COMMUNAL leaders have called on the federal government to condemn the United Nations’ just released blacklist of companies operating in the West Bank.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet published the list of more than 100 companies on Wednesday.
Most of the 112 companies on the list are Israeli, including all major banks, state-owned transportation companies Egged and Israel Railways Corporation, and telecommunications giants Bezeq, HOT and Cellcom.
The list also includes 18 international companies, such as Motorola, Airbnb, Trip Advisor, Expedia and General Mills (all US), Alstom (France) and Greenkote (UK).
ZFA Pres. @jeremyleibler says the UN blacklist of Israel companies is "antisemitic and antithetical to progress to peace". "This move will not advance peace, and was not designed to advance peace", he says, and calls on the Australian Government to condemn it. #auspol pic.twitter.com/Ac7bqgnhLU
— Zionist Federation of Australia (@ZionistFedAus) February 13, 2020
Israel reacted to the list’s release by suspending its ties with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“We will contest this [blacklist] with all of our strength,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Army Radio.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the list “only confirms the unrelenting anti-Israel bias so prevalent at the United Nations”.
Zionist Federation of Australia president Jeremy Leibler said, “A list of sanctioned Jewish businesses, created by a body consisting of some of the world’s worst human rights abusers, is reminiscent of 1930s Germany.
“This move will not advance peace, and was not designed to advance peace,” he continued.
“The Australian government and all other political parties should condemn it for what it is – antisemitic and antithetical to progress to peace.”
Leibler noted that the blacklisted businesses “employ thousands of Palestinians at higher wages and better conditions” than the Palestinian average.
“This blacklist will hurt Palestinians and the Palestinian economy far more than it does Israel,” he added.
“The Palestinians will not succeed in removing any settlements through economic warfare and Nazi-like blacklists, but only through negotiations.”
AIJAC is calling on PM @ScottMorrisonMP and Foreign Minister @MarisePayne to maintain their principled stance towards fairness at the UN and condemn the new @UNHumanRights "blacklist" of businesses operating in the West Bank and East Jerusalemhttps://t.co/5uvepRczlE #UNHRC
— AIJAC (@AIJAC_Update) February 13, 2020
The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) also called on the government to condemn the blacklist, executive director Colin Rubenstein calling it “the ultimate sign of hypocrisy and bias”.
“These are legitimate businesses providing goods and services to the populations on the West Bank and East Jerusalem, they are not breaking any international laws,” he said.
“This is yet another example of the obsessive targeting of Israel in the UN Human Rights Council.
“AIJAC urges the government to condemn this blacklist for what it is: a witch hunt that reminds us of Nazi-era boycotts of Jewish people.”
With THE TIMES OF ISRAEL