November 30, 2018

Airbnb Breaks the Law, HR Takes Action

On  November 19, 2018, Airbnb, Inc. (a widely popular online hospitality service) announced:
…we concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.
In short, Israeli Jews living in Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”) may no longer rent out their homes and apartments via the Airbnb platform. Muslims, Christians and citizens of the Palestinian Authority are free to continue doing so: the boycott targets only Jews.
At present, Airbnb does not boycott any other country nor target any other dispute.
The announcement led to spirited discussion about whether the decision is discriminatory or even antisemitic. Yet Western media coverage has neglected one critical fact: it’s also illegal.

The United States Constitution (lol), as well as numerous acts of Congress and various state laws, prohibit American individuals and corporations from participating in boycotts against foreign countries.  In short, a private boycott against a foreign government is not “free speech” like the domestic boycotts of the Civil Rights Movement, but rather a tool of statecraft that, like war, is reserved to the Federal government alone. I previously explored this issue in depth.

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