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February 14, 2020 11:12 am

US Lawmakers Condemn UN Blacklist of Companies With Ties to Israeli Settlements

avatar by Jackson Richman / JNS.org

The House of Representatives Building and the East Portico of the US Capitol. Photo: Flickr.

JNS.org – Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have condemned the blacklist issued by UN Human Rights Council of 112 companies with ties to Israeli settlements released on Wednesday.

“Instead of living up to its name, the UN Human Rights Council is intentionally calling for a boycott that overwhelmingly targets the world’s only Jewish state,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told JNS. “Have we learned nothing from history?”

“These are companies that provide jobs to both Israelis and Palestinians, helping them to work together, which should be commended not reprimanded,” he continued. “This blacklist does not advance peace negotiations, and in fact, retracts from the overarching goal of achieving long-term stability in the region.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, “We are concerned that the UN Human Rights Council’s announcement is not in furtherance of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

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“This action is only further evidence that the … lead human-rights office in the United Nations is overly politicized and focusing a disproportionate amount of time and resources on Israel,” said Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a statement.

In a statement, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that “we are witnessing the takeover of the UN Human Rights Council by the discriminatory BDS movement, whose mission, as expressed plainly by its founders, is to effect a ‘one-state solution’ that eliminates Israel as a Jewish state. Efforts by BDS and other movements to single out the Jewish state and its people for boycotts or divestment mirror the kind of gross discrimination directed at Jewish people during some of history’s darkest moments.”

“The UN Human Rights Council’s work has been hijacked by those bent on delegitimizing the Jewish state instead of doing the actual work of supporting justice and human rights around the world,” he continued. “The companies, including American ones, being targeted by the Council today have done nothing to merit being called out in such a defamatory way. No country is perfect, including Israel, but what makes the BDS movement so insidious is that, at its heart, it seeks to undermine the right of Jews to live in a Jewish, democratic state in their ancestral homeland.”

In a statement released by the Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas)—the committee’s ranking member—Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) called this move by the United Nations “abrupt and inappropriate” and “another anti-Israel stunt that will not further peace in the region.”

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not be solved as long as the UN is used as a forum to bash Israel,” they said. “The purpose of such a list is clear: it is a how-to guide for international boycotts designed to pressure Israel to make concessions outside of direct negotiations with the Palestinians. The United States cannot allow this list to be operationalized to undermine our ally Israel.”

The Republicans called for the House to pass the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which would allow state and local governments the right to punish state or local contractors from engaging in boycotting Israel.

“The UN’s blacklist gives Israel’s enemies targets for violence and economic punishment. This is the antisemitic BDS movement at work. @RepLeeZeldin’s bill formally recognizes these blacklists as BDS. Dems must allow a vote. The United States will always stand with Israel,” tweeted House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).

“The UN Human Rights Council ought to investigate the crimes of its own members instead of obsessing over the Jewish State. US federal & state governments should fully enforce existing anti-boycott laws to punish entities that comply with this blacklist,” tweeted Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).

“I strongly oppose @UN’s decision to publish a blacklist of businesses in the West Bank. It disregards how these companies help both the Israeli and Palestinian economies. And more importantly, it does nothing to advance peace. I stand firmly against the #BDS movement,” tweeted Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.).

“So shameful that the UN published this blacklist of companies in the West Bank. This name-and-shame strategy will do nothing to further peace & ignores economic benefits these businesses bring to Israelis & Palestinians. I stand w/ bipartisan majority in US House opposing BDS,” tweeted Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).

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