By Earl and Kathleen Cox
Some of you may think I’m referring to the American nighttime television crime drama starring James Spader. While there are similarities, I’m referring to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and their recently released “Blacklist.” The U.N. is calling it a database, but blacklist is a more accurate description. This list contains the names of more than 100 companies engaged in business activities with Jewish communities and Israeli enterprises who are doing business in Judea and Samaria. Those on the list have been deemed by the UNHRC as being complicit in helping “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, to include East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan.” This list is nothing more than another arm of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) against Israel designed to harm her thriving economy and give her a bruised public image.
When will the Palestinians realize that those who claim to be standing with them in solidarity are only using them as pawns in fulfilling their own anti-Semitic agendas? The UNHRC, BDS proponents, and other pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel groups have done nothing to elevate the healthcare, education or general standard of living for the Palestinians. They stand with the Palestinians on one issue only – the destruction of Israel. The publication of the blacklist by the UNHRC amounts to nothing more than an attack on Israel’s right to exist.
Ironically, it is only Israel which is helping the Palestinians rise above poverty in their respective territories. Yet, of the 112 companies blacklisted, 95 are Israeli and they are being judged as guilty of fostering economic activity in the disputed territories rather than being charged with damaging or restricting the Palestinian economy.
What the UNHRC wants to keep quiet is a report which shows that, according to Palestinian workers, Palestinian lawyers, and the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, Palestinians enjoy better working conditions and prefer working for Israeli employers – including in Israeli settlements beyond the Green Line – rather than working for Palestinian employers. Wages are four times higher with Israeli employers and Palestinian workers receive health benefits, sick leave, and vacation time to the same degree as Israeli workers.
By trying to harm Israeli companies that have “activities” in the West Bank, the UN is also harming the many Palestinians who work in these businesses, and who enjoy the better conditions. If the UN’s new BDS-flavored efforts lead to a larger boycott of these businesses, eventually they may have to let go of employees, among them Palestinians. Furthermore, it is likely that there will be pressure from the PA on Palestinians who work for the blacklisted businesses to leave their jobs. Even the Palestinian leaders are not standing with the Palestinian people much less the UNHRC.
The UNHRC’s blacklist, intended to harm Israel, is actually harming the Palestinians.