US officials urged to enforce anti-BDS laws in response to UN blacklist

Israeli-American Coalition for Action condemns UNHRC blacklist of companies operating in Judea and Samaria.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

BDS protest
BDS protest

In the wake of a blacklist of companies released by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Wednesday, the Israeli-American Coalition for Action (IAC for Action) has strongly condemned the UN body, denouncing the list as “anti-Semitic in both intent and effect,” and have called upon public officials in the United States to prepare to enforce anti-BDS laws across 29 US states in response.

The long anticipated blacklist of 112 businesses, most of which are Israeli companies, singles out those which operate in Jewish areas over the pre-1967 lines, in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights.

“Israel is the only country being singled out for such discriminatory treatment and demonization,” said IAC for Action Chairman Shawn Evenhaim. “The UNHRC has never released a blacklist for companies operating in disputed territories in any other conflict, though there are nearly 200 others around the world. Ironically, many of the companies included on the UNHCR provide important services and employment to thousands of Palestinian-Arab families as well.”

IAC for Action and the broader community of pro-Israel organizations have created laws in 29 US states in anticipation of the UN’s anti-Semitic measure.

“We will now be mobilizing our expert informational resources to assist state officials with preparations for any enforcement actions that may become necessary,” continued Evenhaim.

As well as listing almost 100 Israeli companies, the blacklist also names 18 international enterprises, such as Motorola, Airbnb, Trip Advisor, Expedia and General Mills (all from the U.S.), Alstom (from France) and Greenkote (from the UK).

If any of the companies on the blacklist were to now begin participating in boycotts of Israel in order to be removed from the UNHRC list, those companies would become ineligible to contract with and/or receive investments from the 29 state governments, which include the likes of New York, California, Florida, Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Collectively, the 29 states control trillions of dollars’ worth of state employee investment funds and procurement spending.

“The 112 companies listed by the UNHCR will be carefully taking into account state anti-BDS laws around the USA,” said IAC for Action’s Executive Director, attorney Joseph Sabag, who has been one of the primary legal experts driving the legislative effort.

He also asserted that the organization is drawing companies’ attention to the enforcement actions brought against AirBnB in 2019, “which are a primary example of why participation in discriminatory commercial boycotts against Israel should be unequivocally rejected.”

“State anti-BDS laws advance the economic and public policy interests of the states by ensuring that taxpayer money isn’t used to support antisemitic discrimination,” Sabag explained. “Trade with Israel encompasses many of the state’s most vital economic sectors, such as agriculture, water desalinization, health sciences, disaster relief, avionics, and critical technology research and development. Tolerating the boycott of business with Israel would not just be an economic blow to Americans, but also a material setback to their everyday quality of life.”