|UN to Publish Database of Companies Operating in Israeli Settlements
UN to Publish Database of Companies Operating in Israeli Settlements
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
The normally pro-Western UN Human Rights Council (HRC) compiled a database of international companies operating in illegal Israeli settlements - in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Syria's Golan, stolen land for exclusive Jewish development and use.
The HRC intends publishing its database in December, despite strong pressure not to by Israel and Washington.
Companies listed include international giants Coca Cola, Caterpillar, Cemex, Boeing, GE, Raytheon, L-3 Communications, United Technologies, Hewlett-Packard, Ingersoll Rand, Motorola, Volvo, Sodastream, and many others, along with numerous Israeli companies - profiting on stolen Palestinian land.
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PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi condemned their actions, calling them "morally repugnant," adding:
The HRC's database "exposes the complicity of Israeli and international businesses in Israel's military occupation and the colonization of Palestinian land."
"This is a clear indication of Israel's persistent impunity and sense of entitlement and privilege" - Palestinians persecuted and exploited to serve Israeli and Western business interests.
Settlements flagrantly violate international law. Businesses in the territories without Palestinian authorization operate illegally, Ashrawi stressing:
"Any company that chooses to do business in the illegal settlements becomes complicit in (a war) crime and therefore liable to judicial accountability."
The Global BDS Movement welcomed the HRC's initiative, Europe Campaigns Officer for the Palestinian BDS Committee Riya Hassan earlier saying:
"By voting to establish this database, this resolution supports the view of the BDS movement that companies must be held to account for their participation in Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights and international law."
"Just as at the height of the boycott of South Africa, the BDS movement is successfully persuading international companies to end their support for Israel's crimes and we are starting to notice a domino effect."
The BDS Committee urged the HRC to go much further, "hold(ing) Israel to account for its violations of international law including by supporting a full ban on trade with illegal Israeli settlements and a two-way military embargo."
"What use are the EU's regular condemnations of the ongoing expansion of Israel's illegal settlements if they will not support measures aimed at stopping international businesses from supporting their expansion?"
"We urge the UN to lead by example and terminate its contracts with G4S, a private security company that provides services and equipment to Israeli occupation prisons at which Palestinian political prisoners, including children, are held without trial and tortured."
Databases of companies operating illegally on stolen Palestinian land accomplish nothing without world community action to end Israel's lawless occupation of Palestine once and for all.
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