In a March 2020 interview posted on a fringe website, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement activist Shir Hever revealed new details about the creation and operation of the United Nations’ BDS blacklist.
Hever’s interview raises the standard BDS claims relating to the list: that doing business in conflict zones and situations of occupation is illegal; that the United States and Israel were responsible for delaying the lists’ publication by three years – in fact, the European Union and many other governments were also opposed to the creation of the list and sought to cancel it; and that this list was not an aberration because the United Nations had prepared similar lists for the DRC and Myanmar – again, these comparisons are false.
Yet, in the interview, Hever also made some notable and striking admissions.
Based on several meetings I had between 2016 and 2019 with the United Nations officials responsible for crafting the list at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and as reflected in the citations of the relevant UN reports, BDS NGOs and activists worked closely with OHCHR to prepare the list.
In his interview, Hever confirms this collaboration, noting he was involved along with “many, many, other activists.” In other words, the contents of the blacklist appear to have been determined with the help of selected political NGOs and lobbyists chosen by the OHCHR, in violation of basic due diligence requirements.