Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Claim Filed Against Airbnb For Its Delisting of West Bank Rentals

As reported by the New York Times, last week Airbnb under pressure from Palestinian officials, anti-settlement advocates and human rights groups announced that it is removing listings for rentals in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.  In response, yesterday an arbitration claim (pursuant to the arbitration clause in Airbnb's terms of service) was filed against Airbnb by an Israeli company owned by a resident of New York.  The Statement of Claim (full text) in Bibliotechnical Blue & White Ltd. v. AIRBNB, Inc., (Amer. Arbitration Assoc., filed 11/26/2018) alleges in part:
Claimant recently registered as a user of Respondent's services. This was done in the City of New York. Claimant would like to purchase or purchase or lease property in Judea & Samaria and list it with Respondent's services using computer services in the City of New York. Thus, Respondent's policy is discriminatorily preventing Claimant from using Respondent's services in the City of New York....
Respondent has violated the New York City and New York State human rights laws by discriminating on the basis of religion, national origin and/or citizenship and also by engaging in a discriminatory boycott.
Legal Insurrection blog reports in more detail on the case.