July 19, 2019

L.A. City Councilman Denounces Airbnb’s Israel Policy

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz appears at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust for a vigil commemorating the refugees aboard the MS St. Louis in 1939. Photo by Jill Brown/Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz has joined the chorus of pro-Israel voices denouncing hospitality company Airbnb for its decision to delist properties located in the West Bank.

In a Dec. 20 letter to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, Koretz said Airbnb’s actions demonstrate “prejudice, ignorance and hypocrisy. Simply put, this is an act of anti-Semitism and sets a double standard.”

“Airbnb, Inc. currently lists properties in Northern Cyprus, Tibet, the Western Saharan region, and other disputed territories where people have been displaced,” the letter continues. “However, Jewish settlements are being singled out for delisting by Airbnb, Inc. The decision made by your company is based on the position of taking one side in a two-sided conflict. There is no reason to ban the Israeli side’s listings and not the others, except on the basis of anti-Semitic sentiment.”

Koretz concludes the letter saying he will be calling on L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer to see what options are available to “curtail or prohibit” Airbnb from operating in Los Angeles until “they have suspended their policy of singling out Jewish settlements.”

Beverly Hills City Council has also denounced Airbnb’s decision.