FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Geneva, CH -- June 22, 2020) -- StandWithUs condemns the recent move by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to present the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) with a blacklist of companies doing business in “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan." The list will inevitably be used to promote hateful boycott campaigns against Israel.
"Multiple UN Secretary Generals have publicly admitted that the UNHRC systematically discriminates against Israel," said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs. "The UNHRC is the opposite of a human rights council. It is a body where the world's human rights abusers attack Israel to distract from their own crimes, which is what they are doing with this blacklist."
The blacklist is part of a global campaign to boycott and isolate Israel until it ceases to exist. It targets bakeries, banks, telecommunication, food, and construction businesses, as well American companies such as Airbnb, Motorola, and General Mills. Anti-Israel groups have explicitly stated that their efforts to target settlements are only a stepping stone towards a comprehensive boycott of Israel and its people.
"Many U.S. states have passed laws against contracting or investing in companies that comply with such a discriminatory blacklist," said Peggy Shapiro, StandWithUs Midwest Executive Director & Director of Legislative Education. "As Airbnb has already learned, being complicit in the UNHRC's discrimination is bad for business."
Despite its mandate to promote human rights, the UNHRC has chosen to blacklist businesses where Israelis and Palestinians work and shop together, along with companies that help keep civilians safe from terrorist attacks.
The blacklist has also been widely criticized because the UNHRC has done nothing in regards to the many other disputed or occupied territories around the world. This is further evidence that the UNHRC is engaging in discrimination against the Jewish state.
The list was originally intended to be included within Resolution 31/36, adopted by the UNHRC in March of 2016, but its publication was delayed until this year. Despite claims that Resolution 31/36 was motivated by concerns about violations of human rights and international law, it was sponsored by gross human rights violators such as Iran, Syria, and North Korea. Liberal democracies such as Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom voted against the discriminatory resolution. The United States was not eligible to vote as it was on a mandatory year off from the UNHRC at the time.
Additionally, the criteria for inclusion on the blacklist are extremely broad and are entirely untethered to the policies or practices of the companies listed. The inherent discrimination of the resolution is evident in that it ignores the fact that businesses operate in virtually all disputed territories in the world in keeping with international treaties. In a preposterous double standard, the blacklist singles out Israel alone for special condemnation by the international community. Such selective targeting is, ironically, directly contrary to the Human Rights Council’s own foundational principles.
The UNHRC is continuing a destructive pattern of one sided condemnation and pressure against Israel. The UN has yet to take any meaningful action to hold Palestinian leaders accountable for promoting and rewarding terrorism, inciting hatred, and oppressing their own people. This approach only fuels more injustice and conflict, rather than a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
StandWithUs renews its commitment to vehemently oppose all discriminatory treatment toward the State of Israel, including efforts to impose boycotts, divestment, or sanctions against it. We commend UN Watch for scrutinizing the issue and providing valuable and accurate information separating myth from reality when it comes to the UN’s ongoing anti-Israel campaigns. We encourage people to visit the UN Watch website for additional information and resources about this issue.
StandWithUs (SWU) is an international, non-profit and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism.
Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters, programs and activities on 5 continents, including the U.S., Israel, UK, Canada, South Africa and Brazil.
For the last 7 years, SWU has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator (4 stars) and Guidestar (Platinum).