Israel condemns UN list of settlement-linked firms; Palestinians welcome it

Jerusalem concerned the list of 112 firms — 94 of them Israeli — could be used to justify a large-scale boycott, accuse the UN of anti-Semitism and bias

A view of the Jewish West Bank settlement of Ari’el, 28 January 2020

The Times of Israel reports:

Jerusalem harshly condemned a United Nations “blacklist” of more than 100 firms operating in the West Bank on Wednesday, with President Reuven Rivlin describing its release as recalling “dark periods in our history.”

“We will contest this with all of our strength,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared in an interview with Army Radio. “We will gain recognition of our sovereignty over these communities and this will cancel its effect,” he said.

The list, which contains the names of 112 firms — 94 Israeli and 18 foreign, including Airbnb, TripAdvisor, and Motorola Solutions — was published by the United Nations’ human rights office in response to a 2016 UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for a “database for all businesses engaged in specific activities related to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.”  It was scheduled to be released three years ago, but was repeatedly delayed.

Alongside the presence of several large international firms, the majority of companies on the list are Israeli, including all major banks, state-owned transportation companies Egged and Israel Railways Corporation, and telecommunications giants Bezeq, HOT and Cellcom. It also lists medium-size companies such as restaurant chain Café Café and Angel bakeries.

The UN rights office said that listing companies in the database was “not, and does not purport to be, a judicial or quasi-judicial process.”

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