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UN council issues blacklist of 112 companies tied to Israeli firms in Judea and Samaria

 

February 21, 2020



The United Nations Human Rights Council has released a list of more than 100 companies it says are operating in Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.

In a report issued on Wednesday, the council said that the activities of these companies “raised particular human rights concerns.”

The list is dominated by Israeli companies, including banks and construction firms.

However, it also lists a number of international firms, including travel companies Airbnb, Expedia, and TripAdvisor, tech giant Motorola, and construction and infrastructure companies including France’s Egis Rail and a British company, JC Bamford Excavators.

Ironically, Airbnb announced in 2018 that it would prohibit listing Jewish-owned homes in Judea and Samaria on its website but later reversed its decision before it was even implemented.

In January 2019, Amnesty International issued a report, calling on the Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, and TripAdvisor digital booking sites to refrain from conducting business in areas captured by Israel in the 1967 war. At the time, Israel’s Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan responded with a tweet charging that “Amnesty has become a leader in the anti-Semitic BDS campaign.”

In the past, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet had delayed publication of a report on companies doing business in Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. Certain critics compared the UN blacklist to the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses in Germany in the 1930s.

“Working at the behest of the notorious UN Human Rights Council, the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights has officially decided to endorse anti-Semitic BDS by issuing a defamatory list of companies it claims are supposedly involved in ‘settlement activity,’” charged NGO Monitor on Wednesday.

“These companies have done nothing wrong and many are involved in providing goods and services to Palestinians pursuant to the Oslo Accords,” said NGO Monitor Legal Advisor Anne Herzberg in a statement.

“This list was made in conjunction with pro-BDS and PFLP-linked NGOs,” she added. The PFLP is the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, designated a terrorist organization by the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, and the European Union, as well as Israel.

Herzberg called on countries targeted by the publication of the blacklist, particularly Israel and the United States, to “reassess their relationships with Commissioner Bachelet’s office, including cancelling all cooperation and the millions of dollars and euros provided to her each year in funding. The maligned companies should begin assessing plans to take legal action against the UN officials who prepared the list and those who will propagate its false claims.”

On Wednesday evening, the Israeli Foreign Ministry tweeted that the UN human rights commissioner’s “announcement regarding the publication of a ‘blacklist’ of companies represents the ultimate surrender to pressure exerted by countries and organizations interested in harming Israel.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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