For Immediate Release
Sonya E Meyerson-Knox
Over 20,000 Pledge to Deactivate Airbnb in Solidarity with Palestinian Rights
24-hour action tells Airbnb there’s no neutrality in situations of injustice
SAN FRANCISCO - The viral social media campaign #deactivateAirbnb, endorsed by an international coalition of 30-plus groups, has organized over 20,000 people to commit to deactivating their Airbnb accounts on May 15. The deactivation campaign was called following Airbnb’s reversal from its 2018 policy announcement to stop listing vacation rentals in illegal Israeli settlements, built on occupied Palestinian land.
Jewish Voice for Peace, SumOfUs, the BDS Movement and the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, among others, called for the 24-hour deactivation campaign in honor of Nakba Day – commemorating the expulsion of Palestinians beginning 71 years ago. In the build-up to the May 15 deactivation over 5,500 people had tweeted to Airbnb about deactivating their accounts. A #deactivateAirbnb Twitterstorm is planned today from 1-3pm EST.
Granate Kim, Jewish Voice for Peace Communications Director:
“We cheered when Airbnb announced that after a two-year pressure campaign, they’d decided to delist settlement properties from their site. This turn-about deserves at minimum a sharp reminder that it is WORSE to do the right thing and then walk it back out of fear. There’s no neutrality in situations of injustice.”
Following the multi-year StolenHomes campaign – including a petition supported by more than 150,000 people from around the world – Airbnb announced six months ago that they would stop listing vacation rentals in Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land and deemed illegal under international law. Their reversal last month drew widespread condemnation. Instead, they announced a plan to donate the money made from profiting from inequality, land theft and discrimination, in a failed attempt to keep their hands clean of illegal occupation.
The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network, representing 145 groups, has called on all groups to reject donations of money from Airbnb, until their policies ensure respect for the human rights of all people including those living under occupation: “Companies like Airbnb must know that our silence cannot be bought.”
Angus Wong, SumOfUs Canadian Campaigner:
“Reneging on its commitment to delist from the settlements is a slap in the face to Palestinians, international law, and even Airbnb’s own vision to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.”
Salem Barahmeh, Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy Executive Director:
“International companies are complicit in perpetuating this injustice and must be held accountable. Through the #deactivateAirbnb campaign, people can choose whether to be complicit in supporting war crimes or ending them.”
Granate Kim, JVP Communications director, is available to speak with the media
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