Israel Hits Out at Airbnb’s ‘Shameful’ Decision to Ban West Bank Listings

Israel has reacted with fury after Airbnb announced that it would ban listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. The home-letting site announced its decision Monday, saying it had made the call because settlements were “at the core” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The move, which affects 200 listings, has been praised by Palestinians and some human-rights groups. But Israel’s tourism minister said its government authorities would back legal challenges lodged by settlers against the U.S. firm, and the Yesha Council, which represents Israeli settlers, accused Airbnb of becoming “a political site” that had come to the decision as a “result of either anti-Semitism or capitulation to terrorism, or both.” The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a U.S.-based Jewish human-rights organization, urged Jewish communities to boycott Airbnb. Jewish settlements in the territory occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East war are considered illegal under international law.