abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

The content is also available in the following languages: Deutsch


26 Mar 2024

Hanno Hauenstein, The Intercept,

Germany: Media Giant Axel Springer advertises Israel's illegal settlements in the West Bank through its classified ads website Yad2; Incl. Co. comment

"German Media Giant Axel Springer Makes Money on Israel's Illegal Settlements", 5th February 2024

... The owners of Bild, Germany’s leading newspaper, Springer takes an unwavering pro-Israel stance. “God bless the IDF,” Die Welt, a Springer-owned German daily, declared in a recent editorial. And the company’s CEO wrote in Springer-owned Politico that the chants of “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” were tantamount to calling for genocide against Jews, a position in line with the German government’s November declaration that the slogan was illegal.

Defending Israel against criticisms of human rights violations, however, is one thing. Making money off those violations is another. Yet that’s exactly what Springer appears to be doing. Springer’s Israeli classified ads website Yad2 — the largest Craigslist-like classifieds site in the country — publishes real estate listings across Israel, including rental apartments and sales in Israeli settlements that are considered illegal under international law.

In December, Yad2 took out its own advertisement in an Israeli business paper to promote home sales on its site. “From the River to the Sea,” the ad, which appeared in The Marker, says in English, depicting a map of Israel and Palestine with pins dropped all over. The map has no “Green Line” or other markings separating Israel’s internationally recognized borders and occupied Palestinian territory. Below the co-opted protest slogan, the ad continues in Hebrew: “Yad2 helps you look forward and build a future in your next home in Israel.”...

“Advertising on the website is free for private users,” a representative for Yad2 said in response to an inquiry. “Business users are required to pay according to the terms of the site.” Paid listings, which are highlighted on the site, allow advertisers to increase their reach, they added.

The Intercept found thousands of apartments for sale and for rent in illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. Of those, more than 1,000 were paid ads from brokerage houses — meaning Yad2, and therefore Axel Springer, made money on them. Some of the ads, according to an expert who scanned the listings for The Intercept, are for homes in so-called outposts, or settlements considered illegal under even Israeli law; other home listings appear on private Palestinian land that was seized by the Israeli military for security purposes but now hosts Jewish settlers...

Palestinians — including stateless Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as those from Jerusalem or Israel proper who hold Israeli IDs or citizenship — cannot in practice buy or rent in Jewish-only settlements.

“Discrimination has no place at Axel Springer,” said a spokesperson for the company. “This is clearly regulated in our Code of Conduct, which applies to all companies at Axel Springer and is available in several languages, including Hebrew. Axel Springer speaks out clearly — also in the essentials — against any kind of racism. Yad2’s terms of use explicitly state that no one may be discriminated against on the basis of gender, religion, ethnicity or age.” (In fact, Yad2’s terms of use prohibit users from posting “harassing, insulting, hostile, threatening, rude, racist character or content” but don’t explicitly bar discrimination.) Springer did not respond to questions about paid and unpaid advertising for settlement homes on Yad2...

“Companies engaging in this are benefiting from a system that systematically discriminates against Palestinians, that denies them building permits and resources and roads and infrastructure,” [Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch] told The Intercept. “They’re also helping to make settlements more sustainable economically and thus further entrench the settlements practice.”...