The Trump administration has rejected the recent move by San Francisco-based Airbnb Ltd. to join the international Boycott, Divest & Sanctions campaign against Israel.
The home rentals company announced November 19 that it would de-list any home located in Israeli Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. The company has not applied the same standard to homes located in Israeli Arab communities or Palestinian Authority-controlled communities located in the same regions.
The move was criticized by the Trump administration, according to sources quoted by the Washington Free Beacon, who said the rising controversy over the issue is generating discussion among officials on Capitol Hill on whether and how to penalize the company at a legislative level. “The administration’s strong opposition to boycotts, divestitures and sanctions is well known,” a State Department official told the Free Beacon.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz likewise slammed Airbnb’s decision to boycott Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, where half a million Israelis now make their homes.
“This kind of persecution has no place in any society and must end,” Cruz said in a statement posted to the Twitter social networking site. “@Airbnb should reverse its decision, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to combat anti-Semitism here and abroad.”
This kind of persecution has no place in any society and must end. @Airbnb should reverse its decision, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to combat anti-Semitism here and abroad. –> https://t.co/yGGdqGzKwC
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 28, 2018
Cruz has long been a strong supporter of Jewish and Israeli causes in the Congress.
So far, the company has de-listed at least 200 Jewish-owned rental homes in Judea and Samaria, igniting fury among pro-Israel circles and prompting lawsuits in Jerusalem and a U.S. federal court in Delaware, where the company is incorporated.
Earlier in the week, incoming Florida Governor-elect Ron DeSantis said Airbnb would face “rough sledding” in his state once he enters office: “Airbnb’s decision to single out Jews living in Judea and Samaria is abhorren and will lead to adverse consequences for the company,” he said. “I am reviewing Florida’s anti-BDS laws and am evaluating Florida’s relationship to Airbnb to determine what actions I can take as governor to fight back against this wrongheaded policy.”