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White House Pushing Back Against UN Publishing ‘Blacklist’ of Companies Doing Business in Israeli Settlements

Human Rights Council
RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty

UNITED NATIONS — The U.S. and Israel are trying to prevent the notoriously anti-Israel UN Human Rights Council from publishing a blacklist of companies who do business in Israeli settlements due out later this year.

The Human Rights Council, which both the U.S. and Israel have criticized repeatedly for its anti-Israel bias, voted last year to compile a blacklist of companies that do business in Israeli settlements, meaning Jewish communities in the West Bank or eastern sections of Jerusalem.  The move, pushed by the Palestinian delegation, is typical of the anti-Israeli “boycott, divestment and sanctions” (BDS) movement of pro-Palestinian activists.

The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, who is tasked with publishing the list, has already agreed to one postponement but now plans to publish the list by years end, according to the Washington Post.

The Post reports that the Trump administration has urged the blacklist not to be made public, and is pushing for the resolution to be implemented narrowly. The newspaper also reported that the list under consideration includes American companies.

Israel’s Ambassador Danny Danon acted angrily to reports about the list, blasting it as anti-semitic in a statement:

This shameful step is an expression of modern antisemitism and reminds us of dark periods in history.  Instead of focusing on the terrible humanitarian problems plaguing the globe, the Human Rights Commissioner is seeking to harm Israel, and in doing so has become the world’s most senior BDS activist. I call on the UN, and the international community as a whole, to halt this dangerous policy and put an end to this anti-Israel initiative.”

State Department Deputy Spokesperson Heather Nauert told the Post that the U.S. has opposed the move “from the start” and called such resolutions “counterproductive and do nothing to advance Israeli-Palestinian issues.”

Secretary-General António Guterres’ office did not say whether or not he agreed with the move and said the list was still being formed.

“My understanding of that issue is the list is still being reviewed, its an issue for member states to deal with at this point,” spokesman Stéphane Dujarric told Breitbart News.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has made cracking down on the UN’s anti-Israel bias a top priority since taking the position in January. In March she won a significant victory when, after complaints from the U.S., the UN withdrew a report that called Israel an “apartheid state.’

In particular, Haley has put focus on the Human Rights Council for its anti-Israel bias and also its membership, which includes countries with unsavory human rights records such as Venezuela, Cuba and Saudi Arabia. In June she called the Council a “haven of dictators.”

The U.S. mission to the UN declined to go into detail about moves to push back against the list when asked by Breitbart News, but pointed to Haley’s remarks in June in Geneva when she addressed the Council and called the proposed blacklist the latest in a “long line of shameful actions.”

“Blacklisting companies without even looking at their employment practices or their contributions to local empowerment, but rather based entirely on their location in areas of conflict is contrary to the laws of international trade and to any reasonable definition of human rights,” Haley said. “It is an attempt to provide an international stamp of approval to the anti-Semitic BDS movement. It must be rejected.”

Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter:  @AdamShawNY

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