All Israel

US presses UN not to update controversial settlement blacklist

Critics of the list say it is a tool of the BDS movement, claim it harms Palestinians as much as the Jewish companies

Illustrative - General view of the Jewish settlement of Elon Moreh near the West Bank city of Nablus, Nov. 14, 2022. (Photo: Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

The Biden administration announced on Friday that it would press the United Nations not to update a blacklist of companies doing business in Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria. 

U.S. State Department Spokesman Vedant Patel said the U.S. “continues to oppose any work to update” the list and went on to say, “Our view is that this database only serves to reinforce an anti-Israel bias that too often finds traction in U.N. venues.” 

The list, when it was published in 2020, was denounced by former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration and angered many in Israel. The U.N. Human Rights Council prompted the creation of the list with a 2016 resolution which called for a “database for all businesses engaged in specific activities related to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.” 

The list of companies, which contained the names of 112 foreign and Israeli companies, including Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor and others, led to backlash for many of the firms. Shortly after the list’s publication, Airbnb announced that it would no longer advertise housing offered in Jewish settlements, but it backtracked after complaints from the U.S. and Israel. 

In Norway, the $1.2 trillion sovereign-wealth fund dropped investments of companies doing business in Jewish settlements. 

Critics of the list say it is a tool of the anti-Israel BDS movement and claim that it harms Palestinians as much as the Jewish companies. Many Palestinians are employed by Israeli or other companies operating in the settlements. When those companies are forced to pull out, it is often Palestinian workers and their families who are the most affected. 

In 2014, a high-profile campaign against SodaStream forced the company to close its Mishor Adumim factory and move it to the Negev. Almost 500 Palestinian workers were laid off because of the move. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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