In November 2018, Airbnb caved to pressure from the extremist Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (“BDS”) propaganda movement agreeing to ban Jewish listings from its platform. Shurat HaDin immediately filed a lawsuit on behalf of Israeli and Jewish American homeowners and renters, against Airbnb pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the 1968 Civil Rights Act, on the grounds Airbnb’s policy discriminated against them on the basis of their religion and national origin.
In a high profile defeat for the anti-Israel boycott movement, Airbnb agreed to rescind its discriminatory redlining policy removing listings in Judea and Samaria from its platform. Under a settlement agreement, Airbnb will adopt a neutral policy towards all properties in the region, allowing all owners to list their homes on its web platform regardless of their religion, race, or national origin. As Shurat HaDin’s president Nitsana Darshan Leitner stated: “BDS is an antiSemitic campaign which purports to care about human rights but whose real goal is to replace the Jewish State with a Palestinian one. Other international companies need to learn the lessons from Airbnb’s mistake and understand that boycotting Israel and discriminating against Jews are unlawful acts which will ultimately result in dire legal consequences, public condemnations, and embarrassment. No outside party can decide for Israel what its legitimate borders will be or where Jews will be permitted to live.”