JERUSALEM (TPS/EJP)—Some 130 Israeli companies and another 60 international corporations have received letters from the current UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jordan’s Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, warning them that they are being “blacklisted” for “acting contrary to international law and UN decisions."
According to Yediot Aharonot daily newspaper, the list includes well-known Israeli companies spanning different sectors, from food to services, pharmaceuticals to hi-tech. All of them, however, have one thing in common: They operate in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), eastern Jerusalem, or the Jordan Valley.
It has been conclusively proven that Israeli presence in these areas is not in contravention of international law and is not defined as "occupation" according to international agreements.
The companies are considering taking legal action against the High Commissioner, claiming that the blacklist is politically motivated, and pointing to other “conflict areas” around the world which did not merit a similar blacklist.
Oded Revivi, head of the Yesha Council’s foreign desk, ridiculed the blacklist after the publication of the names of 25 companies that are expected to appear on a list of 150 companies to be published by the United Nations at the end of December.
“I propose to the UN that they take the blacklist they prepared and instead of boycotting the companies they award them the Nobel Peace Prize,” Revivi said. “These companies are the ones who employ and support thousands of Palestinian families. These factories bring together Jews and Arabs who work in the same building. Anyone who wants to boycott these companies pushes coexistence and joint economic growth further away.”
The list includes prominent companies such : Ahava, Dor Alon, Amisragas,Angel Bakeries, Arison Investments,Ashdar, Cafe Cafe, Clal Industries, Cellcom, Danya Cebus, Electra, HP, HOT, Israel Aerospace Industries, Matrix systems, Motorola, Nesher, Partner, Paz, Rami Levy, Remax, Shikun & Binui (Housing & Construction Holding Company), Shufersal, Bank Leumi and Sonol.
A previous list published by Channel 2 News includes Bank Hapoalim, Bezeq and Bezeq International, Coca Cola, Africa Israel, Teva, IDB, Egged, Mekorot, Netafim and Elbit Systems. In August, the Washington Post published a list of American companies operating beyond the Green Line, including Caterpillar, Tripadvisor and Airbnb.
On September 22, the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, sent a letter to companies on the list. Bezeq CEO Stella Handler posted a copy of the letter on Facebook The letter was signed by Mohammed Ali Alnsour, the head of the UNHRC Middle East and North Africa Section, and said the Council had undertaken efforts to create a database “of business enterprises that have engaged in certain activities in relation to Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory.”
Responding to the letter, Handler noted that since the Council was formed in 2006, 68 decisions have been published denouncing Israel and that the council’s anti-Israel bias is so blatant that it has lost any relevance.