Airbnb, the giant online apartment rental site will delist 200 apartments of Israeli squatters on the Palestinian West Bank. The company has long been criticized for violating international law by dealing with the illegal colonists.
Israel occupied the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza in 1967, and has introduced Apartheid rule there, keeping the Palestinians stateless. By the 2002 Statute of Rome, administered by the International Court of Justice, Apartheid is a crime against humanity.
Human Rights Watch is preparing a 60 page report on the international hospitality business in the Occupied West Bank in which it was going to call out Airbnb. Palestinians in Europe might be able to sue it because of European Court rulings and the stance of European governments on the illegality of Israeli actions in the West Bank, and the company, not wanting that kind of trouble, has just gotten out of this market.
The Israel lobbies directed by the country’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs have blatantly interfered in the internal affairs of the United States by getting legislators in some states to pass laws against boycotting Israeli Apartheid institutions. Cory Booker is trying to do the same in Congress at the Federal level.
This move was tried by white segregationists against the Civil Rights movement, which urged boycotts of white supremacist restaurants and other establishments. The Supreme Court threw the suit out on the grounds that boycotts are free speech covered by the First Amendment. The Likudniks are trying to repeal your first amendment rights in order to protect their Apartheid colonialism in the West Bank.
Unless even the US courts have become corrupt, any such squatter lawsuits will be laughed out of court. The NAACP V Claiborne Hardware (1982) disallowed state prohibitions on politically motivated boycotts by an 8-0 SCOTUS vote. This is also why the University of Michigan will almost certainly lose if it is sued over its current attempt to prohibit practical Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) on the part of faculty. Airbnb will win, as well, and should ask for damages, too, if it is sued.
The HRW report could have disadvantaged Airbnb with regard to competitors, given that many people in the US are committing to Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment from Israel over its naked land grab and mistreatment of the Palestinians, whom it systematically keeps stateless and without basic human rights.
Featured Photo h/t Ma’an News Agency