Mike Pence says BDS has ‘no place’ in US markets amid Airbnb row

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Mike Pence says BDS has ‘no place’ in US markets amid Airbnb row

Vice President says boycotts of Israel are "wrong" during address at the annual conference of the Israeli American Council,

Vice President Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence said the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel has “no place” in the U.S. market, and cited Airbnb’s delisting of West Bank Jewish settlements as an example of the movement.

“In the wake of Airbnb’s decision to ban Jewish homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank, we made it clear, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is wrong and it has no place in the free enterprise of the United States of America,” Pence said at the annual conference of the Israeli American Council, taking place this year in southern Florida.

Pence did not explain what specifically the Trump administration had done to “make it clear” BDS was unwelcome in the United States. As Indiana governor from 2013-2017 Pence was among the first to sign a law banning state cooperation with businesses that boycott Israel. There are similar bills under consideration federally; Pence may have been signalling administration support for the legislation.

Airbnb still lists dwellings within Israel’s 1967 borders.

Pence, long a pro-Israel leader dating back to his days in Congress, got multiple standing ovations during the conference and repeatedly said — to applause — that Donald Trump most pro-Israel president ever.

“It’s a great pleasure to serve with a man who has made the alliance between America and Israel stronger than ever before, President Trump,” he said.

Pence noted Trump’s Israel-related actions, including moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and pulling out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Listing instances in which Trump had made good on his “vow to combat anti-Semitism,” Pence listed the U.S. withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Council, which disproportionately targets Israel, the Airbnb incident — although he did not say what Trump had done regarding BDS — and moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

Jewish groups have called on the administration to restore funding for a Homeland Security effort to track right-wing extremists that Trump has all but shut down and to name someone to the congressionally mandated role of a monitor of anti-Semitism overseas. Pence did not address these issues.

At the end of his speech, Pence turned to the massacre last month at a Pittsburgh synagogue complex, when an anti-Semitic gunman killed 11 worshippers.

“I believe there may have been no better example of the president’s love for the Jewish people than the way the president responded in the wake of the terrible attack of the tree of life synagogue,” Pence said.

Trump visited the site of the killing three days after the attack but did not speak. A number of local Jews protested Trump and local politicians had asked him not to come. The gunman, while reviling Trump as beholden to Jews, had embraced a claim advanced without evidence by Trump that Central American migrants planned to “invade” the United States. The gunman blamed Jews for the “invasion.”

“This anti-semitic attack was an assault not just on the Jewish community,” Pence said. “It was an assault on all of us in America.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: