Photo Credit: courtesy, Arrow Photography
Florida's Governor-elect Ron DeSantis salutes the U.S. and Israeli flags in his first official visit, with Lt. Gov-elect Jeanette Nunez, to Teach Florida and Brauser Maimonides Academy in Ft. Lauderdale

Incoming Florida Governor Ron DeSantis warned Monday that if Airbnb Ltd. doesn’t “reevaluate and reverse” its decision to ban listings of homes in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, the state will “review how Florida interacts with Airbnb” once he’s in office.

DeSantis is a strong supporter of Israel, and the half a million Jews who currently live in the communities that were built after 1967 in Judea and Samaria.


The governor-elect took a dim view of the move by Airbnb to join the BDS (Boycott, Divest & Sanctions) campaign against Israel, saying, “They do not treat anybody else in the entire world like this; it’s only targeted in these Jewish communities.

“I think that likely runs afoul of Florida’s BDS legislation we’re reviewing that now. We’re also going to review how Florida interacts with Airbnb; I know that state workers are allowed to use Airbnb for official travel. That is not going to be acceptable with me as governor, so I think Airbnb should reevaluate and reverse this policy.

“If they don’t do that, then it’s going to be rough sledding here in the state of Florida,” he added, “and we’ll review our options of what we can do with that.”

Also this week, a group of 18 Jewish American families and individuals filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court in Delaware against Airbnb, which was incorporated in the state, although it’s based in San Francisco. The group is accusing the company of violating U.S. religious discrimination laws in housing.

A similar but separate lawsuit was filed against the company in a Jerusalem court on November 22.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.