Israeli envoy: ’UNHRC is world’s leading BDS activist’

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August 22, 2017 05:50

“Instead of focusing on the terrible humanitarian problems plaguing the globe, the Human Rights Commissioner is seeking to harm Israel," says Israel's UN ambassador Danny Danon.

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Danny Danon

Danny Danon. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The US is pressuring the UN Human Rights Council not to publish a black list of companies doing business with areas of Israel located over the pre-1967 lines, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

The story drew a sharp retort from Israel’s Ambassador Danny Danon who lashed out at the UNHRC and its High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein over the blacklist.

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“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,” Danon said.

The data base due out at the end of the year includes companies operating in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

“This shameful step is an expression of modern antisemitism and reminds us of dark periods in history,” Danon said.

“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,” Danon said.

A diplomatic source told The Jerusalem Post he believed the UN has sought an opinion from the US with regard to an initial version of list.

The Trump Administration including US Ambassador to the UN in New York Nikki Haley has already condemned the list.

“The council’s effort to create a database designed to shame companies for doing business in Israeli controlled areas is just the latest in this long line of shameful actions,” Haley said in June on a visit to Geneva.

“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. It is an attempt to provide an international stamp of approval to the antisemitic BDS movement. It must be rejected.”

The US is one of 47 members of the UNHRC. Since taking office in January the Trump administration has warned it may pull out of the UNHRC unless it halts its biased treatment of Israel.

Its presumed that it reserved this step as a protest move should the UNHRC published the list as planned.

UN human rights experts have argued that Jewish West Bank communities are illegal under international law and companies doing business with them could open themselves up to international criminal prosecution. The UNHRC is due to publish the formal data base no later than December 31.

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