‘The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has released a long-delayed database of firms doing business in the occupied Palestinian territories. The anodyne, well-hidden document was denounced by Tel Aviv as ‘shameful capitulation.’
The document lists 112 companies operating in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Golan Heights. The vast majority are Israeli firms, and their number is significantly less than the 206 corporations hinted at when the idea of the database was initially floated back in 2017. Its publication Wednesday in a difficult-to-locate corner of the UNHRC website is nevertheless provoking strong reactions from Israel and its most strident ally, the US.
The report is a “shameful capitulation” to anti-Israel groups, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz told reporters on Wednesday. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the UNHRC for “trying to blacken Israel’s name” instead of “dealing with human rights,” declaring “we reject any such attempt in the strongest terms and with disgust.”
Pro-Israel lobbying group StandWithUs called it an “outrageous and anti-Semitic ‘blacklist’” and warned that “boycotts against Jews are an age-old anti-Semitic tactic.” However, the UN report does not even suggest the companies on the list be boycotted.
US companies listed include Airbnb, Expedia, TripAdvisor, General Mills, Booking Holdings, and Motorola, while Dutch firms Kardan NV, Tahal Group International BV, Booking.com, and Altice Europe NV also find themselves on the list. The UK’s JC Bamford Excavators, Opodo, and Greenkote PLC make an appearance, as do France’s Alstom and Egis Rail. Israeli subsidiaries of international businesses, including Delta and Re/Max, are also on the list. Some 76 other companies suspected of doing business in the illegally-occupied areas “did not meet the standard of proof” and were omitted.’