Today, NGO Monitor welcomes the anticipated UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) discussion of the flawed process surrounding a discriminatory blacklist of companies doing business with Israel. The issues mentioned by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a letter to the Council requesting a delay, echo concerns raised by NGO Monitor in correspondence with the UN.
In December 2016, NGO Monitor contacted the UN officials responsible for compiling the list, inquiring about what due process and legal safeguards were being instituted before blacklisting corporations for legal business activity in the West Bank and Israel. Then, at the beginning of January, NGO Monitor sent a position paper to the UN urging the UNHRC to drop the planned blacklist as it violates international law, ignores due process rights, and promotes antisemitism.
The list is being compiled by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights pursuant to UNHRC Resolution 31/36. NGO Monitor research indicates that it is being prepared in conjunction with anti-Israel activists that advocate for BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel.
Anne Herzberg, Legal Advisory at NGO Monitor and author of the position paper, explained:
“It is clear that the UN process lacks oversight, notice of inclusion, and the ability to challenge the arbitrary determinations. Even UN officials recognized the complete illegitimacy of proceeding in its current composition.
The origins of the blacklist, too, are highly disturbing. This list, proposed by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, was originally conceived by BDS activists, and was promoted during a years-long lobbying effort.
While the UNHRC should be commended today for its expected postponement of this discriminatory blacklist, we do not think this goes far enough. The concerted efforts to single-out Israel among all the countries of the world should never have happened in the first place.”