JCRC Takes Lead Role in Combating Airbnb Decision

April 2019 update: Airbnb has issued a statement saying it is not moving forward with de-listing Jewish owned properties in the West Bank.

In January 2019 JCRC took a lead role in advocating for Israel by organizing Florida JCRC chapters to urge Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis to put Airbnb on a list of companies that may be in violation of Florida’s anti-BDS (
Boycott Divest Sanctions) legislation. A statement issued by the company on April 9, 2019 repudiates the anti-Israel BDS movement, and reverses its earlier decision about West Bank properties. Read Airbnb’s full statement below, or go directly to the company’s website here

BY Update on Listings in Disputed Regions

Today, Airbnb is announcing that we have settled all lawsuits that were brought by hosts and potential hosts and guests who objected to a policy the company recently announced concerning listings in disputed areas.

Under the settlement terms, Airbnb will not move forward with implementing the removal of listings in the West Bank from the platform. We understand the complexity of the issue that was addressed in our previous policy announcement, and we will continue to allow listings throughout all of the West Bank, but Airbnb will take no profits from this activity in the region. Any profits generated for Airbnb by any Airbnb host activity in the entire West Bank will be donated to non-profit organizations dedicated to humanitarian aid that serve people in different parts of the world. Airbnb will also implement the same approach for listings in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two other disputed areas where the company has previously announced that we would take action.

Airbnb has always opposed the BDS movement. Airbnb has never boycotted Israel, Israeli businesses, or the more than 20,000 Israeli hosts who are active on the Airbnb platform. We have always sought to bring people together and will continue to work with our community to achieve this goal.

Airbnb recognizes that there are many other disputed territories around the world. The company will rely upon our previously identified framework to evaluate these areas. If Airbnb determines homes — the core of our business — are central to ongoing tensions, we will adopt the same approach of allowing listings and donating Airbnb’s profits generated by Airbnb host activity in the region to non-profit organizations dedicated to humanitarian aid that serve people in different parts of the world.

You can also read Airbnb’s statement on their website, here

January 2019:  Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) played a key role in ensuring government action against home rental service Airbnb for the company’s recent decision to discriminate against Jewish homes in the West Bank.

In addition to sending a letter to Airbnb appealing their decision, JCRC’s Israel Advocacy Task Force led an effort with other Florida JCRCs to send a letter to Florida Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis. The letter requested that Florida include Airbnb on its list of scrutinized companies that boycott Israel, in accordance with the state’s anti-BDS legislation. The law prohibits public entities from contracting with any company that boycotts Israel. Gov.-Elect DeSantis agreed to flag AirBnb as a scrutinized company.

You can read both letters below.

Federation’s JCRC is your gateway to advocating for the Jewish people and Israel while building connections with other faiths and communities. JCRC’s key focus areas include Israel Advocacy, Antisemitism, Interfaith Relations and Government Relations. For more information and to be involved, contact JCRC’s Vice President Josephine Gon at 561.242.6686 or josephine.gon@jewishpalmbeach.org.

JCRC Letter to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky:

JCRCs Letter to Governor-Elect DeSantis: