Committee for Israel Applauds Governor DeSantis For Taking Action Against Airbnb & Urges Lawmakers To Hold The Company Accountable For Targeting Jews
The Committee for Israel, a national pro-Israel organization, launched an ad campaign on Tuesday condemning Airbnb for its recent anti-Semitic decision to forbid Jewish, but not Arab, listings in the West Bank. The campaign encourages the Florida legislature to support the punitive measures Gov. DeSantis has announced against the company.
“Airbnb is trying to cover up its pathetic capitulation to the anti-Semitic boycott movement by citing principles about refusing listings in disputed territories. But Airbnb’s boycott doesn’t apply equally – it applies only to Jews,” said Committee for Israel executive director Noah Pollak. “There should be consequences for discriminatory business practices. Governor DeSantis recognizes this and we believe the Florida Legislature will, too.”
In January, Governor DeSantis said, “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.”
“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.”
Other Florida lawmakers have joined Governor DeSantis in condemning Airbnb’s policies. “It is shameful that Airbnb capitulated to the anti-Israel [BDS] movement that’s engaged in discriminatory economic warfare against the Jewish state,” said Senator Marco Rubio.
State Representative Randy Fine said, “Airbnb has chosen to boycott Jewish listings in a portion of Israel and, under Florida law, companies that adopt boycotts of Israel get boycotted by the State of Florida.”
In a January 2019 interview in the Jewish Voice, Rep, Fine who represents district 53 in South Brevard County in the Florida House of Representatives said that “Florida has a zero-tolerance policy towards those who would discriminate against others, and that includes Airbnb.”
While Rep. Fine said that it is his fervent hope that Airbnb will ultimately rescind their decision to ban Jewish hosts in Judea and Samaria and will reinstate their listings, he is prepared to go the distance to ensure that the rights of those he represents are protected. “There are Jewish residents in my district who own homes in Judea and Samaria and their civil rights have been flagrantly violated by Airbnb. This company seeks to impose punitive economic measures against them and I can tell you most assuredly that I will never remain silent in the face of his display of bigotry.”
The Committee’s ad is running on cable outlets in Florida and on social media platforms throughout the state.
The ad calls on Florida’s legislators to hold Airbnb accountable by enforcing the state’s anti-boycott law. “Airbnb caved to anti-Israel extremists and banned Jewish listings in the West Bank,” the ad states. “It’s time for Florida to hold Airbnb accountable.”
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