20 Jan, 2016
Full text of message from
Visit StolenHomes.org, and tell Airbnb to stop listing stolen homes.
Imagine a gorgeous home for your next getaway: a well-stocked kitchen, pool out the patio doors, nice linens, flowers on the bedside table. Sounds great, right?
Here’s the problem:
That house: stolen.
That land: stolen.
The roads on that stolen land to take you to the stolen house: segregated.
The borders and checkpoints and airports you took to get there: closed to the very people whose homes they are.
Airbnb, the global tourism giant, is profiting off vacation rentals in Israeli settlements, built on stolen Palestinian land and illegal under international law.
Join JVP and our allies — American Muslims for Palestine, CodePink, the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and the U.S. Palestinian Community Network — to demand that Airbnb stop listing stolen homes as tourist destinations.
Airbnb’s anti-discrimination policy states that they prohibit listings that promote racism, discrimination, or harm to individuals or groups, and require all users to comply with local laws. But their listings in settlements are just another example of a trend we’ve seen time and again: corporations turning a blind eye to flagrant violations of international law so they can profit from Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestine.
This isn’t the first time that Israel has used tourism as both a means and an end: expropriating more Palestinian land and resources in the name of tourism, while also using those tourist images to distract from its human rights abuses. Beach scenes beckon gay men to Tel Aviv — nevermind that Palestinian fishermen less than 40 miles away in Gaza can’t work for fear of being shot. Images of fancy wineries promise idyllic getaways — just ignore the illegal settlement outpost beyond the visitor center. And archeological digs offer riveting history lessons — but don’t ask about the Palestinian villages they’re digging under.
Settlers know as well as Israeli politicians that tourism is a way to legitimate their illegal presence. By allowing settlement “hosts,” Airbnb is doing Israel’s dirty work. We don’t have to stand for it.
News broke about Airbnb’s settlement profit last week, and there’s already been a massive international outcry. Now we have to funnel that anger into real change. Together, we can challenge Israel’s use of tourism for land-grabs and we can hold Airbnb to account.