Protest at Airbnb Europe HQ in Dublin over West Bank rentals

Over 150,000 sign petition to delist properties located in occupied Palestinian land

Airbnb may be named on a list of companies with commercial activities in settlement territories which is expected to be published by the UN later this month. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Airbnb may be named on a list of companies with commercial activities in settlement territories which is expected to be published by the UN later this month. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Protesters have held a demonstration outside Airbnb’s European headquarters in Dublin calling for the company to delist rentals in West Bank settlements.

Israel has come under sustained international pressure for building settlements on occupied Palestinian land. And numerous resolutions brought before the UN have condemned the policy.

As part of a global campaign against rentals in settlement territories being listed by Airbnb, pro-Palestinian activists gathered outside the Watermarque Building and delivered a petition signed by more than 150,000 people worldwide calling for it to end business in the disputed territories.

Demonstrations were also held in Paris, San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles among other places and most targeted offices belonging to Fidelity Investment, which is a major Airbnb stakeholder.

The rallies were organised by an international coalition of organisations including social change platform Uplift, Jewish Voice for Peace and the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

‘Stolen homes’

“We’re objecting to Airbnb profiting from the use of homes which are stolen homes that Palestinians used to live in but no longer can,” said Uplift spokeswoman Siobhán O’Donoghue.

“This petition communicates the growing opposition to their continued use of homes in the West Bank. They are sensitive to this and we believe by escalating this campaign, by adding more and more people to the petition that Airbnb will be forced to listen,” she added.

There was a small Garda presence as a representative of Airbnb accepted signatures from a group of about a dozen people who held Palestinian flags aloft and carried pictures of West Bank residents holding signs saying “We can’t live there so don’t go there Airbnb”.

Airbnb may be named on a list of companies with commercial activities in settlement territories which is expected to be published by the UN later this month.

“They’ll be globally humiliated by having their name on a list of companies that are considered to be profiting from illegal activity. We think that’s going to be a very significant moment in the campaign,” added Ms O’Donoghue.

Also present was deputy head of Palestine’s Irish mission Jilan Abdalmajid, who said she and her colleagues will continue to exert diplomatic pressure on Airbnb through the coalition’s campaign.

The company later responded that it “follows laws on where we can do business and we investigate specific concerns raised about listings and/or discrimination.”

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