Airbnb Sued as a Result of its Ban on West Bank Listings

Last week, a group of Jewish United States citizens sued Airbnb in a U.S. federal court in Delaware, claiming religious discrimination. The lawsuit alleges that the company’s decision to remove approximately 200 homes listed in Israel’s occupied West Bank amounts to “redlining” of properties owned by Jews while individuals of other faith groups may still list and rent out their homes in the same area in question.

Plaintiffs claim that Airbnb’s decision violates Americans’ rights because it determines who can list properties in the region based on an owner’s religion and nationality. Among the damages sought are injunctive relief and lost rental income. Airbnb defended its position, stating that “companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced.”

Although about 500,000 Israelis reside in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a majority of world powers believe that these settlements on occupied territory violate international law.

A second lawsuit also challenging Airbnb’s decision was filed on November 22 in Jerusalem.

Additional Reading

Jewish Americans Sue Airbnb Over West Bank Listing Ban, Reuters, November 28, 2018

Silver et al v. Airbnb, Inc. via Justia Dockets

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