The United Nations headquarters.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday created a blacklist of companies that are either located in West Bank settlements or have any economic connection with those communities.
The decision was part of a sweeping resolution designed to help stop settlement activity.
It was one of five anti-Israel resolutions, including one that called on Israel to return the Golan Heights to Syria, which the UNHRC approved as it wrapped up its 31st session in Geneva.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the international community not to abide by discriminatory UNHRC decisions on Israel.
“The UNHRC has become an anti-Israel circus,” he said.
It’s “absurd that instead of dealing with Palestinian terrorist attacks or ISIS in Europe, it decides to condemn Israel,” the only democracy in the Middle East.
Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said that passage of this particular resolution on the settlements was a moment of “record-breaking” hypocrisy for the UN. The UNHRC has “turned into an accomplice of the BDS movement and its conduct is both anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic,” Danon said.
“This is what the Human Rights Council chooses to debate while Europe is still reeling from a wave of terrorist attacks perpetrated by ISIS – the world’s worst human rights violator.”
“Hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians are murdered and forced to flee their homes as refugees and they choose to condemn Israel – the only democracy in the Middle East,” he said.
PLO Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour hailed the resolutions, including one that passed unanimously, which afford the Palestinian right to self-determination. “We call upon all countries to respect UN resolutions and mechanisms, including the establishment of a database for all companies that contribute to the Israeli occupation and colonization of the State of Palestine,” he said.
He urged member states to support the application of international law to the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
“As the belligerent occupying power, Israel continues to systematically violate the inalienable rights of the Palestinians while enjoying impunity from the international community, despite numerous UN resolutions demanding an equitable and just end to the occupation,” he said.
The United States said it is “deeply troubled” that the UNHRC had approving a slate of biased resolutions on Israel.
It is particularly disturbed by the creation of a database of companies that do business with West Bank settlements.
US policy is to oppose settlement activity, it said, but the creation of this database is outside the UNHRC’s mandate and would waste enormous resources.
The United States, which in the past had voted against such resolutions at the UNHRC, is no longer one of its 47 members.
As a result, all the resolutions about Israel passed without any objections, although there were abstentions.
Two of the resolutions, one concerning settlements and a second one relating to Israeli accountability for violations of international law in the Palestinian territories, passed with 32 approvals and 15 abstentions. The one which called for Israel to return the Golan Heights passed with 31 approvals and 16 abstentions.
A fourth more general resolution on human rights violations in the West Bank and east Jerusalem had 42 approvals and three abstentions.