The USA declared that it opposes the UN Apartheid database of companies that operate in West Bank settlements, saying it has not cooperated with the office responsible and will not be doing so in the future.
The position laid out by US State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel sought to balance between the Biden administration’s opposition to Israeli settlements and its belief that the UN is not a platform for dealing with such issues.
The settlement blacklist was created in February 2020 in response to a 2016 UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for a database for all businesses engaged in specific activities related to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The list contained the names of 112 firms — 94 Israeli and 18 foreign, including Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Booking.com and Motorola Solutions. Asked how this threat could manifest, Patel declined to elaborate.
In Norway, the list led the sovereign wealth fund to dump companies involved in settlements, citing concern over human rights violations.
The database returned to the news this week following a report in the Axios news site that the Biden administration has been pressuring the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights not to update the list.
Patel did not go as far as to say that the US was pressuring the UN on the matter, but he acknowledge that the administration has made its position against the blacklist clear to officials in the UN human rights office.
The USA opposes the creation of this database and continues to oppose any work to update it. We have not provided and will not provide any information to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on this database.
The position of Washington DC has been repeatedly made clear in public statements as well as in meetings that we’ve had directly with the Office of the High Commissioner.
The State Department spokesman argued that the database only serves to reinforce an anti-Israeli bias, which the Biden administration has repeatedly condemned and worked to oppose.
Patel also argued during the press briefing that the blacklist poses a genuine threat to US and other Zionist companies doing business or considering business operations in the region.
The remarks came less than a week after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated the Biden administration in Washington DC’s position against Israeli settlements.
Hereby the USA is warning the incoming right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu that Washington DC will unequivocally oppose settlement expansion as well any move toward annexation of the West Bank.
Times of Israel / ABC Flash-Point Middle East Blog News 2022.