(November 25, 2018 / JNS) In the wake of Airbnb’s decision last week to remove listings of rentals in Israeli settlements, the city council in Beverly Hills, California, announced over the weekend it plans to boycott the short-term home-rental company.
“We find the actions of Airbnb deplorable,” Beverly Hills Mayor Julian Gold said in a statement, issued by the city. “On behalf of our residents, this unanimous resolution reflects the city council’s ongoing commitment to Israel and to exposing hatred anywhere it exists.”
Vice Mayor John Mirisch added: “Airbnb is not welcome in Beverly Hills as long as its policies are based on anti-Jewish double standards. Jew-hatred is a disease. We can try to inoculate others against this malady, but we also must protect ourselves against its effects.”
The city council’s resolution states that Beverly Hills “hereby opposes Airbnb’s discriminatory decision to remove all listings in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The City of Beverly Hills hereby calls upon Airbnb to correct this act of disrespect to the land of Israel and restore its original services immediately.”
“In the event that Airbnb does not stop, we call upon all civilized people across the globe to boycott Airbnb until such time as they desist from these despicable anti-Semitic actions,” the resolution said.
Last Thursday, lawyers in Israel filed a class action lawsuit against the company, accusing it of “outrageous discrimination” and demanding monetary compensation for delisting dozens of properties located in Jewish settlements.
The San Francisco-based company said it was removing listings of around 200 homes in settlements after hearing criticism from people who “believe companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced.”
The decision prompted threats by Israeli officials to impose higher taxes on the company in retribution. Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) encouraged Israelis to sue the company.
Airbnb’s delisting applies only to Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria, where Palestinians have limited self-rule. It does not apply to Israel itself, nor does it apply to east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
Israel strongly objects to international boycotts, including boycotts of the settlements, viewing this as discriminatory.