The Rabbinical Alliance of America — Igud HaRabbonim, representing nearly one thousand rabbis and spiritual leaders serving throughout the United States of America — are deeply pained and saddened by the anti-Semitic Boycott Divestment and Sanction Movement that has co-opted the Airbnb Company to join with them in boycotting Jews living in the areas of Yehuda and Shomron, known as Judea and Samaria, that is situated on the West Bank of the Jordan River in Israel.
Airbnb, a global marketplace that allows people to rent out their properties or spare rooms to guests worldwide, offers services in nearly every country legally allowed. It conducts business in places where totalitarian governments and dictatorships reign, allowing individuals the freedom to choose where to stay and from whom to rent a room. By offering individuals choice, Airbnb spreads freedom across the globe and allows people of different races and ethnicities to meet each other on the most basic human level. Airbnb’s decision to boycott specifically Jewish homes in one part of the world reduces freedom and harms peace among humanity.
The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is Palestinian-led and claims to represent freedom, justice and equality. In fact, this anti-Semitic movement woefully misrepresents the values of justice, equality and freedom by singling out Jews as uniquely deserving of opposition while ignoring oppressive and murderous regimes around the world. An honest evaluation of BDS and its supporters — among them legally acknowledged terrorist organizations — recognizes that their goal is not to protect Palestinians or help bring peace or equality to the region of the Middle East but to attack Jews.
BDS is focused on eliminating Israel’s right to exist and destroying the Jewish State piece by piece. BDS claims to uphold the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity. It is these very same rights that they do not acknowledge for Israel and the Jewish people.
Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, Executive Vice-President of the RAA, stated that, “Justice, equality and freedom are G-d given and basic human rights for all people. We decry the falsehoods and threatening work of BDS which deny gainful employment for both Jews and Arabs living in Judea and Samaria, Israel. This is nothing more than economic terrorism against Israel, the only true American ally in the Middle East.”
Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht, Presidium Chairman of the RAA, noted that not only is Airbnb doing a disservice to the Jews of Judea and Samaria, it is harming Jews across the world by supporting the anti-Semites in the forefront of the BDS movement. This corporate move against freedom is so disconcerting as Americans prepare to celebrate the great Thanksgiving tradition of freedom.
Airbnb’s shameful decision aids and abets the BDS movement’s singling out of Jews and the Jewish State. Their decision is not just bad politics but contrary to the values of freedom and equality. The BDS movement is an affront to decency, justice and peaceful coexistence among all of G-D’s children.
May He who makes peace in the heavens above, make peace upon us, Amen.