Airbnb Reverses Ban On Israeli Homes: We call it, “Good News Friday” because it’s a chance for David and Tim to share some good news from across the nation and around the world. We don’t often hear good news from major media, however, here on WallBuilders Live, we love sharing news worthy of celebration! Tune in now to learn more!

Air Date: 07/19/2019

Guest: Phil King

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always doing that from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker and President of WallBuilders, and my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author. 

All three of us enjoy these Friday programs because it’s a chance to point out you can win. The system does work, if we work the system. 

And what an honor to be able to bring these victories to you, hopefully to challenge, and equip, and inspire you to be a part of the solution in your community. 

Guys, I am looking forward to some good news today. I’m guessing David’s going first? No, Tim, you’re up first today! You’re taking Dad’s spot!

Tim:

Well, I have an article that we thought was worth sharing, and it happened to be in my stack, not his. Therefore, I gotta go first. 

So the headline reads Airbnb Reverses Ban on Israeli Homes in West Bank, Says it Never Supported BDS. 

This is something we’ve talked about on the program, and I remember the month, two three months ago—whatever it was—we talked about Airbnb. 

I remember—actually, when it looked like they were making this decision, it did boycott Israel, and that was the way it was interpreted. We were going on a family trip and my mom said, “Nope, we’re not gonna stay at Airbnb. I don’t care how much money it saves us, we’ll pay more money for a hotel. I’m not supporting it if they’re against Israel.” 

Airbnb End Boycott of Israel

Well, apparently we weren’t the only ones that kind of felt that way. There was a little pushback. I don’t know how big it was, I don’t know what they thought from this, but they’ve come out and they reversed their decision. This is something that, even in the state of Texas, our state legislators and our state office has done things related to supporting Israel with the taxes they bring in, and the investments they make, and who they invest with, this is something that we actually have had Phil King on the program before talking about how—even as a state—we are trying to do things and be different with what we do as a state related to even interaction with Israel. 

But it actually deals with specifically this Airbnb decision.

Rick:

Well, Phil King is actually going to be with us! We’re going to jump over to the phone lines, and Phil King is calling in from the Legislature in Texas. He’s a great State Rep. for the state of Texas, and he’s been on this issue, as you mentioned, Tim, not only for the state of Texas and dealing with it from a legislative perspective in one state, but now on a national level with other states around the country. 

When Airbnb did this, man! He got signatures from legislators all over the nation to say to Airbnb, “Listen, you’re about to lose a lot of business. You better rethink this policy.” 

Welcome Phil King

So I’m really excited to hear what Phil has to say about what has happened now Airbnb’s new position, and what ultimately caused them to reverse the bad decision of being a part of the BDS movement.

So, switching over to our phone line now, Phil King is with us. Phil King, state Representative of the Great State of Texas, thanks for coming on with us, man.

Phil:

Oh, glad to be back.

Rick:

We had you on I guess this was probably, I want to say it was about December time? On Airbnb just going exactly the wrong direction.

Join in the whole anti Israel media.

How did they say it? 

Phil:

Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. 

Rik:

There it is. OK. These big words all right. The left has been very active on this, and managed to get Airbnb, who—that shocked me. They have such a large customer base of left and right. Anyway, you came on and told us about it, and you got together legislate from all over the country to write them on this, and looks like a reversal of their decision.

Phil:

It is really, I think, just a great model for how things are supposed to work, and thanks for public appreciation to Airbnb for taking a different position, and just really doing an about face.

What BDS is nations and companies all across the world lining up to boycott Israel. Essentially, they’ve learned they can’t defeat them militarily so they want to try to defeat them economically. It’s truly economic warfare. 

Anti BDS Law of Texas

Israel has so few natural resources that they live off brainpower, and export, and technology, and all the things that they do, and they have to do business worldwide. When you boycott, it can lead to dire consequences. So it’s a growing movement in Texas and a number of other states passed laws prohibiting the state government and municipal governments—schools, etc.—from doing any business with any company that’s boycotting Israel. 

So for example if ABC paper company is boycotting Israel, then no public school in Texas will buy paper from ABC paper company. It’s been a very effective, very effective, tool to combat the anti Israel discrimination. You do whatever you want with your personal money, that’s your business. Free speech all of that. But we here in Texas and other states have made the decision. We’re not going to let you use taxpayer dollars to hurt our friend Israel. So that’s what the anti BDS legislation movements about.

Rick:

 And Phil, just to catch up on the past, you had to take this fight—this has been a few years I think—but even even even Texas organizations that had funds, you had to prevent that because they were trying to go that direction as well, and you stepped in there as well.

Phil:

Oh yes. It’s been a pretty big move for a number of years in Texas. Texas has the strongest anti BDS law in the country. We just are in the middle of an injunction. The ACLU and others filed against it and it’s over in the Fifth Circuit, but we are completely confident we’re going to prevail and that in very short order and get the law back under enforcement. 

The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back

But what did happen with Airbnb is they declared that they were not going to do business with any rental properties that are in the West Bank in Judea and Samaria, which, interestingly, only hurts the Palestinians. It is quite the opposite of what Airbnb was probably trying to do with this.

Anyway, they announced they were doing a boycott. So back early in the year, we got about one hundred and fifty legislators from around the country to write a letter to Airbnb saying, “Hey, reconsider this please. You’re a great company, we want people to do business with you, reconsider this.” 

They basically ignored it, and kind of sent us back a blow off statement. So then Texas put Airbnb on its boycott list, meaning no government thing in the state could do business with them, and I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was, oddly enough, the University of Texas. 

The University of Texas announced, “Look, we’re going to comply with state law. State law says we can’t do business with anyone boycotting Israel.” 

Oddly, to my surprise I didn’t know what they were using Airbnb a lot for conferences and for other things that they have to do. 

They’re a huge university, travel around the country what not. It was a big article, the Austin American Statesman, the Doctor Fenves stood up and obeyed state law, and said, “We’re not gonna do it,” and had to fight back some in his department, had done that. 

About a week later Airbnb came out with a public announcement. 

What You Can Do to Help

“I think that maybe we were wrong on this. We’re going to reverse that decision and we’re gonna do business in Israel.” 

So it’s just a great victory, and kudos to Airbnb and to the University of Texas.

Rick:

I didn’t realize the the UT part of that story. Who would’ve thought it would be right here in Texas, where you’ve been fighting all these battles, and that UT would take that kind of stance. We typically see UT as a very liberal campus, and I would think a lot of agency heads or department heads would definitely push back on that. So that’s impressive that he’s still went the right direction on this.

Phil:

He obeyed the law, and he and he said, “This is what the Texas Legislature decided, and we’re a government entity, and we’re gonna follow the law.” 

He was very, very polite and public about it. And I think it really broke the camel’s back.

Rick:

Are there any other areas on the BDS battle that we should be on the lookout for right now?

This was a big win for this year. 

Phil:

Well, if your state doesn’t have an anti BDS Law, they need to get one. I think about 25 states have, and many Democrat dominated states as well. So the Texas law is the strongest in the country, as I said, and I would encourage you to go into your legislators if you don’t have, to your governor and ask them to pass an anti BDS bill. That would be the first step. 

Boycott the BDS

Then also just look for companies yourself that are boycotting. If you see that an Airbnb type company is doing that—and you can google lists of what companies are boycotting—then just send them a letter and email saying, “I’m not going to do business with you anymore.” 

A friend of mine had an Airbnb facility, when LP and then started the boycott. That friend that owns a rental property that they leased out in Waco, Texas. He called and said, “No. I’m gonna cancel it. If you’re going to boycott Israel, you’re not going to lease out our bed and breakfast.”

Rick:

Good for him. It’s interesting, whenever—I wish I could remember when that was when I had you on about this—but when we did that, I was in the middle of booking a bunch of travel for us around the country, and we typically would use HomeAway and Airbnb. 

Of course, when we found out about this, we said, “That’s it, we’re only gonna use home way.” 

And I think people need to realize that they can vote with their dollars. Like you said, this is the way it should happen as a marketplace solution. And and it gives people a chance to let their voices be heard. Like you said, “A business is free to do what they want to do and what they think is right.” 

But there are economic consequences. Customers are also free to take their dollars where they want to vote with their dollars.

A Change in Policy

Phil:

Yeah, that’s it. And again, this is a great success story. Again, I just want to publicly say “thank you” to Airbnb, and they listen to their customers and and say, “OK, we’re gonna do a change of policy.”

Rick:

And I’m glad to be able to use them again.

Phil:

Yeah. I was shocked when they did this. Particularly with rumors that they’ve tried to go public. Why in the world would they do this? And what was really frustrating about it is there’s other countries where there is tremendous oppression of people that they said, “We’re still doing business there.” 

And we talked to them about that and said, “Well, what about these other nations that you’re doing business in?”

 It was just Israel that they say, “Boycott it.”

Rick:

Mm hmm. Well, all right. Good stuff. Phil King, keep up the great work, brother. We appreciate all that you do at the state legislature, and here, obviously around the country, in this case around the world!

We appreciate your being a world changer, and impacting things, and taking time to come let us know what’s going on. 

Phil:

Let’s talk again soon. 

Rick:

Stay with us folks. Be right back. David and Tim Barton have more good news when we come back with WallBuilders Live.

Front Sight Training Course

Rick Greens here, from WallBuilders Live. What do Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, Ben Shapiro, Rick Green, Tim Barton, David Barton, have in common other than the fact that they’re conservative commentators that defend the Constitution?

They’re raving about Front Sight Firearms Training Institute. Go to my website right now at RickGreen.com. You can watch the video of Dennis Prager training at Front Sight, or Larry Elder, or Tim Barton and myself out there. It’s an opportunity for you to learn how to defend yourself and your family. It is a fantastic place to train. They train 30 to 40,000 people a year, and they’re just wonderful to work with. You can go with us. We’re headed back out.

We’re going to have a great time out there, and if you’re a supporter of WallBuilders, we’re going to treat you. If you’re a donor of WallBuilders, you’ll be able to go to this Front Sight class for free. It normally cost a thousand dollars, go to FrontSight.com right now. You’ll see that it’s a thousand dollars to attend their two-day class. You are going to be able to go for free, if you’re a supporter of WallBuilders Live.

So, check out that information at RickGreen.com and join us. We are going once a month for the next three months. You can pick one of those classes. All of our previous classes have filled up. Make sure that you get online today and get signed up. Whether you’ve never shot before, or you’ve shot your whole life, you will enjoy this class. You’ll enjoy the fellowship. We’ll be training on the range during the day and studying the Constitution at night. What a great combination. Check it out today at RickGreen.com. 

Moment From American History 

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. Alexis De Tocqueville, a political official from France, traveled to the United States in 1831 and penned his observations in the now famous book, “Democracy In America.”

Being from France, what he found in America was completely unexpected to him. He reported, “Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention. And, the longer I stayed there the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But, in America, I found that they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.”

De Tocqueville recognized that it was Biblical Christianity and the morals it produced that made America great? For more information about Alexis Tocqueville and the positive influence of Christianity in early America go to WallBuilders.com.

Ninth Circus No More!

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live! Special thanks to Phil King, State Rep. from Texas, for joining us today and for his leadership on this issue of defending Israel. What a great victory, guys. Good reversal from Airbnb, so I no longer have to stay away from them. I like that.

David:

Yeah. I like that. A lot of good news in there, not only what Phil said. And not only the behind the scenes stuff, but it’s great news that the University of Texas may have been the linchpin that helped shift that thing. I would never have thought that would come out of the University of Texas, but kudos to the president that’s there now. 

Rick:

No doubt about it. Guys, I know you have a lot more to get to, and we got two segments left. So we’ll dive right into another piece of good news. David?

David:

Well, here’s a piece of good news from the Federal Court of Appeals. It says that the court has ruled that President Trump can defund Planned Parenthood. Now, that’s been going on courts back and forth, back and forth, you always get some courts to rule in favor, some courts against. That’s why it ends up the Supreme Court. 

But this time the difference is the court that ruled that President Trump can defund Planned Parenthood is the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and that’s the one that I would never have chosen, ever, to be the court to say that he can defund Planned Parenthood. That’s where the activists always go to get their pro-abortion decisions. And now the Ninth Circuit has done this? 

It’s amazing because originally it was a two to one panel that said, “Yes, he can defund it.” 

A Total Change

But then the rest of the court said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, that’s just you three guys. There’s 19 of us on the court, we all get to have a voice in this.” 

They did a full en banc hearing, and the en banc hearing ruled overwhelmingly in favor of President Trump being able to defund Planned Parenthood. So now that in itself is major. 

By the way, the one thing you can point to that is the source of the difference there is all the new nominees he has put on the Ninth Circus. We may not be able to call them a circus anymore, it might actually become a genuine court. The appointees that he has made to the 9th Circuit made the difference in ruling in a different direction. And as they pointed out, President Reagan had these same provisions 30 years ago, and the courts upheld it then. Nothing’s changed in the Constitution. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be doing the same thing.

Rick:

So David, I was not getting that excited when you when you mentioned the 9th Circuit.

I was like, “OK, great.” 

Because I assumed it was a select panel of two or three of these guys. I didn’t realize it was on en banc. So you’re talking with the entire 9th Circuit. 

Usually when we get good news out of the Ninth Circuit, it’s a select little two or three judges out of the 19. I had no idea this had already gone en banc, and it was the entire Ninth Circuit.

That’s a very unusual victory from the Ninth Circuit. I’m thrilled, man! That’s good news.

Clever Tactics

David:

So while we’re talking about this case where, on the West Coast, the 9th Circuit upheld President Trump’s right to defund Planned Parenthood. If you’ll go north, they’re still in the West Coast, go to Alaska and they’re in Alaska. 

You have Governor, Mike Dunleevey, who ruled, “Hey, we in the state are not going to fund Planned Parenthood.” 

Well, the Alaska Supreme Court came back and struck down that line item veto he did in the budget said, “Oh yeah? You will not defund Planned Parenthood. You will pay money for Planned Parenthood.” 

So with the court having said that, he has to pay this money. Governor Dunleevey promptly cut their budget by the same amount he was going to cut Planned Parenthood. So the state budget has now been saved $334,000 dollars, except it is going to come out of the judge’s budget rather than out of Planned Parenthood. 

So he’s still saved the state $334,000, which is what the state was paying to Planned Parenthood. But since the court thinks that it needs to be paid, let them be the ones to contribute. 

I love the political tactics here. He does have the power to do that, and it’s just great. It sends a great message that, “Hey, that’s brilliant. You don’t get the final say on this.”

Rick:

I love it. 

We’re always looking for unique, inventive ways to battle, and be strategic, and have good tactics, and all that. I’ve never heard of this one as a solution. But what a great slap back at the court when they’re ruling in ways they shouldn’t be, and trying to tell the legislature, and the governor, and executive what they should be doing. 

The Opposite of Andrew Jackson

So he’s basically saying, “OK,” but instead of doing Andrew Jackson and saying, “That’s a nice opinion, let’s see how you’re going to enforce it.” 

He basically said, “That’s a nice opinion. OK. You’re going to pay for it.”

That is fantastic. 

David:

That’s it.

Rick:

Very good news. I’m going to enjoy that one today. Quick break guys. We’ll be right back. We’ve got more good news in our final segment. Stay with us on WallBuilders Live.

Bring A Speaker To Your Area

Tim:

Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. And, as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional. 

And, you might be thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”

Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And, there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.

64% of Americans For Proof of Citizenship in 2020 Census

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Our final segment of good news today. Tim, you started us. You’re gonna close us out. What’s our last piece of good news?

