The UN ups the ante on Israel, preparing to join the BDS movement
The recent moves regarding Israel by the White House, our UN ambassador and the State Department have drawn much more than media attention. Some of our allies have already rebuked John Kerry for his roundly panned speech on West Bank settlements and Netanyahu has essentially cut off contact with the Obama administration, preferring to wait for Trump to take office. With all of the condemnation coming from various corners you might think that the United Nations would be reconsidering their decidedly anti-Israel stance. As it turns out, you would be wrong. In fact, as our friend Jeff Dunetz reports this week, the UN appears to be doubling down and is preparing to join the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement against the Jewish state.
The UN is getting ready to enter the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The day after the Barack Obama and John Kerry stabbed Israel in the back by abstaining in the anti-Israel resolution in the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly decided to twist the knife around.
The General Assembly’s Administrative and Budgetary Committee (known as the Fifth Committee) approved a request from the Human Rights Council and appropriated of $138,700 to create a “database” of all companies that conduct business – directly or indirectly – relating to Israeli “settlements” in Arab-claimed territories. The idea of a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) blacklist came from a March 2016 resolution of the UN Human Rights Council. Among the countries on the Human Rights Council are human rights violators such as China, Congo, Cuba, Indonesia, Russian Federation, and the UAE. And they are trying to create a boycott of Israel for building houses (thanks Obama).
If anything, recent moves by Barack Obama and John Kerry seem to have emboldened anti-Israel forces in the UN, encouraging them to attempt more sweeping actions before Donald Trump takes office. But this one seems to be doomed from the beginning. The money they are setting aside for this database which will track Jew friendly businesses will be spent over a period of time which will add up to months. Once finished it sounds like yet another Security Council vote would be required to do something with the data. By that time, Trump’s pick for UN Ambassador should be in place, and given the warm and fuzzy relations we’ve seen between Trump and Netanyahu thus far, the veto hammer should be falling fast and hard. (Cross your fingers that I’m right on that one.)
But before we write this off as some sort of stunt, we should note that this proposal by the United Nations is far more disturbing than some simple procedural doctrine on economics. What they are doing is literally assembling a list of people and organizations who are friendly with Israel. That’s only a few shades of gray away from assembling lists of Jews. Aren’t we still living in the 21st century? Have we learned nothing from the past? I would have hoped that by now the very idea of any official body assembling such lists would send chills down the collective global spine.
William Jacobson reminds us that this looks suspiciously like something that dates back to earlier efforts of the Arab League.
So this is a blacklist, effectively, of all companies doing business with Israel.
The UNHRC is recreating the Arab League anti-Israel boycott blacklist but with a UN imprimatur, something I addressed in my recent lecture, The REAL History of the BDS Movement.
Anti-Israel “human rights” groups like Human Rights Watch are eagerly helping compile the blacklist
This is a dark moment for Israel, but with any luck it will pass relatively quickly. There’s very little that the United Nations can do without the full cooperation of the United States. That factor could be driven home even further if Congress makes good on its plans to hold Turtle Bay to account.