Netanyahu said, “We strongly reject this contemptible effort.”
By World Israel News Staff
Israel reacted with indignation at the UN Human Rights Council’s unexpected decision to release a blacklist of companies that do business in Judea and Samaria on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response, “Whoever boycotts us will be boycotted.”
“In recent years, we have promoted laws in most U.S. states, which determine that strong action is to be taken against whoever tries to boycott Israel. Therefore, this body is unimportant. Instead of the organization dealing with human rights, it only tries to disparage Israel. We strongly reject this contemptible effort,” the prime minister said.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry cut ties with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michael Bachelet, hours after her office released the list on Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz said he took the “exceptional and harsh measure” as her office is “serving the BDS campaign.” The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement seeks to isolate Israel economically and is generally considered to be anti-Semitic in nature.
The Council released a list of 112 companies it says are operating in Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. Ninety-five of the companies are Israeli.
Bachelet said, “I am conscious this issue has been, and will continue to be, highly contentious,”
Her spokesman, Rupert Colville, said it was “not a blacklist, nor does it qualify any companies’ activities as illegal.”
However, virtually all observers say it is a blacklist, though the UN refers to it euphemistically as a “database.” The council said that the activities of the companies listed “raised particular human rights concerns.”
NGO Monitor Legal Advisor Anne Herzberg said, “This list was made in conjunction with pro-BDS and PFLP-linked NGOs.” The PFLP is the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, designated a terrorist organization by the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, and the European Union, as well as Israel.
Herzberg urged that “All countries targeted by OHCHR, particularly Israel and the United States, should reassess their relationships with Commissioner Bachelet’s office, including cancelling all cooperation and the millions of dollars and euros provided to her each year in funding.”
“The maligned companies should begin assessing plans to take legal action against the UN officials who prepared the list and those who will propagate its false claims,” she said in a statement.