WASHINGTON – The United States on Wednesday condemned a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution that calls for setting up a database of businesses operating in the occupied West Bank, a move that Israel has called a “blacklist.”
The Geneva-based council, established 10 years ago and long accused by the United States and Israel of bias against the Jewish state,
adopted the motion last week with 32 votes in favor, none against and 15, mostly European nations, abstaining. The resolution, which calls for the database of enterprises to be updated annually, was passed under the Human Rights Council’s agenda item seven, which covers the “human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.” US State Department spokesman John Kirby criticized the motion at his daily briefing. “We continue to unequivocally oppose the very existence of that agenda item and therefore any resolutions … that come from it,” he said, accusing the body of “bias against Israel.” While repeating the US view that Israeli settlement building on occupied land erodes the chances of peace with the Palestinians, Kirby said the creation of a database would be an unprecedented step by the council and exceeded its authority.