Airbnb Won’t Operate In Israeli Settlements, So ‘OlehStay’ Steps In
For those disappointed in Airbnb’s decision to remove listings in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, there is now another option: OlehStay.
OlehStay, an Israel-based home-renting site, threw a dig at Airbnb in its tagline. “We’re Here to Stay. We Welcome Any Listing, Anywhere in Israel,” the home page reads.
The company’s website was created on Nov. 29, about 10 days after Airbnb announced it decision, and went live on Dec. 10. There are already listings in Gush Etzion, a region in the West Bank between Bethlehem and Hebron, as well as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
In one listing in the Gush, Joseph, a gourmet caterer with a “traditional Jewish Family,” is offering a detached cottage in his garden for $65 a night. It’s a gated community, a 20-minute drive from Jerusalem. He can arrange a biblical bread-making workshop, recommend wineries and make a plate of local produce to take on a trip to Herodion National Park. He is also offering a stay in a “rustic caravan in the middle of the vineyards.”
On its Facebook page, the company says it “offers an alternative to Airbnb in Israel, including the West Bank.”
“As a business, OlehStay supports Israel and the decisions Israel must make to defend itself,” it continues. “Please don’t be shy and like our page, visit our website, post your home, or book with a potential host! Let’s support Israel together – no matter where we are on the globe!”
Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected]