AIPAC Statement on United Nations Human Rights Office Report
The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner issued a pernicious report today, targeting commerce with Israel—the only democracy in the Middle East. We are very concerned that this report could be used to lay the groundwork for future boycotts against companies that do business with Israel. The report targets at least 22 American companies, even though they operate in accordance with U.S. laws.
The issuance of today’s report underscores the critical importance of Congress adopting the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720 and H.R. 1697), which would expand existing U.S. anti-boycott laws to international organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union. This legislation was introduced in response to a March 2016 resolution of the U.N. Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), which directed the preparation of a database of companies operating or investing beyond the “Green Line,” including, among other areas, East Jerusalem and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. However, the actual impact of such a blacklist and subsequent legal action would affect commerce in not only these areas but throughout all of Israel. The March 2016 resolution is also the basis of today’s report.
Now that the UNHRC is moving forward with a process that could result in a commercial boycott against Israel and legal action against American companies, we urge Congress to move quickly to adopt the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. This legislation is essential to protect our ally Israel and American businesses that could be the target of a boycott.