UN set to publish blacklist of Israeli companies operating over Green Line
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UN set to publish blacklist of Israeli companies operating over Green Line

List, to be released next month, said to include many of Israel’s largest corporations, including Teva pharmaceuticals and defense firm Elbit

A Tuesday, November 8, 2008 file photo showing the Human Rights Room (Room XX) at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File)
A Tuesday, November 8, 2008 file photo showing the Human Rights Room (Room XX) at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File)

The UN High Commissioner for Human rights is set to publish a blacklist of Israeli companies operating over the Green Line, including some of the country’s largest corporations, potentially exposing them to legal action abroad.

The list will be released next month at the 40th meeting of the UN’s Human Rights Council, according to a report on the Ynet news site.

The move comes despite diplomatic opposition from Israel and the US, which has apparently already led to several delays in the release of the long-threatened list.

The blacklist will include companies doing business in the West Bank, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, among them many of Israel’s largest corporations, the report said. Companies informed they may be on the list include pharmaceutical manufacturer Teva, defense firm Elbit, the Rami Levi and Shufersal supermarket chains, Egged transportation, Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi.

Yitzchak Glick offers a flower to a Palestinian shopper at the Rami Levi supermarket outside Alon Shvut in the West Bank, November 14, 2013 ( Yossi Zamir)

Tal Granot-Goldstein, CEO of the Hot cable network, appealed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Ministry Director General Yuval Rotem to try to help, saying the list “could expose the companies to legal proceedings and cause investment to flee the country.”

Senior management at Hot received a letter from the UN commission in September informing them they may be on the list, Ynet reported.

In January 2018 a report from the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights noted that 206 companies were accused of doing business in the settlements, but didn’t list them. The report said that only 64 of the companies had been contacted about the allegations at the time, necessitating a delay in the publication of their names on a database.

The database, intended to list all companies doing business with Israelis situated in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, was first delayed in February 2017, nearly a year after the Human Rights Council passed a resolution calling for it to be created.

The US pulled out of the 47-member UN Human Rights Council in June 2018, and cut its funding to the organization in August, partly due to what Washington called the UNHRC’s “unrelenting bias” against Israel.

Israel is not a member of the council.

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