Tim:

All right guys. I’ve got a couple, and I might get to more than one, so we’ll see. So, one of them relates to the ongoing issue about the census question of President Trump wanting to know who is an American and has the legal status of American. 

This is where the court said, “You can’t do it.” 

Trump came out and said, “Then we’ll find a creative way to do this.” 

We already have most of that information on the people who are here anyway, so we can track that data from the information we already have. 

But Rasmussen did a study trying to find out where the American citizens are on this citizenship question on the census. 

They found that the majority of Americans, 64% of American adults, think the U.S. Census should ask respondents whether they are citizens of the United States. 

Only 28% disagreed with that position. This is where we are seeing one political party who it seems as if their ambition is just to oppose whatever the President does. 

At times they are opposing what the President does and in defiance of logic and common sense. 

I think, first of all, the good news is that the American people are still caring about who is a citizen and who’s not. Now, it’s a little troubling that 28 percent don’t think we should ask the question, because if we were worried about Russian collusion in the last election, we don’t want outside influence. Yet we’re going to let whoever come across the border that wants to and they can vote? 

The Meaning of “Refugee”

I’m pretty sure that’s outside influence, because they’re not citizens yet. 

But it does it to me as a second layer of good news, because it also reveals that you have a political party who is defying the American people and hopefully the American people and the upcoming elections will vote for people who say no, we won’t have a little more common sense. 

One last thing we’ll try to squeeze in real quick is as we are looking at the people that are coming into America. As we’re looking at that, a lot of times we’re saying it’s refugees, and they’re seeking asylum, or whoever it is, we don’t wanna call them illegal immigrants. There’s a lot of this conversation going on refugees, or people who are seeking protection from a government. There is a political designation that’s given to this. It is a specific specific group of people. 

Under President Obama, the goal from the White House was to bring in one hundred and ten thousand refugees every single year. President Trump said, “Well, why don’t we cut that back a little bit? Let’s see where there’s really a need. We shouldn’t be the one trying to solve all the world’s problems.” 

Which I appreciate that idea and sentiment. So he’s cut that number back fairly significantly. 

Trump Allows Christian Refugees Into America!

But what’s also interesting is the refugees that are coming under President Obama, when ISIS was moving throughout the Middle East, they were targeting a lot of Christians,. Yet President Obama was not in favor of bringing in a lot of Christians. 

He brought in a lot of Muslim refugees, and this is back to the Syrian refugee crisis. This is going on then. Well, under President Trump, he’s actually bringing in the vast majority that are Christian refugees who are being persecuted in their country because their Christian faith, who are being targeted by extremists and killed because their Christian faith. 

It’s great to see that we have a president who is not targeting a specific demographic, and saying, “Christians, you’re not allowed to be here.” 

Nope. 

Actually, Christians, we would love to have you come and be in America. So now 80 percent of the refugees coming to America are Christians seeking protection in America, and that’s good news.

Airbnb Reverses Ban on Israel and More at WallBuilders Live!

Rick:

As well as a lot of great news. We’ve got more at our website, so if you enjoyed today and getting so much of this good news, be sure to visit our website today at WallBuildersLive.com. Just click on the archives section there and you can actually go to some of those past Friday programs and get some more of that good news. 

The other thing I want to encourage you to do there on our website is check the donate button. That donate button is your opportunity to give of your life, your fortune, and your sacred, honor fortune meaning that, yes, your dollars invested in this program impacts the nation. It actually helps to equip, and inspire, and engage citizens all over the nation to get involved to host constitution classes in their homes, and their communities, and their churches, to send pastors to our pastors briefings in Washington D.C., and young leaders to Patriot Academy. All of this great work happens because you donate to us. As a list as a supporter of this listener supported program, you make it possible. 

So we thank you for going to the website today. Click on the Donate button, make that one time or monthly contribution. By coming alongside us, you are helping to save the country, and we greatly appreciate it. Thanks for listening today. This has been WallBuilders Live.