May 21, 2019

Israeli Band’s Viral Video Slams Airbnb Over Anti-Israel Move

PORTNOY Music. Photo from Facebook.

A Jerusalem-based band is behind the latest viral sensation with a song called “Delete Airbnb” about the vacation rental giant’s controversial decision to remove all Israeli and Jewish-owned properties in Judea and Samaria.

“I’m gonna take you off of my phone/Until you stop discriminating on my home,” are the lyrics sung by PORTNOY, a duo comprised of two brothers, Sruli and Mendy Portnoy.

The song immediately generated thousands of views and shares on PORTNOY’s Facebook page when the band posted it last week in the wake of Airbnb’s announcement.

“It’s disappointing that a world-renowned company like Airbnb gave in to a bunch of BDS bullies who are hell-bent on spreading anti-Semitism,” Sruli Portnoy told The Jewish Journal.

Within a matter of hours, however, Facebook removed the song without providing an explanation or an advanced warning.

However, pro-Israel advocacy group StandWithUs also shared the song to their own Facebook page where it has received more than 123,000 views as of this writing.

Incensed at both Airbnb and Facebook for taking the video down, the two musicians went into the recording studio and recorded a new version, this time with extended lyrics that included a jab at the social media giant, “This used to be a little song about fair play/ Until they chose to make our clip fly fly away/ Doing disappearing tricks on what we sing/ Well hasn’t this gone far beyond left or right wing.”

THE SONG FOR Airbnb THAT SOMEONE DIDN'T WANT YOU TO SEE! **PLEASE SHARE**On Wednesday afternoon at 3pm we uploaded a short song we wrote, which was directed at Airbnb for their recent, blatantly anti-Semitic policies. We included a subtle, polite suggestion that they stay out of politics or people would boycott them, in the same way that they attempted to boycott Israel. It went viral. We had never seen anything like it.. And then just like the kind of magic trick that leaves you feeling violated, our video was removed (without any prior warning or justification). Vanished into thin air. We are still awaiting an official response as to how this could have happened.Thankfully, “Stand with us” had uploaded their own version of it which is still doing the rounds and has been viewed close to 100,000 times (see link below). We won’t be bullied and we want the truth to be heard loud and clear; so we went into the studio today to re-record a full length studio version of the song. Please share it and help get the truth out. (PORTNOY @portnoymusic)

Posted by PORTNOY on Thursday, November 22, 2018

The new clip also features B-roll footage showing newspaper clippings of Airbnb’s announcement, as well as angry tweets from Israeli politicians, including Michael Oren, a cabinet minister and former Israeli ambassador to the United States, who slammed Airbnb’s policy for being “the very definition of anti-Semitism.”

Mendy Portnoy expressed his band’s distaste at engaging in political issues but added that sometimes there wasn’t a choice.  

“Out of all the things we least enjoy getting involved with, politics is definitely at the top of the list – but when the line between politics and blatant anti-Semitism becomes a blurred, we feel that we must use our voice to stand up against what we know to be obvious discrimination,” the musician told the Journal.

The new video has received close to 40,000 views since being uploaded by the band.