The UN is delaying publication of a blacklist of companies with ties to “occupied” land in Israel, while blaming countries opposed to the blacklist for the holdup.
An upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) report that would establish a database of Israeli and international companies operating in Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria – areas several countries deem “occupied” by Israel – has been delayed until later this year.
“There is a need for more time, it is a very complex issue,” a Western diplomat stated, Reuters reported. “You need to have a clear vision of how you list the companies, what is the exact criteria.”
Jeremie Smith, director of the Geneva office of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, accused countries opposing the blacklist of attempting to delay it.
“We’ve heard unofficial reports that there is strong pressure by states who did not support the creation of this database to try to delay its release and bury its findings,” Smith said, according to Reuters.
The Pakistan-led proposal to create the report on settlement ties was backed by 32 countries. The US, which does not have a vote in the UNHRC, voiced strong objections.
In January, the UN approved a motion to fund the blacklist. The vote took place in the Fifth Committee, which oversees the UN’s budget and administration and allocated a budget of $138,700 in funding for the UNHRC to compile the list.
Announcing the intention to create the list last March, the UNHRC explained that they expect to update it annually.
According to reports, the funding will be used to “investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory” and to “produce a database of all business enterprises” that work in those territories, including eastern Jerusalem.
The plan to create the list, which is expected to be used by the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement and other anti-Israel organizations, caused an international uproar when it was announced last spring.
Actions Reminiscent of Dark Times
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon stated in December that the Israeli Mission will publicly oppose the list. He created a task force to propose new ideas to combat the initiative.
Danon stated his commitment to bring together international partners and pro-Israel organizations to oppose the list. “We will not be silent in light of this shameful initiative,” he stated. “The UN’s intent to mark Jewish businesses and international companies with ties to Israel so that they can be boycotted reminds us of dark times in history.”
He also pointed out that although the UNHRC is already known as an “anti-Semitic and anti-Israel entity, it is unacceptable for the UN itself to support this despicable decision.”
The UNHRC is infamously biased against Israel, with nearly half of its resolutions focused solely on Israel while completely ignoring war, strife and atrocities committed around the world.
Israeli leaders and officials have cited the UNHRC for its “obsessive hostility” toward Israel and its “one-sided mandate.”
The measure for the funding of the blacklist in the General Assembly passed, despite strong opposition from the US—which had abstained from December’s Security Council vote against Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria, allowing the resolution to pass.
Haley said during her confirmation hearing at the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee last month that she will not “abstain when the UN seeks to create an international environment that encourages boycotts of Israel.”
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel