17 December 2018

Confusion over Airbnb suspending the implementation of West Bank settlement ban

On Monday 17 December, Airbnb announced in Hebrew language that it has suspended the implementation of its prior decision to remove listings in illegal settlements in the West Bank, after sending a senior delegation to Israel to negotiate with Tourism Minister Yariv Levin. “Our policy will not be implemented,” Airbnb said in a statement in Hebrew following the meeting in Jerusalem between Levin and the company’s delegation, led by Airbnb Vice President Chris Lehane. Levin said the company’s decision “is a step in the right direction” and added he will “continue to make sure all Israeli citizens get equal treatment, and keep on strengthening tourism in Israel, including in Judea and Samaria”. However, the company told reporters that the statement in Hebrew was “released in error” by staff in Israel and issued an English-language statement saying that “we are here to meet with a variety of stakeholders and as a result of our meetings have an even deeper understanding that this is an incredibly complex and emotional issue”.

circle graphic