In one of many lawsuits that Airbnb settled, 12 American Jewish households, who’re potential Airbnb hosts or friends in Israeli settlements within the West Financial institution, claimed that the coverage discriminated towards them on the premise of their faith.
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, a lawyer for the plaintiffs and president of the pro-Israel Shurat HaDin Israel Regulation Middle, which organized the lawsuit, stated in a press release on Tuesday that different worldwide firms ought to take be aware that “boycotting Israel and discriminating towards Jews are illegal acts which is able to in the end end in dire authorized penalties, public condemnations and embarrassment.”
That lawsuit was filed in federal court docket in Delaware, the place Airbnb is integrated. The opposite three Airbnb authorized settlements had been associated to litigation based mostly in New York, California and Israel.
On the crux of the lawsuit in Delaware was the plaintiffs’ objection to Airbnb’s singling out the West Financial institution in placing the coverage in place regardless of the existence of different disputed territories world wide, stated Robert Tolchin, a New York-based lawyer for the plaintiffs.
In January, Airbnb expanded that coverage to different areas with an announcement that it might additionally take away listings in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, disputed territories within the Caucasus. Airbnb stated Tuesday that its West Financial institution coverage would even be utilized to that area, in addition to different locations the place the corporate decided housing was “central to ongoing tensions.”
In its assertion on Tuesday, Airbnb disavowed the boycott, divestment and sanctions motion, often called B.D.S., which Israeli politicians accused it of supporting after the announcement of the coverage final yr.
Human Rights Watch, the advocacy group, had urged Airbnb to take away listings of properties in Israeli settlements. Shortly after the November announcement, the group launched a report analyzing the standing of the land on which 139 Airbnb properties within the Israeli settlements had been situated. The report stated that rental firms like Airbnb allowed the settlements to be extra worthwhile and sustainable, which facilitates Israel’s “illegal switch of its residents to the settlements.”