Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan on Tuesday addressed US state governors, asking them to impose economic sanctions on the rental giant Airbnb and to speak against it publicly.
Following the company’s announcement last week that it intends to remove from its site the listings of some 200 housing units in Judea and Samaria, an inter-ministerial team was convened to examine possible action against Airbnb. The team was established by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs in cooperation with the Ministries of Tourism, Foreign Affairs, Justice and Economics, as well as the Tax Authority. One of the prescribed steps was sending letters to US state governors, in which Minister Erdan would ask for their support against the Airbnb move.
The letters were sent to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, California Gov. Jerry Brown, Illinois Governor Bruce Rowner, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, outgoing Florida Governor Rick Scott and Florida Governor-elect Ron DeSantis.
“As the minister in charge of the campaign against the BDS, I would like to draw your attention to Airbnb’s announcement that it will remove Israeli businesses located in Judea and Samaria from its website,” Erdan wrote the governors. “In this way, the company adopts the anti-Semitic practices and narratives of the BDS movement. The BDS is not a movement that is interested in promoting peace or a better future for the Palestinians, but rather in demonizing and discriminating against the State of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East and the strongest US ally in the region.”
Erdan continued: “The policy of Airbnb is particularly worrisome when it is understood that it is directed only at Israel. Such a policy is not applied to any other area of the conflict. This is an anti-Semitic (hopefully unintentionally) practice of applying a double standard to Israel which are not applied to any other country.”
“I ask you to speak out against the Airbnb decision, and take any other relevant step, including measures relating to the commercial relations between the company and your state and state employees.”