Quarterly Updates for (1 Apr 2019 — 30 Jun 2019)

                After announcing in November 2018 that Airbnb was removing its listings in the occupied West Bank, the company released a statement saying it had reversed its decision as part of a legal settlement with hosts and potential hosts in the West Bank. Airbnb said in the statement that it will not profit from the listings and the profits generated would go non-profit organizations “that serve people in different parts of the world.” Finally, Airbnb stated that it “has always opposed the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement.” The lawsuit, which was settled on 8 April, was organized by the pro-Israel law organization Shurat Hadin-Israel law Center. The Palestine Liberation Organization secretary general Saeb Erakat said in a statement that Airbnb’s decision “signals the complicity of the company with the systematic denial of our inalienable right to self-determination,” and said of the donation of its profit from the West Bank was “a shameful attempt at whitewashing their complicity.”

                Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, passed a motion condemning the BDS movement as anti-Semitic. The motion urges the German government not to support projects cooperating with or actively calling for boycotts of Israel. A long list of Jewish scholars called on the German parliament not to equate BDS with anti-Semitism prior to the vote.

                The co-founder of the BDS movement Omar Barghouti was denied entry to the U.S. for a speaking tour (see United States).

                The University of Maryland student government voted down a resolution to divest from companies doing business in Israel that “are contributing to and/or exacerbating egregious human rights violations in occupied Palestine.”

                The faculty of the New York University’s (NYU) Department of Social and Cultural Analysis voted in favor of a resolution of non-cooperation with NYU’s Tel Aviv campus. The resolution means that the department will not sponsor faculty and student exchanges with the Tel Aviv campus, but does not prevent students and faculty from conducting research in Tel Aviv.

                The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies endorsed BDS after a vote at its annual general meeting.

                According to the Electronic Intifada, the Canadian engineering company Bombardier pulled back its bid to expand and operate an Israeli tramway linking Israeli settlements in the West Bank with Jerusalem.         

                Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter issued a statement opposing anti-BDS legislation. “U.S. courts have protected the right of individuals to participate in boycotts as a form of political protest. The same protection applies to the right to advocate or oppose BDS. The House of Representatives should reject this [BDS Act of 2019] unconstitutional bill.”

                A federal judge in Texas ruled on 25 April that it was against the 1st Amendment that a Texan speech pathologist lost her job for refusing to sign a pro-Israel oath. The judge found that Texas could not prohibit its employees from boycotting Israel.