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UN body to compile blacklist of settlement businesses

The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva approved a resolution to compile an updated list of all companies, Israeli and foreign, operating in any of the disputed territories.

Pro-Israel demonstration outside the UNHRC earlier this week (Photo Eldad Beck)

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva approved a resolution on Thursday to gather a blacklist of Israeli and international companies operating directly or indirectly in settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and in the Golan Heights. This list is to be updated annually.

Israel and the United States attempted to prevent the resolution by gathering support from European countries. However, the resolution passed with a vote of 32–15. The decision to name companies on a blacklist was taken in the debate of the council’s agenda item 7, which is an item dedicated to discussing and condemning Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response, “The UN Human Rights Council has become an anti-Israel circus. It attacks the only democracy in the Middle East and ignores the gross violations of Iran, Syria and North Korea. The absurdity is that instead of dealing with the Palestinians’ terrorist attacks and those of (ISIS) in Europe, it decides to condemn Israel.

“Israel calls on responsible governments not to honor the decisions of the Council that discriminate against Israel.”

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon said in a reply that marking Jewish businesses in order to boycott them brings to mind dark times in human history. He accused the UNHRC of being a tool of the BDS movement and acting out of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic motives.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry stated that the vote further revealed the UNHRC’s “obsession” with Israel at the cost of ignoring areas with severe human-rights abuses, naming Syria, Libya and North Korea. The Ministry further accused the council of cynicism and hypocrisy.

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