UN Human Rights Council released on Wednesday a “black list” of companies and businesses operating in Judea and Samaria, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, thus violating international law. 94 businesses operate in Israel, and 18 others are located in six other countries.
Among the bodies listed in the document – signed by UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bezelet – are some of the leading businesses in the country, including: Bank Hapoalim and Discount, Bezeq and Cellcom, Partner and Pelephone, Paz and Fuel, Shufersal and Rami Levy, Coca-Cola, Teva, Electra, Africa Israel, Egged and others. Among the international companies are Air B & B, Trip Advisor and Boxing. The list has no practical legal significance, but it will now appear on the United Nations official website, and the companies could serve as a focus for BDS organizations against them.
The political system has reacted strongly to the UN list. Foreign Minister Israel Katz said: “The UN Commission’s announcement is a shameful surrender to the pressures of countries and organizations wishing to harm Israel, even though most countries in the world have refused to join this political pressure campaign. Continuing on the Human Rights Council’s anti-Israeli line is a stain on the UN Commission on Human Rights.
Katz added, “The Human Rights Council is a body made up of states between them and human rights has nothing to do with it. Since its inception, the Council has taken no steps to protect human rights, but only to protect some of the world’s darkest regimes. And save what remains of the Council and the Commission. The State of Israel will not accept discriminatory and anti-Israeli policies, and we will work in all ways to prevent such decisions from being implemented. “
At an event at the President’s House in Jerusalem, President Reuben Rivlin read some of the names on the UN list. “I am proud to give a platform to these businesses. Proud to be Israeli. I am proud that these are Israeli businesses, patriots, who contribute to Israeli society, the economy and peace. While the President’s House does not promote private businesses, but when Israeli business companies are under threat of boycott, we will stand by them. Boycotting Israeli companies does not contribute to peace and building trust between the parties. We call on our friends around the world to go against this shameful initiative, which reminds us of dark times. “
Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin called the decision “a new anti-Semitism. We thought the days when Jewish business marked, but apparently the idea is alive and well. The UN’s move is all shame and disgrace, legitimizing the boycott of Jews in their homeland and harming economic cooperation between Jews. To the Arabs. We will win anti-Semitism, strengthen the settlement. “
Minister of Public Security Gilad Arden called the document “another despicable decision by the Human Rights Council, which proves anti-Semitism in the UN. The council again proves that it is a rotten body that makes decisions between human rights has nothing to do with it. “Arden noted that” the publication of the list will mainly harm the livelihoods of Palestinians working in factories in Judea and Samaria, and will do everything to undermine the results of the delayed decision. “
Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz tweeted on Twitter a short condemnation of the UN blacklist: “Black day for human rights – UN Human Rights Commission has lost touch with reality.”
The right-wing party said in response that “blacklists and white books will not detach the people of Israel from their country. The United Nations’ blacklist” shows the importance of applying sovereignty. The territories of Judea and Samaria are ancestral land, and not an occupied territory. It will not deter us from exercising our right to all parts of the Land of Israel. “