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June 21, 2020 7:46 pm

Watchdog Group Slams UN Human Rights Council After Presentation of ‘Blacklist’ of Companies Doing Business in Settlements

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Photo: UN.

The United Nations Human Rights Council, long noted for its hostility to Israel, was formally presented with a “blacklist” of various companies doing business in Israel’s West Bank settlements and eastern Jerusalem, prompting criticism from a major watchdog group.

The UNHRC’s blacklist was included in a report that was personally presented this week by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and covers companies involved in almost anything to do with life in the specified areas, including “provision of services and utilities,” “the use of natural resources,” “pollution,” and a bizarre reference to “captivity of the Palestinian financial and economic markets.”

The list was formulated under a mandate from the UNHRC to create a “database” of such companies, presumably for the purpose of targeting them for boycott, divestment, or other hostile activities.

Among the companies assaulted by the Council in the report are Airbnb, a series of Israeli banks, Expedia, TripAdvisor, General Mills, and Motorola.

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To be removed from the database, a business must “provide information indicating that it is no longer involved in the relevant listed activity,” an obvious euphemism for divestment.

Watchdog group UN Watch, which tracks malfeasance at the international body, called the blacklist “discriminatory” and asserted, “The goal of the database is to pressure Israel to withdraw from the settlements — a move which according to the Oslo Accords should be taken only in the context of final status negotiations.”

UN Watch noted that the UNHRC is obligated under its own founding principles to ensure “universality, objectivity, and non-selectivity in the consideration of human rights issues, and the elimination of double standards and politicization.”

“There are more than 100 disputed territories around the world, many involving occupations and settlements,” the group pointed out. “Yet in no other case has the UN lobbied for the creation of a database of companies operating in the contested territory.”

The UNHRC is famous for its bias against the Jewish state, and has made attacking Israel a permanent agenda item, the only country so targeted by the Council.

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