On March 18, the Institute for Liberty and a group of conservative organizations and activists, released a letter to public officials, asking them to encourage AirBnB to end policies that are anti-Israeli in nature. Here is the text of that letter:
March 18, 2019
Holding Airbnb Accountable for Anti-Semitism Decision in Israel
Dear Federal or State Official:
Airbnb’s recent decision to target Jewish property owners in Israel’s West Bank is clearly out of step with American values. We urge you to join us in standing up for Israel and condemning this egregious example of anti-Semitism.
Airbnb has a long and well-documented history of supporting extreme liberal causes and attacking conservative leaders. In 2017, for example, the company hired President Obama’s former Attorney General, Eric Holder, to launch Super Bowl ads attacking President Trump. Their head of Global Policy and Communications, Chris Lehane, came from the extremist group NextGen, a project of left-wing benefactor Tom Steyer. And their leadership has contributed heavily to Democrats and liberals, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Kamala Harris.
Airbnb’s latest left-wing cause is its most disgraceful foray into far-left politics. Airbnb has now decided to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. As part of the company’s participation in the BDS movement, Airbnb delisted more than 200 Jewish-owned rental properties in the West Bank in November 2018. The anti-Semitic motivations for the de-listing decision are apparent, as Airbnb continues to list Palestinian-owned properties there.
State officials in Florida and now Texas have taken a laudable stand for Israel, with a zero-tolerance policy for companies participating in the BDS movement. Governor Ron DeSantis has displayed tremendous leadership on this issue, imposing sanctions on Airbnb. Those sanctions received the unanimous support of the members of the State Board Administration and leaders in the Florida Legislature. The sanctions in Florida and Texas designate Airbnb as the first American firm to be placed on both state’s anti-BDS “scrutinized” list and prohibit state employees from using Airbnb for reimbursable work-related travel.
Airbnb’s placement on anti-BDS scrutinized lists of Florida and Texas also carries the significant consequence of prohibiting state public pension dollars from being included in any investment fund tied to Airbnb.
We commend Governor DeSantis and Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar for standing up to Airbnb’s overtly anti-Israel policy and we urge governors and legislators around the country to follow the model of Texas and Florida in holding Airbnb accountable.
We urge members of Congress to take a public stand in demanding that Airbnb cease its offensive and discriminatory policies at once.
Supporters and defenders of Israel must send Airbnb a strong and unmistakable message that the company’s anti-Semitic policy is entirely inconsistent with American values and, consequently, will not be tolerated. We hope you will join us in taking a firm stand for Israel by calling out Airbnb.
(Signatures listed on following page. Titles included for identification purposes only.)
President, Institute for Liberty
Saulius "Saul" Anuzis
President, 60 Plus Association
Honorable Bob Beauprez
Former U.S. Congressman
Honorable Ken Buck
U.S. Congressman (Colorado)
Ariel Center for Policy Research
President & CEO, Frontiers of Freedom
Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Journalist & Author
President, Americans for Limited Government
James L. Martin
Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus Association
Jenny Beth Martin
Honorary Chairman, Tea Party Patriots Action
President, Less Government
Hon. George K. Rasley
Managing Editor, Conservative HQ
Founder, Capitol Allies
President, Secure America Now
President, Citizens Against Government Waste
Executive Director, American Principles Project
President, Eagle Forum
Rabbi Aryeh Spero
National Conference of Jewish Affairs
President, Liberty Consulting