Beverly Hills city council condemns Airbnb removals in Israel and calls for boycott

US: Beverly Hills city council has unanimously passed a resolution condemning Airbnb’s decision to remove listings of rentals in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Earlier this week, the San Francisco-based short-term rental platform announced it would remove around 200 rentals in the disputed region. Critics have in recent years accused Airbnb of benefiting from renting in Jewish outposts in the region.

Following the decision by Airbnb, Beverly Hills city council is encouraging a boycott of the web service, saying the decision “demonstrated hatred, prejudice, ignorance and hypocrisy”.

Beverly Hills mayor Julian Gold said: “We find the actions of Airbnb deplorable. On behalf of our residents, this unanimous resolution reflects the city council’s ongoing commitment to Israel and to exposing hatred anywhere it exists.”

The Israeli-Jewish Congress and human rights leaders have also publicly opposed the company’s actions. Gilad Erdan, Israel’s strategic affairs minister, has called for affected homeowners to consider suing Airbnb while he discusses with his American counterparts whether or not the move constituted a violation of US anti-Israel boycott laws.

Beverly Hills vice mayor John Mirisch said: “Airbnb is not welcome in Beverly Hills as long as its policies are based on anti-Jewish double standards. Jew hatred is a disease.

“We can try to inoculate others against this malady but we also must protect ourselves against its effects,” he added.

Meanwhile, Palestinian leaders have long fought for the removal of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and are looking to achieve recognised statehood.