Thursday, January 21, 2016

"Housing rental giant Airbnb profits off of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, Al Jazeera revealed in a new report. The website lists segregated settlements in the occupied West Bank as if they were in Israel. In reality, these settlements were built in direct violation of international law, and are not legally considered part of the country.

Airbnb, which is headquarted in California, is popular in Israel, and growing. Settlers host lavish rooms for hundreds of U.S. dollars per night. Yet the website never informs potential customers that these are illegal properties, nor does it mention that, were clients to rent a room, they would have to travel through Israeli military checkpoints. ...

Husam Zomlot, Palestine’s ambassador at large, blasted the company for its profiteering. 'It’s not only controversial, it’s illegal and criminal,' he told Al Jazeera. 'This website is promoting stolen property and land. There will come a time when companies like this, who profit from the occupation, will be taken to court.' "

-->Hard to find this story in the US media, including the NYT, although our newspaper of record did put the story on-line.


The Guardian:
"The European Union has unanimously adopted a tough resolution criticising Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories, despite fierce efforts by Israel to persuade some EU members to block it.

The resolution was agreed by the EU foreign affairs council on Monday after Greece, one of five countries Israel had hoped would block acceptance of the resolution, backed down following a weekend of wrangling and pressure from Palestinian officials and other European diplomats. ...

Hinting that further measures may be in the pipeline, it continued: 'The EU will continue to closely monitor developments on the ground and their broader implications and will consider further action in order to protect the viability of the two-state solution, which is constantly eroded by new facts on the ground.' "

-->No mention of this important resolution in the NYT, which often just filters out stories critical of Israeli apartheid. The story was put on the NYT website.


Common Dreams:
"A jury in Washington state on Friday found that the defendants in the potentially groundbreaking 'Delta 5' case, who in September 2014 blockaded an oil train in Everett and this week argued they were compelled to act over the threat of climate change, were not guilty of obstruction.

The defendants were found to be guilty of trespass, but will not face claims of financial harm to Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railway company after being cleared of the obstruction charges. They will also not face jail time.

According to Tim DeChristopher, a Seattle-based climate activist and co-founder of Peaceful Uprising, the jury said they understood the defendants were trying to raise public awareness to critical issues. 

One juror reportedly told them, 'Thanks for the education.' "

-->The NYT does not like court cases that put the public good over the rights of major corporations. It didn't report this story.

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