The background to this post is the “Deal of the Century” peace deal from President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner and several other Administration officials. Their hearts were in the right place, and the initial reaction of most Israelis was that this is practically Mashiachzeit – the days of the Messiah. Here we have the most powerful government in the world recognizing not only the right of the State of Israel to defend itself – that goes without saying – but recognizing our right to the entire Land of Israel by historic right.
Most importantly, the peace deal also changed the language, the received wisdom, of all the “peace processors” of past decades, and instead of putting the onus onto Israel to provide peace by giving territory to the Palestinians, it puts the onus onto the Palestinians, saying that they must recognize Israel’s historic right to the land, they must immediately stop all violence, and must stop undermining Israel at international institutions.
The feeling of euphoria however did not last long, as Israelis realised that the deal also involves eventually (IF the Palestinians get over themselves and comply with the conditions of the deal) granting the Palestinians valuable territory which will form a Palestinian state in the heartland of Israel. There were also assorted surreal suggestions for linking Gaza to the “West Bank” either by tunnels or bridges or other methods, all of which will endanger Israel.
And even if the Palestinians under this regime or any other do comply with the conditions to enable the establishment of a state, they cannot be trusted, given past behaviour, to continue complying with these conditions under another leadership, and then Israel will have to face a hostile entity in its midst, bringing us back full circle to square one (please excuse my mixed metaphors).
In any event, by the time the ink was dry on the paper of the Deal of the Century, the Palestinian leadership was showing its true colours by inciting yet more violence against Israel, and counter to the instructions of the peace deal, Abbas ran to the UN where he presented the “maps that lie” trying to show that the peace deal will rob them of territory.
Since the festive announcement of the deal there have been dozens of rockets and countless explosive balloons launched at southern Israel. The balloons are no longer “just” incendiary devices because it has been raining too hard and the ground is too wet for fire to take. Instead the perverted minds of Hamas have invented the idea of attaching IED’s, grenades, and other explosives to bunches of balloons and have launched them over the border. Many of these flying bombs have been hidden inside children’s toys, e.g. footballs and dolls, to encourage Israeli children to pick them up and G-d forbid get blown up.
Thank G-d until now there have been no serious injuries from these balloons, but since our pathetic (lack of) government have done nothing but bla bla talk, the likelihood keeps growing every day.
Just look at some of these “balloon bouquets” and their “gifts” of explosives which have landed all over the south of Israel, some landing as far north as Ashkelon, Dimona and Beer Sheva:
Judea and Samaria too have not been peaceful lately. Since the peace deal announcement, the incidents of rock throwing and rioting have increased exponentially.
I’m sure you will all agree with me that every one of these balloons and rockets is a war crime, especially since they are aimed at civilians, particularly at children.
So where is the UN Human Rights Council in all this? I’ll give you three guesses, and no prizes for the right answer.
The UNHRC this week issued a blacklist of all the companies doing business in Judea and Samaria! That’s right – not a word of condemnation, not even a mention, of the rockets and explosive balloons aimed at Israeli civilians. The only condemnation is of businesses in Judea and Samaria – territory which has now been recognized by the US as legitimate Israeli territory. Here is UN Watch’s press release:
The office of UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet today released an unprecedented blacklist of companies doing business with Israelis living in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and other areas over the 1949 Green line claimed by Israelis and Palestinians.
Bachelet’s office had postponed release of the list, acknowledging “legal, methodological and factual complexity.”
The controversial database of companies doing business with Israeli settlements, which Bachelet’s office has yet to produce on any other state, was mandated by a March 2016 resolution of the UN Human Rights Council that was sponsored by Kuwait on behalf of the 22-member Arab Group, Pakistan on behalf of the 56-nation Islamic group, along with Sudan, Venezuela, Algeria, Bahrain, Bolivia, Chad, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, and Libya.
“Dictatorships initiated this blacklist not because they care about human rights, but to divert attention from serial rights abuses committed by council members like Venezuela, Libya, and DR Congo, by scapegoating the Jewish state,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based watchdog organization.
UN Watch has published a detailed Myth & Facts on the Blacklist.
“Doing business in disputed territories has never been prohibited under international law, nor, until today, subject to a UN blacklist. For example, the EU has business and financial dealings in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara and in Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus,” said Neuer.
