Overview of the United Nations Human Rights Council is seen in Geneva, Switzerland June 6, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Trump administration has called on the United Nations not to publish a database of companies that do business in Israeli settlements.
The database, which the administration calls a “blacklist,” was approved by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016 and includes American companies such as Caterpillar, TripAdvisor, Priceline.com and Airbnb. The list is supposed to be updated annually.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Al Hussein, told US officials that he plans to publish the list by the end of the year and has asked for comments by September 1 from countries where listed companies are headquartered, the Washington Post
reported Tuesday, citing unnamed diplomats.
The sources told the newspaper that Zeid, who previously served as Jordan’s ambassador to the United States, plans to move ahead with publishing the list, calling it a resource for consumers and travelers. Publication of the list has already been postponed once at the request of the United States, according to the Washington Post
“We have made clear our opposition regarding the creation of a database of businesses operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, and we have not participated and will not participate in its creation or contribute to its content,” the newspaper quoted State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as saying. “These types of resolutions are counterproductive and do nothing to advance Israeli-Palestinian issues.”
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, in a statement called the list “an expression of modern antisemitism.”
The Human Rights Council has no power to sanction any of the companies on the list, but other UN committees could use the list to do so.