Sunday, April 14, 2019

  • Sunday, April 14, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


Last week, Airbnb backtracked on its November decision to de-list Jewish-owned homes in Judea and Samaria, causing lots of headlines and a new lawsuit by Palestinian Arabs against them.

How could Airbnb have avoided the controversy? By not caving to the blackmail by Amnesty International to begin with.

(Yes, it is blackmail - claiming that their business model was illegal and that they would be subject to international law sanctions if they don't do what Amnesty demands.)

The original Amnesty report targeted Tripadvisor, Booking.com and Expedia, besides Airbnb. Those other three companies politely told Amnesty that they provide travel information to everyone about everywhere, that they are transparent about where the attractions are and that they don't think they are doing anything illegal, which is a polite way of telling Amnesty that they were wasting their time.

As Booking.com told Amnesty (in the annex to their report):
Everything we do in terms of how we display information on Booking.com is focused on the customer and always in accordance with applicable law. Our geographic labeling of properties gives full transparency to customers about where an accommodation is located and we continuously update and optimise this information. By marking properties concerned as being in 'Israeli settlements' we provide transparency to anybody looking (or not looking) for accommodations in  these territories.
In other words, don't try to tell or customer where they can or cannot go.

Only Airbnb caved to the Amnesty campaign - and now only Airbnb is subject to the hate mail and controversy.

Do the right thing to begin with and don't let others meddle with your business model. It seems obvious, and three out of the four companies targeted by Amnesty did exactly that. The fourth is paying a dear price for not following that rule.

Personally, I would like to see TripAdvisor threaten a lawsuit against Amnesty for modifying their logo to defame them:









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