“Curiously, out of more than 100 territorial disputes in the world today, including in Tibet, Kashmir, Crimea, Western Sahara and Northern Cyprus, the UN chose only to blacklist companies doing business in Israel’s disputed territories,” he added.
“As several major democracies wrote the UN, the world body has no legal mandate to tell companies where they should or should not operate. Moreover, if this were really about human rights, then the key factor would be a consideration of whether Palestinian human rights are actually violated, yet that’s ignored.”
“Sadly, this is one more example of the Palestinian hijacking of UN bodies to promote a one-sided political agenda that fosters conflict instead of advancing peace.”
“High Commissioner Bachelet, who should be standing up for the UN Charter principles of universality and equality, has now allowed her office to become a tool for the discriminatory anti-Israel BDS movement, which singles out the Jewish state for boycott, divestment and sanctions. With the blacklist, the UN has now become Ground Zero for global BDS.”
Here is the pro-Israel activist organization StandWithUs condemning the perverted UN blacklist:
(Geneva — February 12th, 2020) — StandWithUs strongly condemns the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) discriminatory blacklist targeting companies that do business with Jews in the West Bank/Judea & Samaria released on February 12, 2020.
“Many U.S. states have passed laws against contracting or investing in companies that comply with such an anti-Israel blacklist,” said Peggy Shapiro, StandWithUs Midwest Executive Director & Director of Legislative Education. “As Airbnb has already learned, being complicit in the UNHRC’s discrimination is bad for business.”
Despite its mandate to promote human rights, the UNHRC has chosen to blacklist businesses where Israelis and Palestinians work and shop together, along with companies that help keep civilians safe from terrorist attacks.
The blacklist has also been widely criticized because the UNHRC has done nothing with regards to the many other disputed or occupied territories around the world. This is further evidence that the UNHRC is engaging in discrimination against the Jewish state.
The UNHRC is continuing a destructive pattern of one sided condemnation and pressure against Israel. The UN has yet to take any meaningful action to hold Palestinian leaders accountable for promoting and rewarding terrorism, inciting hatred, and oppressing their own people. This approach only fuels more injustice and conflict, rather than a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Interestingly the UNHRC boycott is going to fall afoul of US Treasury laws which ban boycotts:
I wonder how the UN will square that circle.
Michele Bachelet didn’t even make a pretence of consulting Israel or warning her about the impending blacklist publication:
Sources in Jerusalem said that Israel was given only an hour notice prior to the publication of the list, learning of it via the Americans. They added that OHCHR and/or High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet had not spoken with Israel about it.
Rachel Risby Raz, whose family owns a firm that provides security guards, said that no one from the UN had been in touch with the company before publication of the list, which she heard about only from the media.
She knew that her company could be on it, because it had been contacted two years ago by OHCHR. She went on line and found her company on the list on the UN web site.
“It seems quite ridiculous the whole concept of the list,” particlurly the concern that people like her self who offer an important service to save lives were somehow profiting by allegedly breaking international law.
President Reuven Rivlin read out the names of some of the companies at an event at his residence in Jerusalem.
“I am proud to give these businesses a platform. Proud to be Israeli. I am proud that these are Israeli businesses, patriots who contribute to Israeli society, to economy and to peace. Although we do not promote private businesses here in this house, when Israeli businesses are under the threat of boycott, we will stand with them,” Rivlin said.
“Boycotting Israeli companies does not advance the cause of peace and does not build confidence between the sides. We call on our friends around the world to speak out against this shameful initiative which reminds of dark periods in our history,” he added.
Anne Herzberg, legal adviser and UN Liaison at NGO Monitor said,”These companies have done nothing wrong, and many are involved in providing goods and services to Palestinians pursuant to the Oslo Accords.
“This list was made in conjunction with pro-BDS and PFLP-linked NGOs,” Herzberg said. “The maligned companies should begin assessing plans to take legal action against the UN officials who prepared the list and those who will propagate its false claims.
Shame on the UN, particularly the UNHRC, for this illegal, immoral and illogical blacklist. Shame on UNICEF for doing nothing to protect the lives of Israeli children. Shame on the Palestinians for their rejectionism and violence.
And shame on the Israeli government for doing nothing to protect the residents of the south. All they do is talk talk talk. Netanyahu promises and threatens surprises and retaliation, but …. we are still waiting.