“We call on our friends around the world to speak out against this shameful initiative which reminds us of dark periods in our history,” said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin after the UN released the blacklist.
By United with Israel Staff and AP
After repeated delays, the U.N. human rights office on Wednesday released a list of more than 100 companies whose operations are associated with the Judea and Samaria regions of Israel.
The list, the first ever attempt by the U.N. to name and shame businesses connected to the development of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, included a number of well known names, among them Airbnb, Motorola and General Mills.
Coming just weeks after the publication of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace plan, its publication was swiftly condemned by Israel and hailed by the Palestinians.
The Human Rights Council, which pursues an overtly anti-Israel agenda, in 2016 instructed the U.N.’s human rights office to create a “database” of companies deemed to be linked to or supportive of Jewish communities, which it derogatorily refers to as “settlements.”
The report does not have any concrete impact on the companies that were singled out. Instead, it is largely symbolic, drawing what appeared to be comparisons to Nazi-era boycotts of Jewish businesses in Germany.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin responded to the blacklist, “We call on our friends around the world to speak out against this shameful initiative which reminds of dark periods in our history.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented, “Whoever boycotts us will be boycotted.”
Netanyahu added, “The UN Human Rights Council is a biased body that is devoid of influence. Not for nothing have I already ordered the severing of ties with it. It was also not for nothing that the American administration has taken this step together with us.”
“Instead of the organization dealing with human rights, it only tries to disparage Israel. We strongly reject this contemptible effort,” Netanyahu concluded.
Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, called the publication of the list a “shameful surrender” to countries and organizations that want to hurt Israel. He accused the council of assisting a global anti-Israel boycott movement.
“The state of Israel will not accept discriminatory and anti-Israel policies and we will work in every possible way to prevent such decisions from being carried out,” he said.
The council’s anti-Israel bias is well documented and the Trump administration withdrew the United States in 2018 because the UN accepts some of the world’s worst human rights abusers and autocratic governments, while routinely chastising Israel and passing one-sided resolutions demonizing the Jewish state.
While the council accepts countries like China, Libya, Venezuela and Somalia, where torture and other horrific practices are tolerated as a matter of policy, the overwhelming majority of resolutions it passes focus on Israel, the only country in the world that automatically faces scrutiny at every council session.
UN Watch slammed the report, with its executive director Hillel Neuer tweeting, “The list has no precedent and turns the UN into ground zero for the global anti-Israel boycott campaign.”
NGO Monitor, an Israeli group that is highly critical of the rights council, called the list “defamatory” and an endorsement of the anti-Israel boycott movement.
Anne Herzberg, the group’s legal adviser, called on countries to “reassess their relationships” with the rights office and urged the “maligned companies” to consider legal action against UN.officials who prepared the list.