WASHINGTON, USA – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday, February 13 denounced the UN release of a list of companies involved with Israeli settlements, saying it proved the world body was biased against the Jewish state.
"Its publication only confirms the unrelenting anti-Israel bias so prevalent at the United Nations," Pompeo said in a statement, calling himself "outraged."
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet on Wednesday, February 12 released a list of 112 companies with activities in Israeli settlements, including major US firms Airbnb, Expedia, and TripAdvisor.
The report was ordered in 2016 by the UN Human Rights Council, from which President Donald Trump's administration withdrew the United States in protest at its alleged targeting of ally Israel.
"The United States has not provided, and will never provide, any information to the Office of the High Commissioner to support compilation of these lists and expresses support for US companies referenced," Pompeo said.
"We call upon all UN member states to join us in rejecting this effort, which facilitates the discriminatory boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) campaign and delegitimizes Israel," he said.
The BDS campaign, which seeks international boycotts to pressure Israel to improve its treatment of Palestinians, welcomed the publication of the list, which the Palestinian leadership hailed as a victory for international law.
Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land are considered illegal under international law, according to the United Nations and most countries.
Pompeo said last year that the United States no longer agreed that the settlements were illegal, and a Middle East plan released last month by Trump would open the way for Israel to annex much of the West Bank. – Rappler.com