Labour MPs urge Jeremy Hunt to push for UK ban on West Bank settlement listings
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Labour MPs urge Jeremy Hunt to push for UK ban on West Bank settlement listings

Labour MP Wes Streeting shared the letter on social media, writing that he 'strongly supports this letter'

A sign points to Israeli tourists sites and activities in the Jewish settlement Shilo, West Bank. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI
A sign points to Israeli tourists sites and activities in the Jewish settlement Shilo, West Bank. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI

Five Labour MPs have urged Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to push for a UK ban on Airbnb rental listings of homes in the West Bank.

MPs Holly Lynch, Julie Elliott, Chris Elmore, Lilian Greenwood and Graham Jones have signed a letter to Hunt urging him to intervene.

This follows a decision by Airbnb to reverse its decision to ban listings following legal action brought by hosts and guests against the firm.

“Given the UK’s commitment to a two-state solution, we are calling on the government to support Airbnb and to insist that destinations in illegal settlements to be removed from their listings for UK travellers,”  the letter says.

The letter also condemns what it perceives to be “the bullying tactics used to manoeuvre Airbnb into u-turning on its position and the secrecy demanded by such an arrangement.”

Labour MP Wes Streeting shared the letter on social media, writing: “Strongly support this letter.”

Deputy Director of Yachad UK Maya Ilany said: “The responses to [Wes Streeting’s tweet] demonstrate how BDSers and Israeli right-wingers are the only two groups that fail to distinguish between the legitimate state of Israel within the Green Line and the illegal settlements beyond it.”
She added: “If these so-called defenders of Israel care so much about the country’s safety why won’t they do something about what Israel’s own security establishment considers as its number one threat: the ongoing occupation and lack of peace process.”

In a statement put out in April, the holiday accommodation firm announced it would take no profits from listings in the West Bank.

“Any profits generated for Airbnb by any Airbnb host activity in the entire West Bank will be donated to non-profit organizations dedicated to humanitarian aid that serve people in different parts of the world,” it read.

Airbnb added that it does not support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel.

“Airbnb has always opposed the BDS movement,” the statement read. “Airbnb has never boycotted Israel, Israeli businesses.”

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