On the same day as the U.N. Security Council passed a controversial resolution condemning Israel, the 193-member U.N. General Assembly has approved a budget that includes $138,700 to fund the compilation of a first-ever U.N. blacklist of private companies doing business in Jewish territories that Palestinians want for themselves for a future state.
CNS News(h/t Charlotte) Defined in U.N. documents as a “database,” the blacklist will cover companies of any nationality that do business in Israeli “settlements” located in areas claimed by the Palestinians, including Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter.
The move, which was mandated by the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) last March, is expected to benefit the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign. The U.S., not a member of the HRC this year, did not have a vote on the matter in March, although the State Department did criticize the decision. Despite the U.S. voting against funding the blacklist initially, it voted in favor of the UN budget, and made no mention of any problem funding BDS.
U.S. taxpayers account for 22 percent of the U.N.’s regular operating budget, plus billions of dollars more in voluntary contributions to various parts of the U.N. system each year. Since Friday’s Security Council resolution – which passed after the Obama administration chose to abstain rather than exercise its veto – several Republican lawmakers have vowed to cut U.S. funding for the world body.
Anne Bayefsky, president of the U.N.-focused NGO Human Rights Voices, warned that American companies “are in for a shock.” “American taxpayers can expect to find themselves funding BDS in the very near future, with American businesses caught in the crosshairs,” Bayefsky wrote.
In contrast21 states have taken up anti-BDS legislation, including, Indiana, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, California, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Ohio. In seven of the states, the bills have been signed into law: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, South Carolina, and recently, Iowa. In March, Virginia passed two anti-BDS resolutions, officially condemning and outlawed the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. In some states, the legislation requires the state’s pension fund to create a blacklist of for-profit entities that boycott Israel and to divest from blacklisted entities. In most states, the legislation excludes humanitarian organizations from being affected.