From the Desk of Avi Benlolo: UNHRC A Modern-Day Vehicle For Antisemitism

February 14, 2020


Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is appalled by the release of an anti-Israel blacklist by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights that reveals the names of more than 100 companies with ties to disputed territories, 94 of which are based in Israel. In a letter to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the organization asked the Government of Canada to condemn this list “in the strongest possible terms, and that Canadian representatives meet with High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet directly and in due course to convey Canada’s steadfast rejection of any commercial blacklist that uniquely targets businesses with ties to Jewish communities and Israel.”

This blacklist is blatantly discriminatory and antisemitic, and it conjures up one of the darkest moments of our history, when Hitler promoted a nationwide boycott of Jewish businesses as a precursor to his genocidal campaign. The OHCHR blacklist is in itself a shameful attack on the basic rights of Jewish citizens and the sovereignty of the Israeli state and must be rejected firmly and in its entirety by the international community.

Many leaders feel the same way:

John Bolton, former national security advisor: "The UN's release of a 'blacklist' with companies that do business in West Bank is outrageous. It's a huge surrender to the anti-Israel boycott movement and fuels antisemitism inside the UN. We must condemn all efforts to isolate Israel."

Nikki Haley, former US ambassador to the UN: “The UN hit a new low today publishing its antisemitic blacklist of companies it claims are involved in Israeli 'settlement activity.' The timing of this after the US released a peace plan is conniving and manipulative at best. Shameful.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: "The U.S. has not and will never provide any information to support the compilation of these lists. We call on UN member states to join us in rejecting this effort. Attempts to isolate Israel damage momentum toward Israeli-Palestinian negotiations."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.): "We are witnessing the takeover of the UN Human Rights Council by the discriminatory BDS movement, whose mission, as expressed plainly by its founders, is to effect a ‘one-state solution’ that eliminates Israel as a Jewish state. Efforts by BDS and other movements to single out the Jewish state and its people for boycotts or divestment mirror the kind of gross discrimination directed at Jewish people during some of history’s darkest moments…The UN Human Rights Council’s work has been hijacked by those bent on delegitimizing the Jewish state instead of doing the actual work of supporting justice and human rights around the world…The companies, including American ones, being targeted by the Council today have done nothing to merit being called out in such a defamatory way. No country is perfect, including Israel, but what makes the BDS movement so insidious is that, at its heart, it seeks to undermine the right of Jews to live in a Jewish, democratic state in their ancestral homeland.”

Shabbat Shalom,

- Avi

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