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January 31, 2018 12:31 pm

Israel’s UN Ambassador Slams Release of Human Rights Council ‘Blacklist’ Details as Global Body Commemorates Holocaust

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (c) and Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon (r) visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, August 2017. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon has lambasted the UN Human Rights Council’s decision to release details of its “blacklist” targeting Israeli and international companies engaged in business with settlements in the West Bank as the global organization prepared for its annual Holocaust commemoration on Wednesday.

“On the day that the UN is marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the UNHRC has chosen to publicize this information about the number of companies operating in Israel,” Danon said in a statement.

“This is a shameful act which will serve as a stain on the UNHRC forever,” Danon continued. “We will continue to act with our allies and use all the means at our disposal to stop the publication of this disgraceful blacklist.”

The UNHRC announced in a new report that it had identified 206 companies for inclusion on the “blacklist” — which critics say promotes the general boycott campaign against Israel and holds the Jewish state singularly responsible for the absence of a Palestinian state.

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The majority of the companies — 143 — are domiciled in Israel or the settlements, followed by 22 in the United States, the report said. The remainder are based in 19 other countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, France and Britain.

The report, which did not name the companies but said that 64 of them had been contacted to date, added that the work in producing the list “does not purport to constitute a judicial process of any kind”.

But businesses operating in the West Bank have a responsibility to carry out due diligence and consider “whether it is possible to engage in such an environment in a manner that respects human rights,” the report said.

The UNHRC has concentrated disproportionately on Israel since its creation in 2006. More than 50 percent of all the resolutions passed by the body have condemned Israel. Israel is the only country in the world whose alleged human rights abuses are the subject of annual UNHRC agenda item, “Item 7.”

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