Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s move was lauded by Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon, who said he hoped it would “be emulated by other states and other countries in the world.”
The Comptroller of Public Accounts for the State of Texas officially added Airbnb to the “List of Companies that Boycott Israel” on Friday, blacklisting the large online-travel company for its discrimination against Jewish homeowners posting lodging offers in Judea and Samaria.
Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s move was lauded by Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon, who said he hoped it would “be emulated by other states and other countries in the world.”
Airbnb responded that “we unequivocally reject and oppose the BDS movement, and are disappointed by the decision. There are over 20,000 Airbnb hosts in Israel who open their doors and showcase the best of Israeli hospitality to guest from around the world, which boosts local families, businesses and communities.”
The company said that it would continue to invest in Israel.
In November 2018, Airbnb suddenly delisted approximately 200 lodgings posted by Jewish homeowners, offering travelers a place to stay in the historic and ancient regions of Judea and Samaria.
It argued that the listings were in “occupied territories,” and thus it could not allow them on their website. The delistings only occurred in Jewish communities; Airbnb listings in Arab communities remained on the site.
The move sparked outrage across the Jewish world, as well as a class-action lawsuit filed by the delisted home owners.
In January, Florida placed Airbnb on a list of companies that may no longer be allowed to do business in the state.
In Texas, Airbnb has 90 days to prove that it has not boycotted Israel before the state takes legal action in the form of selling, redeeming, divesting or withdrawing publicly traded securities of the company. In Texas, a boycott of Judea and Samaria constitutes a boycott of Israel.