Photo Credit: United States Mission Geneva
High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) on Wednesday condemned the UN call to blacklist 150 Israeli and international companies for doing business in “occupied Palestinian territories,” based on a letter sent two weeks ago by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, a Jordanian national, warning said companies that they would be added to a database of businesses acting in violation of “international law and UN decisions.”

According to Israel’s Economy Ministry’s Office of Strategic Affairs, several international companies that had received the letter have already reassured al-Hussein that they do not intend to renew or sign contracts in Israel. “These companies just can’t make the distinction between Israel and the settlements and are ending their operations all together,” a senior Israeli official told Ha’aretz, adding: “Foreign companies will not invest in something that reeks of political problems – this could snowball.”

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According to Ha’aretz, the majority of the 150 companies that received al-Hussein’s threatening letter are Israeli, of the 150 companies, 30, more or less, are American, and the rest are from Germany, South Korea and Norway.

According to the Washington Post, the US-based companies are Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor and Airbnb. According to Israel’s Channel 2 News, the list of Israel-based companies includes Teva, Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Bezeq, Elbit, Coca-Cola Israel, Africa-Israel, IDB, Egged, Mekorot and Netafim.

WJC CEO Robert Singer suggested it was “most unfortunate that an important UN body would blackmail global businesses into joining a hypocritical international boycott campaign against Israel.”

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