Airbnb swiftly bans Amsterdam-based host for discriminating against Israelis

An Airbnb office in Toronto, Canada. Photo: Wikipedia.

Online vacation rental giant Airbnb moved quickly to ban a seller after finding out she was refusing to serve Israeli customers, The Algemeiner learned Tuesday.

The discriminatory email from a former Airbnb host to an Israeli customer.  Photo: screenshot.

The discriminatory email from a former Airbnb host to an Israeli customer. Photo: screenshot.

The company said it removed Amsterdam-based host named “Maria” from the website after rejecting a request from four Israeli tourists with the following explanation: “I support BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement and will therefore not accept guests of Israeli nationality until there has been a significant change in the question of Palestine. So, unless you are well-researched activists working for a peaceful solution to the problem (which I will be very happy to make an exception for), you will have to look elsewhere.

An Airbnb representative said The Algemeiner that, “Such discrimination has no place on the Airbnb platform and our policies prohibit hosts from turning down a guest because of who they are, where they’re from, how they worship or who they like,” adding that the company “acted to permanently ban this host from our community approximately two hours after learning of this incident.

Airbnb also reiterated its commitment to an updated anti-discrimination policy announced on September 8, which includes an “Airbnb Community Commitment” that all users will be required to sign from November 1. They declared The Algemeiner that the statement states that “we believe that no matter who you are, where you are from or where you travel, you should be able to be a part of the Airbnb community. By joining this community, you agree to treat all other members of this community, regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age, with respect and without judgment or bias.

Israeli Raz Hadas initially posted Maria’s discriminatory email on his Facebook page, saying that “Four university students were just looking to rent an apartment in Amsterdam, and this is the response we got.”

Hadas said later The Algemeiner that he was “saddened to see that the people do not understand what is happening in Israel, and yet they seek to harm us. [Israelis] in a racist manner.

Former Airbnb host Maria could not be reached by The Algemeiner for comment.

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