for the discerning traveler.
The company claims that its decision was evaluated on “whether the existence of listings is contributing to existing human suffering.” Yet in countries with stateless minorities and oppressive regimes, a two-bedroom within walking distance of your favorite tourist attraction is almost surely available.
The notion that a glorified rental board believes it can ease human suffering is amusing. Jews will figure out a way to rent their homes. But the ideas Airbnb is helping normalize — namely, those of the anti-Jewish boycott, divest and sanction movement — are serious. Airbnb wants a Judenfrei West Bank. In no other region in the world, and with no other conflict and no other ethnicity, race or faith, would Americans openly accept this kind of prejudice.
It’s a mystery if the crack Airbnb team knows that Jews were forced out of the West Bank when seven Arab armies (and other paramilitary groups) attacked in 1948. It seems unlikely that the firm is aware that hundreds of thousands of Jews were displaced from Muslim nations in the years that followed Israel’s creation. Many of those nations continue to oppress and displace indigenous Christians, and Airbnb continues to do business with them.
Jews would retake the West Bank in 1967, after a number of Arab armies gave it another shot. Since that day, Israel has countless times offered autonomy and nationhood to the people living in vast swaths of that land in exchange for peace. The only reason Jews live in self-contained communities in the West Bank is because Palestinian authorities do nothing to stop the violence aimed at civilians. Actually, Palestinian authorities often spur the violence, not only threatening anyone who sells real estate to Jews but rewarding the families of their murderers with cash.
Now, unless you’re a Canaanite, your claim to live in the West Bank is a complex one. It’s unlikely the team at Airbnb is going to unfurl the problem in any coherent way. So it’s probably best to stay out of it. Because you might end up looking like world-class hypocrites. Or worse, a bunch of anti-Semites.