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Naming companies profiting from Israel’s occupation boosts Palestinians in this asymmetric struggle

13 5 27

An overdue report has finally been published by the UN Human Rights office which lists 112 companies benefiting from illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Almost 100 of the companies are based in Israel, while the rest are from 18 other countries including the US, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Thailand and Britain. Listed are well-known companies such as Booking.com, Expedia, Airbnb, TripAdvisor, tech giant Motorola and consumer food maker General Mills. Construction and infrastructure companies including Britain’s JC Bamford Excavators (JCB) and France’s Egis Rail are among many others.

The database was collected on a mandate by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2016, which was put to a vote at the time by four countries – Malaysia, New Zealand, Venezuela and Senegal — with the US abstaining.

In a prompt response, Israel’s Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, called the move a “shameful surrender” to countries and organisations that want to hurt Israel, elaborating that the UN body has become a partner and tool of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. This harsh condemnation was followed by a severing of ties with the UNHRC.

Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, was furious and threatened to boycott “whoever boycotts us.” The Israeli Prime Minister slammed the UN list as the work of a biased and uninfluential body: “Instead of dealing with human rights, this body is trying to blacken Israel’s name. We reject any such attempt in the strongest terms and with disgust. Whoever boycotts us will be boycotted.”

The report was published a day after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spoke at the UN Security Council, where he rejected the Donald Trump “peace plan” dubbed the “deal of the century”. The plan was unveiled to the world in Washington a week ago, in the presence of Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz, but with no Palestinian official........

© Middle East Monitor