United Nations Releases 'Blacklist' of Companies Operating in Israeli Settlements

Saturday, 15 Feb, 2020

"We will ensure the [US] recognition of our sovereignty over those settlements - that will cancel out the entire impact of the United Nations because the United States is more important than the UN", he told Army Radio.

Home-rental company Airbnb, which was included on the list, had already acknowledged having listings in settlements and said last April that it would donate proceeds from any bookings in the territory to worldwide humanitarian aid organisations. "This database is the first concrete step towards holding Israel accountable for its illegal colonial-settlement enterprise in over half a century", Mr Erekat added. Instead, it is largely symbolic, appearing to be aimed at drawing negative attention to their activities in the settlements.

This is Rupert Colville of the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Human Rights Council consists of 47 member states incuding Venezuela, China, Russia and Sudan.

In publishing the database, the UN high commissioner fulfilled a mandate entrusted to her by the UN Human Rights Council in a resolution adopted in 2016 without opposition.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his rejection of Mr Trump's plan, describing the proposed Palestinian state as looking "like a Swiss cheese".

In a statement, Netanyahu called the rights council "unimportant".

Moreover, said Netanyahu, the United Nations organization had little to do with human rights.

The Palestinians hailed the move as a "victory for worldwide law".

With wide worldwide backing, the Palestinians claim all of the West Bank, captured by Israel in 1967, as part of a future independent state.

JCB has always been criticised by rights activists as the Israeli military has been photographed using it bulldozers in the West Bank, where it regularly demolishes Palestinian homes and buildings. It also includes travel firms Airbnb and Expedia, as stated, along with TripAdvisor, Booking.com and Opodo.

WATCH: Why is New York City cracking down on Airbnb? It also lists medium-size companies such as restaurant chain Café Café and Angel Bakeries.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

After some Israeli-American homeowners sued, the company reversed course and said it would donate all profits from the listings to humanitarian aid organizations. "This database was created by the discredited UN Human Rights Council with the intent to fuel economic retaliation against the listed companies".

The long-delayed document, which names 112 companies operating in the West Bank and Golan Heights, was released by the watchdog on Wednesday.

US President Donald Trump (right) with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on May 20, 2017.

This warm USA embrace could cause trouble for Israel.

Pro-Israeli groups in the U.S. were angered by the report, with the StandWithUs lobbying group branding the document an "outrageous and anti-Semitic "blacklist"," adding that "boycotts against Jews" are the tactic of choice for anti-Semites.

The Palestinians have rejected Trump's plan, and other countries have expressed little support for it while remaining opposed to the settlements. Palestinians could also demand compensation for "use of our occupied land illegally", he said.

Worldwide human rights lawyer Michael Sfard, however, cited such a reason as insufficient and called Amazon's policy "blatant discrimination between potential customers on the basis of their nationality" within the same area of operation.

The US in effect backed Israel's right to build Jewish settlements on November 18 previous year by abandoning its long-held position that they were "inconsistent with worldwide law". The movement says it advocates nonviolent tactics to protest Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

Most of the 112 companies linked to settlements, which are regarded as illegal under worldwide law, were Israeli.