Motorola, HP said to be on UN blacklist of settlement-friendly companies

A United Nations blacklist of companies operating in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights reportedly includes some of the biggest Israeli and international firms.

Among those on the UN Human Rights Council list are the Israel Aerospace Industries, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Ahava cosmetics, the Cellcom and Partner telecommunications companies, and RE/MAX real estate, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported on Thursday.

The report also listed some local Israeli franchises — including the Cafe Cafe restaurant chain, Angel’s Bakery, the Paz gasoline company, Nesher beer, and the Rami Levy and Shufersal supermarket chains — among those targeted by the UN Human Rights Council.

In September, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein warned over 150 companies that their activities in the “occupied Palestinian territories” may see them added to a blacklist of companies “that operate in opposition to international law and in opposition of UN resolutions.”

Channel 2 news has previously reported that Coca-Cola, TripAdvisor, Airbnb and Caterpillar were on the list. Israel’s Teva, Bezeq, Egged and the country’s two largest banks, Hapoalim and Leumi, are also said to be listed.

According to Yedioth, some of the Israeli companies are considering filing a lawsuit against Hussein and the Council, claiming the motivations behind the effort are political, and that other companies operating in disputed areas are not subject to similar scrutiny.

The US has threatened to withdraw from the international forum if the list is published.

Last year, the UN body voted to compile a database of all business enterprises that have enabled or profited from the growth of Israeli settlements in areas Palestinians see as part of their future state. The resolution passed with 32 nations voting in favor and 15 abstentions.

The proposal, put forward by the Palestinian Authority and Arab states in 2016, included a condemnation of settlements and called on companies not to do business with Israeli settlements.

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in August said that a joint US-Israel effort to stop funding for work related to the database had been unsuccessful.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, condemned the blacklist as “the latest in this long line of shameful actions” taken by the UNHRC. In a June speech, Haley warned that the US could withdraw from the 47-member body unless it reformed, ending its built-in procedural mechanism to condemn Israel, and banning notorious human rights violators from serving on the council.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has also condemned the blacklist as evidence of the Human Rights Council’s bias against Israel.

“The more it acts against Israel, the more it will lose its budget,” Hotovely said last month. “These activities can harm the UN like a boomerang. Israel is working with the US to put together an action plan to end the UN bias against Israel. The UN Human Rights Council is the most hypocritical arena, that is where the revolution should start,” she said.

Since 2007, Israel has been the only country whose alleged human rights abuses are regularly discussed in the framework of a single permanent item on the Human Rights Council’s agenda.

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