Last week, Airbnb—a company that arranges for short-term rentals over the Internet—announced that it would no longer list apartments belonging to Jews who live in the West Bank. David Harsanyi comments:
Airbnb has singled out Jews, and only Jews, as the one group in the world that is worthy of such censure. That’s what makes its boycott a naked act of corporate anti-Semitism. Airbnb says an entire team “struggled to come up with the right approach.” And the right approach evidently was to bar Jews from listing apartments and homes in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. Airbnb is only targeting Jews—not the present government of Israel or the “Zionists” or any political entity—who live on disputed land. . . .
[But] don’t worry, you can still snag a “modern apartment studio” in the city-center of Sevastopol, Ukraine, annexed by Russia. And Airbnb will hook you up with a “cozy studio” near Gulshan-Baridhara in “Tibet, China”—formerly known simply as Tibet. Hey, Turkey has been depopulating Kurdish towns for decades, but Airbnb is there for you. . . .
The company claims that its decision was evaluated on “whether the existence of listings is contributing to existing human suffering.” Yet in countries with stateless minorities and oppressive regimes, a two-bedroom within walking distance of your favorite tourist attraction is almost surely available.
The notion that a glorified rental board believes it can ease human suffering is amusing. Jews will figure out a way to rent their homes. But the ideas Airbnb is helping normalize—namely, those of the . . . boycott, divest, and sanction movement (BDS)—are serious. Airbnb wants a judenfrei West Bank. In no other region in the world, and with no other conflict and no other ethnicity, race, or faith, would Americans openly accept this kind of prejudice.