State Legislator Letter: Don’t Restrict Free Market Enterprise

State Legislators: Don’t Restrict Free Market Enterprise

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The American Legislative Exchange Council is America’s largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets and federalism. Comprised of nearly one-quarter of the country’s state legislators and stakeholders from across the policy spectrum, ALEC members include policymakers representing more than 60 million Americans and businesses employing more than 30 million people.

On behalf of ALEC and its members, we strongly condemn the recent decision by Airbnb to begin denying service to Jewish-owned properties in Judea and Sameria (The West Bank). This abhorrent decision is both discriminatory in nature and bad as a matter of business.
We stand firmly in support of free market enterprise and advocate commercial policies that defend our citizens and state economies. Accordingly, twenty-six of our American states, both blue and red, have now joined the Federal government in implementing laws opposing commercial discrimination against parties who do business in Israel.

Airbnb’s new policy is unquestionably discriminatory. Under this policy, an American owner of a rental property located in a majority-Jewish community in the West Bank would be barred from listing on Airbnb. In addition to discriminating against Jewish persons, we note that this policy would also prevent Christians from staying in these communities when visiting important heritage sites in places such as Bethlehem and Nazareth. Yet at the same time, Airbnb continues to welcome the listing of a property in immediately neighboring Palestinian Authority-controlled locales, where the PA in fact violently enforces a discriminatory policy barring all land sales to Jews.

It must also be highlighted that Airbnb has singled out Israel alone for this discriminatory treatment. While the company has stated, “each situation is unique and requires a case-by-case approach,” so far the only country facing delisting is the Jewish state. Airbnb continues to list properties in other disputed regions, such as Western Sahara, northern Cyprus, Kashmir, and Tibet among other such places.
We stand unabashedly with Israel and remain firmly opposed to discrimination against Jews, Christians, and all other persons. As state government officials, we wish to put Airbnb on notice that they have run afoul of public policy, and likely the law in many jurisdictions, and that we will be pursuing action to protect our citizens and state economies from its discriminatory policy.

It is our hope that Airbnb will quickly realize that it has erred in adopting its new policy, and consequently reverse its decision to engage in discrimination.

Rep. Mike Ball
Rep. Arnold Mooney

Rep. David Eastman
Rep. Chuck Kopp

Rep. John Allen
Rep. Mark Finchem
Sen. Rick Gray

Rep. Richard Womack

Sen. Joel Anderson

Sen. Kevin Lundberg
Rep. Lori Saine

Rep. Mike Caruso
Rep. Randy Fine
Rep. Mike Hill
Rep. Ralph Massullo
Rep. Sam Killebrew
Rep. Anthony Sabatini
Rep. Spencer Roach

Councilwoman Leslie McPherson

Rep. Gene Ward

City Council President Bruce Skaug

Rep. Woody Burton

Sen. Mark Segebart
Speaker Linda Upmeyer

Rep. Randy Garber
Rep. Stephen Owens
Rep. Bill Sutton

Rep. Jerry Miller

Sen. Sharon Hewitt
Rep. Valarie Hodges

County Commissioner Andre Cushing
Rep. Stacey Guerin

Sen. Justin Ready

Rep. Steven Howitt

Rep. Dan Lauwers

Rep. Roz Peterson

Rep. Keith Frederick
Rep. Mark Matthiesen

Sen. Jennifer Fielder

Speaker Philip Gunn

North Carolina
Rep. Dana Bumgardner
Rep. Mike Clampitt
Rep. George Cleveland
Rep. Jeff Collins
Rep. Josh Dobson
Rep. Andy Dulin
Rep. John Fraley
Rep. Kyle Hall
Rep. Kelly Hastings
Sen. Ralph Hise
Rep. Linda Johnson
Rep. Bert Jones
Rep. Brenden Jones
Rep. Tim Moore
Rep. Michael Speciale
Rep. John Torbett
Rep. Rena Turner
Rep. Jason Saine

North Dakota
Rep. Bernie Satrom

New Hampshire
Rep. Jeanine Notter

New Mexico
Rep. Larry Scott

Rep. Andrew Brenner
Rep. Bill Seitz
Rep. Andy Thompson

Sen. Mark Allen
Rep. Jim Olsen

Sen. Dennis Linthicum
Rep. Gene Whisnant

Rep. Cris Dush
Rep. Dawn Keefer

South Carolina
Rep. Lucas Atkinson
Rep. Bruce Bannister
Rep. Lin Bennett
Rep. Jeff Bradley
Rep. Mike Burns
Rep. Alan Clemmons
Rep. Neal Collins
Rep. Heather Crawford
Rep. Jason Elliott
Rep. Raye Felder
Rep. Mike Forrester
Rep. Lee Hewitt
Rep. Bill Hixon
Rep. Chip Huggins
Rep. Jeff Johnson
Rep. Jay Jordan
Rep. Rick Martin
Rep. John McCravy
Rep. Dennis Moss

South Dakota
Sen. Jim Bolin
Rep. Taffy Howard
Sen. Phil Jensen
Sen. Dan Lederman
Rep. Jim Stalzer
Sen. Margaret Sutton

Rep. Mary Littleton
Rep. Dennis Powers
Sen. Dawn White

Rep. Charles Anderson
Rep. Rodney Anderson
Rep. Cecil Bell Jr.
Rep. Kyle Biedermann
Rep.Dwayne Bohac
Rep. Cindy Burkett
Rep. Dustin Burrows
Rep. Briscoe Cain
Sen. Donna Campbell
Rail Commissioner Wayne Christian
Rep. Travis Clardy
Rep. Tony Dale
Rep. Drew Darby
Rep. Sarah Davis
Rep. Wayne Faircloth
Rep. Dan Flynn
Rep. Phil King
Rep. James Frank
Rep. Craig Goldman
Rep. Cole Hefner
Rep. Jason Isaac
Rep. Stephanie Klick
Rep. Matt Krause
Rep. Mike Lang
Rep. Ben Leman
Rep. Geanie W. Morrison
Rep. Tom Oliverson
Rep. Tan Parker
Rep. Dennis Paul
Sen. Charles Perry
Rep. Four Price
Rep. John Raney
Rep. Matt Rinaldi
Rep. Scott Sanford
Rep. Matt Schaefer
Rep. Mike Schofield
Rep. Ron Simmons
Rep. Phil Stephenson
Rep. Valoree Swanson
Rep. Lynn Stucky
Sen. Larry Taylor
Rep. Ed Thompson
Rep. Tony Tinderholt
Rep. Paul Workman
Rep. James E. White
Rep. Bill Zedler
Rep. John Zerwas

Rep. Kay Christofferson
Rep. Ken Ivory
Sen. Wayne Niederhauser

Del. Kathy Byron

Sen. Jan Angel
Rep. Matt Shea

West Virginia
Sen. Robert Karnes

Sen. Leah Vukmir

Rep. Dan Laursen