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Illinois Threatens To Blackball Airbnb Over Settlement Listings Dispute

The Illinois state body that sets investment policy gave Airbnb 90 days to explain why it will not list properties in West Bank settlements.

At the request of Gov. Bruce Rauner, the outgoing Republican governor, the Illinois Investment Policy Board on Wednesday unanimously voted to notify Airbnb it is in violation of state law that bars state investment in businesses that boycott Israel or Israeli entities in territories Israeli controls.

Airbnb now has 90 days to respond, or it will go on the state’s list of companies the state must not engage in business.

It’s not clear what the impact on Airbnb would be.

Anti-BDS laws like the one in Illinois have passed in 26 states. The laws are controversial, and have been criticized by some civil liberties groups. The Forward reported Friday that ADL staffers drafted a memo in 2016 that slammed anti-BDS laws as harmful to Jews.

Rauner, defeated in a re-election bid last month by venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker, who is Jewish, was in 2015 among the first governors to sign into law a ban on doing business with entities that boycott Israel or its settlements.

Airbnb last month announced its change in policy, noting that it would continue to list thousands of properties inside Israel’s internationally recognized borders.

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