US ‘Outraged’ by UN’s Publication of Blacklist of Companies Tied to Israeli Settlements, Pompeo Says
America’s top diplomat castigated the UN on Thursday for the publication the previous day of a report listing companies said to have business ties to Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
“I am outraged that High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet published a database of companies operating in Israeli-controlled territories,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated. “The United States has long opposed the creation or release of this database, which was mandated by the discredited UN Human Rights Council in 2016. Its publication only confirms the unrelenting anti-Israel bias so prevalent at the United Nations.”
“The United States has not provided, and will never provide, any information to the Office of the High Commissioner to support compilation of these lists and expresses support for US companies referenced,” he emphasized. “We call upon all UN member states to join us in rejecting this effort, which facilitates the discriminatory boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) campaign and delegitimizes Israel.”
“Attempts to isolate Israel run counter to all of our efforts to build conditions conducive to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that lead to a comprehensive and enduring peace,” Pompeo noted.
US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft recalled, “Earlier this week the Security Council met to discuss President Trump’s Vision for Peace, and used that opportunity to speak as one in reinforcing the importance of dialogue and the role of the international community in supporting good-faith engagement between the Palestinians and Israelis. It is thus appalling to me that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet decided yesterday to release a database of international companies doing business in Israeli-controlled territories. This database was created by the discredited UN Human Rights Council with the intent to fuel economic retaliation against the listed companies.”
“The publication of this database is shameful, and only serves to further divide the very people we are trying to bring together,” she added. “We expect more from the leadership of the UN to foster reconciliation and communication, while not being a source of division. In releasing this database, the High Commissioner falls prey, by intent or accident, to the very impulses that have impeded the path to peace for seventy years. UN leadership, including the Secretary-General, must make their views and voices heard so there can be no mistaking the UN’s intentions as they pertain to peace in the Middle East.”
Democratic Senator Ben Cardin and Republican Senator Rob Portman, who sit on the Finance Committee and Foreign Relations Committee, called the UN report an “anti-Israel database, akin to a blacklist, of companies” that made major US companies, including General Mills and Airbnb vulnerable to boycotts.
“The Human Rights Council should use its energy to encourage both Israel and the Palestinians to return to good faith negotiations,” said Cardin. “The United States cannot stand by while American businesses are being pressured by a foreign entity because of their work in Israel, one of our key allies.”