SOUTH FLORIDA — Florida's next governor is raising questions about AirBNB, saying a new move by the company to de-list rooms in Israel's West Bank could run afoul of state law.
The company announced last week that it had pulled all listings for rooms and homes for rent inside the West Bank, which many still consider disputed territory between Israelis and Palestinians. As such, AirBNB said it could not operate there.
Florida has laws on its books that prevent the state from doing business with companies that boycott or sanction Israel. Therefore, said Governor-elect Ron DeSantis, AirBNB’s decision might mean that Florida would no longer do business with the company.
“We are reviewing that now. We are also going to review how Florida interacts with AirBNB,” DeSantis said Monday at a press conference in South Florida. “I know that state workers can use AirBNB for official travel. That is not going to be acceptable with me as governor.”
AirBNB officials sent a statement to Channel 9 saying it still lists thousands of properties in other parts of Israel, and it is also reviewing bookings in the Western Sahara.
As far as Florida goes, the state law only prevents the state, not private businesses or citizens, from doing business with companies that boycott or sanction Israel. In other words, only state workers would be prevented from renting through AirBNB while on official business.
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