ZOA Condemns UNHRC Economic Warfare Against Jewish/Israeli Businesses
News Press Release
March 28, 2016

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

During the past week, Islamic State terrorists murdered dozens of innocent people and wounded hundreds more at a​n​ ​American ticket counter at a Brussels airport, a Brussels train station, ​a restaurant in Turkey where an Israeli tour group was visiting, and an Iraqi soccer stadium; a Taliban suicide bomber murdered 65 and wounded 300 Christians celebrating Easter in Pakistan; and Palestinian Arab terrorists continued their 6-month wave of terror, in which Palestinian Arab terrorists, incited by Palestinian Authority and Hamas unity government leaders, murdered 34 and maimed over 400 innocent Jewish Israelis in knife, shooting and car-ramming attacks.   Yet, in an “alternate reality fantasy world” in Geneva, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) passed five false, absurd, hypocritical resolutions condemning Israel.   It is utterly shameful that the UNHRC spends its time condemning Israel – when Israel is a top terrorism victim, the only democracy in the Middle East, and has an exemplary human rights record.  

As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stated:  “The UN Human Rights Council has become an anti-Israel circus. It attacks the only democracy in the Middle East and ignores the gross violations of Iran, Syria and North Korea. The absurdity is that instead of dealing with the Palestinians’ terrorist attacks and those of (ISIS) in Europe, it decides to condemn Israel.”

The UNHRC database is apparently designed to enhance boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and legal actions to destroy Israel and Jews economically.

The UNHRC resolutions passed last week go beyond the UNHRC’s usual fabrications used to condemn Israel.  The UNHRC resolutions are an out-an-out declaration of economic warfare against the Jewish state.  Among other things, UNHRC resolution A/HRC/31/L.39 calls for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the “working group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises” to produce and annually update a database of (mostly Jewish) business enterprises that directly and indirectly, “enabled, facilitated and profited from the construction and growth of the Israeli settlements. ”   In addition to targeting Jewish businesses over the green line, including in the eastern portion (Old City) of Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria (where Jews have lived for millennia), the resolution appears to target a broad swath of other businesses providing any sort of minimal ancillary service or having any sort of relationship to the Jewish areas that Israel recaptured and liberated in a defensive war in 1967.  The UNHRC database is apparently designed to enhance boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and legal actions to destroy Israel and Jews economically.

The UNHRC resolution is also a blatant attempt to interfere with the anti-boycott laws sweeping across the United States.  More and more U.S. states have been taking positive action to prevent economic warfare against the Jewish State.  During the past week, Colorado and Arizona enacted anti-BDS bills, following the examples first established by Illinois and South Carolina.  (New Yorkers:  Please see ZOA’s Action Alert about the pending New York anti-BDS legislation, and call your Assembly-person today to pass the New York anti-BDS bill.)  In addition, the recently enacted federal trade law (H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, Section 909 entitled “United States-Israel Trade And Commercial Enhancement”) helps combat BDS against Israel and any territory controlled by Israel. 

Contrary to these U.S. laws, the UNHRC resolution calls on all states to “ensure that their policies, legislation, regulations and enforcement measures effectively address the heightened risks of operating a business in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.”  (The UNHRC falsely calls the historic and current Jewish areas over the green line “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”)  

The UNHRC’s dangerous resolutions – which conflict with U.S. law – also once again demonstrate that it is time for the United States to cut off funding to all U.N. bodies (see ZOA Opposed Obama Seeking to Illegally Fund Anti-Israel UNESCO) and to discontinue any involvement with the UNHRC.   

The Bush administration had appropriately refused to join the UNHRC when the UNHRC was established in March 2006 to replace the UN Human Rights Commission, which had lost international credibility.  The Obama administration (via then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton)’s rationale for joining the UNHRC in 2009 was that the U.S. would be able to improve “the U.N. human rights system.”  There has clearly been no improvement; there’s no point continuing to invest in the UNHRC circus.

Our Mission
The ZOA speaks out for Israel – in reports, newsletters, and other publications. In speeches in synagogues, churches, and community events, in high schools and colleges from coast to coast. In e-mail action alerts. In op-eds and letters to the editor. In radio and television appearances by ZOA leaders. Always on the front lines of pro-Israel activism, ZOA has made its mark.
Center for Law & Justice
We work to educate the American public and Congress about legal issues in order to advance the interests of Israel and the Jewish people.
We assist American victims of terrorism in vindicating their rights under the law, and seek to hold terrorists and sponsors of terrorism accountable for their actions.
We fight anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses.
We strive to enforce existing law and also to create new law in order to safeguard the rights of the Jewish people in the United States and Israel.