Press Release

ADL Strongly Condemns U.N. Council’s Blacklist of Israeli Companies

New York, NY, March 25, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today strongly condemned the passage of a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution calling for the creation of a “blacklist” of companies operating in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

The resolution, approved in Geneva Thursday, was initiated by the Palestinian Authority and a number of Arab states and was supported by 32 member states, with 15 abstaining and none opposing.

The resolution condemned settlements and called on companies not to do business with them. Article 17 asked the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, “to produce a database of all business enterprises [both Israeli and international] involved in the activities in the settlements,” that would be updated once a year.

Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair, and Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:

With its rash resolution ordering the creation of a ‘blacklist’ database of companies doing business in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights, the U.N. Human Rights Council has opened another initiative in its aggressively biased and inordinate anti-Israel activity, intent on targeting, labeling and isolating the Jewish state. This blacklist is a gift for proponents of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, and will undoubtedly become an important resource for BDS activists seeking to attack Israel.

This resolution must be seen in the context of the Human Rights Council’s continuing and escalating single-minded criticism and shaming of Israel, with no regard to working to promote Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation, support a two-state solution, or to call out Palestinian behaviors which have led to escalation conflict and stasis. In this session alone, at least five resolutions were directed at Israel. This is in stark contrast to the one resolution dealing with Syria where a human tragedy of historic proportions is unfolding, and the one resolution dealing with Iran. It is also evidence of the Palestinian effort to penalize Israel in international fora through symbolic public resolutions, an effort which is directly at odds with the resumption of direct talks leading to a negotiated solution. In a period of unprecedented distrust between the parties, the international community should be encouraging steps which build trust rather than seeking to penalize one side through punitive steps. International bodies like the council should act in accordance with the vision of a two-state solution not to undermine its prospects.

There are a wide range of positions and practical policy recommendations regarding settlements both inside Israel and around the world.  The council’s proposed database is not among these and will most surely be used as a blunt instrument to target, label and isolate Israel and Israelis. As an agency strongly committed to bilateral negotiations and a two-state solution, we know that measures such as these focused unduly on Israel will not lead to reconciliation and change but instead to stiffened positions and defensive postures.

While we appreciate the reported U.S. and European efforts to lobby the Palestinians to drop the blacklist clause, we are disappointed that the UNHRC European states did not vote to oppose the resolution.