US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Friday blasted the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights following the publication of its database listing companies operating in Judea and Samaria.
“The United Nations has descended to a new anti-Semitic low. This database of companies operating in Israeli-controlled territories is meant to facilitate boycotts of Israeli Jews. It extends a tactic for attacking the livelihood of Jews that stretches back centuries, which has included boycotts, the physical destruction or confiscation of businesses, prohibitions on land ownership, and closing off certain professions. It is straightforward, undisguised, pathological hatred,” Cruz said in a statement.
“Almost unbelievably, the database even targets American companies offering general services across Israel, simply because they refuse to deny those general services to certain Jews. Our allies and adversaries should know that the United States will be carefully watching who stands with us and our Israeli allies against these disgraceful efforts,” he added.
“The United Nations Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights must immediately take down the database and halt any related investigations into businesses operating in Israeli territories.”
“In the meantime, President Trump and his administration should act expeditiously to counter this outrage. Specifically, I urge the administration to issue an executive order making it clear that our laws which prohibit cooperation with anti-Israel boycotts apply to boycotts sponsored by or initiated by international organizations such as the UN And as long as the database remains online or in use, the US should also withhold funds from the UN equivalent to the funding provided to the UNHRC and the OHCHR, and impose visa and travel restrictions on the officials responsible for this campaign, including High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet,” said Cruz.
“The US will not stand by while our allies are attacked and Jews all over the world are subject to campaigns of boycotts and stigmatization,” he concluded.
The UNHRC earlier this week published a list of 112 companies which operate in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
The council claims the companies, including Airbnb, Expedia, and TripAdvisor, violate international law by continuing to operate in the Jewish communities in the area.
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz responded to the publication of the list, saying that "the UN Human Rights Council's announcement of the ‘blacklist’ of business companies is a shameful surrender to the pressures of countries and organizations interested in hurting Israel, even though most countries in the world have refused to join this political pressure campaign."
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) secretary general Saeb Erekat welcomed the release of the list and said, “This announcement enhances and consolidates the credibility of the Human Rights Council and international organizations in the face of the fierce attack and the intense pressure that the Trump administration places on these institutions to impede the implementation of its legal and humanitarian mandate entrusted to it by the international community.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the UNHRC decision.
"The US has not and will never provide any information to support the compilation of these lists. We call on UN member states to join us in rejecting this effort. Attempts to isolate Israel damage momentum toward Israeli-Palestinian negotiations," he said.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)