Sources inform Breitbart News that U.S. President Barack Obama may allow anti-Israel resolutions to pass at the UN that would legitimize and strengthen the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish state.
Palestinians are circulating a draft UN Security Council resolution that, among other things, declares Israeli settlements to be illegal and launches a BDS campaign by demanding that UN member states refrain from offering any assistance to Israel that might connect to “settlements.” New Zealand is circulating another, separate anti-Israel resolution. And Sweden, which will assume the presidency of the UN Security Council in January, intends to bring its own resolution slamming Israeli settlements.
Israel says that because there is no prior legal sovereign in the territory, most settlements there are permitted — save for wildcat settlements erected against Israel’s own laws – unless and until a negotiated peace deal decides otherwise. Palestinians claim everything Israel has built across the 1949 armistice line (“1967 border”) — including several neighborhoods of Jerusalem — is illegal.
Palestinian leaders reportedly spoke with Secretary of State John Kerry last week in an effort to discourage an American veto of any anti-Israel resolution that emerges in the next few weeks.
Breitbart News’ sources indicate that the Obama administration may decline to use its veto against a Security Council resolution against Israel.
Allowing the settlements to be declared illegal would be an enormous boost to the BDS movement, which seeks to isolate Israel. Such a resolution could also encourage renewed efforts to prosecute Israeli military and political officials in the International Criminal Court.
Separately, the UN General Assembly is set to vote this week to fund an effort by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to compile a blacklist of any company doing business that directly or indirectly supports settlements – which, given the settlements’ integration into the Israeli economy, would effectively mean blacklisting companies doing business with Israel. The blacklist project was approved in March, but the money to accomplish it had yet to be allocated.
However, that money appears in large measure already to have been spent — i.e. the compilation of the blacklist is already well under way. The UNHRC budget proposal calls for:
General temporary assistance at the P-3 level for eight months for one staff who will, in close consultation with the Working Group on Business and Human Rights, create a database of all business enterprises involved in the activities detailed in paragraph 96 of the report of the independent international fact-finding mission 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, including East Jerusalem; and draft a report presenting the above-requested tasks to the Council at its thirty-fourth session.
The 34th session is from February to March 2017, meaning that the project has been ongoing for several months before facing an official appropriations vote.
The Obama administration, which recently ran for re-election to the UNHRC and strongly supports the institution, has not indicated whether it will vote against the BDS provision. If it passes, the UN will have succeeded in creating an international database to be used in anti-Israel boycotts and the United States taxpayer will be footing 22% of the bill – unless action is taken on the domestic front to prevent the expenditure.
The UNHRC, like much of the rest of the UN, is disproportionately focused on Israel. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is being credited for acknowledging the anti-Israel bias of the UN as a whole: “Decades of political maneuverings have created a disproportionate volume of resolutions, reports and conferences criticizing Israel,” he told the UN Security Council last week (while, ironically, encouraging another such UN Security Council resolution).
And yet that disproportionate focus continues — with the outgoing Obama administration rumored to be about to deliver a parting blow.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.