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Orthodox Rabbis Call For Airbnb Boycott, Citing Double Standard On West Bank

Several groups and public figures have called for a boycott of Airbnb after it stopped listing Jewish-owned properties located in the West Bank.

The Coalition for Jewish Values created a petition for people to pledge not to use the home-renting platform, condemning the decision as anti-Semitic.

Airbnb made the announcement last week, following pressure from Palestinian officials, anti-settlement advocates and human rights groups, the New York Times reported. The settlements were built on land Israel obtained in the 1967 war, leading many to consider them against the law.

“They claim that ‘companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced,’ which condemns their own business practices in unquestionably occupied areas around the world,” said Rabbi Pesach Lerner, president of the CJV. “Clearly, this is a facade; in the end, the only unique facet of the properties they will not list is that they are owned by Jews.”

The boycott began with Michael Oren, Deputy Minister to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and formerly the Israeli ambassador to the United States. He argued on Twitter that other apartments in occupied regions have not been blacklisted, so “No one should use [Airbnb’s] services.”

Among the groups that have called for a boycott include Academic Council for Israel, Russian Jewish Community Foundation, Endowment for Middle East Truth and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Public figures include Gilad Erdan, public security minister of Israel; Adam Milstein, national chairman of the Israeli American Council; and Joel Pollak, senior editor-at-large at Breitbart News.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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