The Times of Israel is reporting that the U.S. is threatening to cut its funding of the United Nations Human Rights Council if it releases a “blacklist” of companies operating in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
The report said that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who has strongly criticized the council in the past over its “anti-Israel bias,” said the U.S. may pull out of the council entirely if it publishes the list.
The list includes many well-known American companies involved in Israeli-related construction, travel and other businesses.
In March 2016, the council voted unanimously to develop a database of “all business enterprises that have enabled or profited from the growth of Israeli settlements.” The proposal passed with 32 votes in favor and 15 abstentions. Despite unsuccessful attempts by European nations and the U.S. to soften the language of the resolution, none voted against it.
The proposal to publish the blacklist, which was introduced by the Palestinian Authority and Arab states, includes a condemnation of settlements and calls on companies to not do business with Israeli settlements.
At that time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the vote, saying the council had become “an anti-Israel circus, which attacks the only democracy in the Middle East and ignores the blatant violations of Iran, Syria and North Korea.”
Israeli officials are concerned that the list’s publication could strengthen efforts to boycott the Jewish state and harm Israeli firms.
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, harshly criticized the council, saying, “This shameful step is an expression of modern anti-Semitism 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.”
Since 2007, according to The Times, Israel has been the only country whose alleged human rights abuses are a permanent item on the Human Rights Council’s agenda.
Standing alongside our greatest Middle East ally
You have to wonder about an international organization of nations that claims to protect human rights but hypocritically turns a blind eye to the massive and well-documented abuses of known Islamic terrorist nations, like Syria and Iran.
And we should be very suspicious when that organization obsessively singles out one country – Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East – for condemnation, badgering and isolation.
I believe the United States is right to strongly consider whether we should be part of (or fund with taxpayer dollars) a group that is so clearly anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. The Jewish state is our most trusted ally in the region. We should stand with her in the face of this bald-faced bias.
But, despite these frustrating developments, Scripture promises that God will never forsake His chosen people:
“…I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands… Your destroyers and devastators will go away from you” (Isaiah 49:15-17).
I believe that’s a promise we can hold firmly.
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