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Shurat Hadin Informs 22 US States that Airbnb Policy Violates BDS Law

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Airbnb, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo Credit: iStock

Nitsana DarshanLeitner: ‘Israel Law Center will continue to fight Airbnb in every legal arena until they walk back discriminatory policy.’

Shurat Hadin – The Israel Law Center President Nitsana Darshan-Leitner has written to twenty-two State Legislatures across the United States to inform them that Airbnb should be held accountable by law for enacting its recent boycott of Jewish-owned properties in Judea and Samaria that violates their state’s Anti-Boycott laws.

The letter explained that anti-BDS legislation “was enacted to ensure that taxpayer funds are not used to do business with or otherwise support any state or private entity that engages in discriminatory actions against individuals under the pretext of exercising First Amendment rights, and specifically discriminatory actions taken against individuals of the Jewish faith under the pretext of a constitutionally protected boycott or protest of the State of Israel.”

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner added: “Airbnb is in clear violation of the state-wide anti-BDS statutes and must be brought to justice. It is not acceptable that in the year 2019, American companies can publicly boycott Jewish-owned business without fear of legal retribution. Shurat Hadin – The Israel Law Center will continue to fight Airbnb in every legal arena until they walk back this discriminatory and anti-Semitic policy.”

Shurat HaDin works with Western intelligence agencies, law enforcement branches, and a network of volunteer lawyers across the globe to file legal actions on behalf of terror victims. Shurat HaDin is at the forefront of fighting terrorism and safeguarding Jewish rights worldwide and is dedicated to protecting the State of Israel. By defending against lawfare suits, fighting academic and economic boycotts, and challenging those who seek to delegitimize the Jewish State, Shurat HaDin utilizes court systems around the world to go on the legal offensive against Israel’s enemies.

The Jewish Voice had previously reported that on January 15th, the campaign calling on Airbnb to revert their ill-conceived decision to place a ban of Jewish hosts in the Judea and Samaria region of Israel gained a formidable sense of gravitas when newly elected Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that state sanctions may be imposed against businesses that engage in the BDS movement.

“BDS is nothing more than a cloak for anti-Semitism, and as long as I’m governor, BDS will be dead on arrival. I cannot wait to strengthen the already unwavering bond between Florida and the great State of Israel,” Governor DeSantis declared.

“Airbnb claims it’s a company of inclusion and yet this policy only affects Jews who have homes on the West Bank. It doesn’t appear to apply to anyone else on the face of the earth,” he told the Tampa Bay Times.

He added: “We have a moral obligation to oppose the Airbnb policy. It does target Jews specifically. I think that’s wrong.”

Responding to Governor DeSantis’ position on Airbnb, former New York State Assemblyman and chairman of the Coalition for a Positive America Dov Hikind said “The question now is will our very own governor of New York who likes to proudly proclaim his pro-Israel credentials courageously follow suit? Or will he choose to remain silent? My hope is that he’ll do the right thing.”

Assemblyman Hikind who represented the largest district of Jewish residents in New York for 35 years added, “There are currently more than 50 ‘disputed territories’ around the world, from Tibet to Crimea, but Airbnb singled out the Jewish State of Israel for targeted removal. “Only the Jewish listings were removed. If it’s truly a ‘disputed territory’ why didn’t they simply remove all listings from the disputed area until the conflict is resolved? We’ve seen boycotts of Jews and Jewish businesses before, but we won’t jump to making that comparison just yet. Airbnb, as well as our government, still have time to correct their course before we’re left with but one conclusion.”

(INN & JV)

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