The United States renewed its charge late last week that the United Nation harbors a deep anti-Israel bias, Time Magazine reports.
The accusation comes in response to release of a long-anticipated U.N. human rights office report that says 206 companies – mostly Israeli and American – are on its “blacklist” for doing business in Israel’s West Bank settlements, which it considers illegal under international law.
The document doesn’t actually include the names of those companies.
The U.N. human rights office says it needs more time and resources to compile the list. A spokesman said the office had contacted only 64 of the companies involved and would not identify any of them until all 206 had been reached.
The human rights office maintains that these companies must be held accountable, arguing that their business activities can contribute to injustices against Palestinians.
But both Israel and the U.S. criticized the U.N. effort, which has been called an unfair blacklisting and evidence of deep-rooted anti-Israel sentiment at the U.N.
Naming and shaming
The U.S. and Israel are concerned that the list could lead to public naming and shaming of the companies, and could give momentum to the BDS (boycott, divest and sanction) movement – an effort to hurt Israel economically by striking out at companies that do business in the Jewish State.
Making no attempt at impartiality, the report said, “The violations of human rights associated with the settlements are pervasive and devastating, reaching every facet of Palestinian life … Businesses play a central role in furthering the establishment, maintenance and expansion of Israeli settlements.”
Israel and the U.S. have been sharply critical of a resolution passed by the 47-member Human Rights Council in March 2016 that paved the way for creation of the list. The resolution authorized the human rights office to create a database of companies engaging in any of 10 activities linked to or supportive of Israeli West Bank settlements.
“We view the report, and the initiative as a whole, as fundamentally illegitimate,” said Aviva Raz Shechter, Israel’s ambassador in Geneva. “It is, in our view, outside the competence and the authority of the Human Rights Council. This is … another instrument to pursue a discriminatory and politically motivated agenda.”
The U.S. State Department called the report “biased and politicized.”
“We have not provided, and will not provide, any information or support to this process,” the U.S. statement said. “We strongly urge other countries to do the same.”
The report will be discussed at the next session of the Human Rights Council in March, according to The New York Times. Members will have an opportunity to recommend additional funding for the effort. If they don’t, the report may not be completed.
The U.N.’s obvious and ongoing prejudice against Israel undermines any positive impact on human rights the Council might otherwise have.
The tyrannical regimes of Syria, Iran and North Korea to name just three of the most flagrant human rights abusers are oppressing, persecuting and even torturing people with impunity.
Yet how is the Human Rights Council taking action in response to this? It is silent.
Pray with Jewish Voice now
May I offer a very specific prayer request?
Pray that this report is quashed. No good will come of it. It can only damage Israel and her people. At the same time, the Council’s silence regarding countries where true abuse is occurring suggests implicit acceptance.
We appreciate your prayers for Israel and the Jewish people. Please also pray for Jewish Voice as we expand our ministry in Israel. Actively fighting anti-Semitism is one of our priorities there, as we reach out to Jewish people with care and hope through the Gospel of Messiah.
Your prayers and your financial support today will make a real difference in their lives.