To the editor: The Israeli government’s response to Airbnb’s decision not to list units in West Bank settlements is priceless: “There is no distinction between this part and that part of the state of Israel,” according to the government official responsible for addressing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
If that is true — if the West Bank is in fact fully part of the state of Israel — then why is there a military occupation? Why is there military law for the majority of West Bank residents? Why do the millions of Palestinians who were born and live in the West Bank not have full civil rights along with other Israelis?
While we are at it, why are citizens of Israel restricted from entering most parts of the West Bank and all of Gaza?
Erica Hahn, Monrovia
To the editor: Jews have owned property in places like West Bank towns Gush Etzion and Hebron for centuries. Under the new Airbnb policy, rooms and units located in those places will not be listed by the company.
But if an Arab owns some property a hundred yards away and purchased it a week ago, it can be listed. That is religious profiling.
Clearly, Airbnb’s foray into foreign policy is naive and discriminatory.
David Eliezrie, Yorba Linda
To the editor: This is the BDS movement’s most significant victory yet. Congratulations to the human rights activists who made this happen.
There were two issues with Airbnb operating in settlements. First, the listings commonly did not indicate they were in illegal settlements. Second, BDS activists object to any company doing business in the occupied territories.
The first issue could be resolved by Airbnb insisting that listings explicitly state they are located in illegal, segregated Jewish-only settlements in Palestine. But, that would not satisfy BDS activists who want to pressure Israel with a boycott.
Jeff Warner, Los Angeles