Israel MK: database of settlement-complicit companies is ‘ethical stain’ on UN

Knesset member Yoaz Hendel (Twitter)

Middle East Monitor  /  February 24, 2020

Israeli opposition parliamentarian Yoaz Hendel assailed the United Nations-mandated list of companies complicit in West Bank settlements at an international conference in Vienna, describing the database as an “ethical stain” on the UN.

According to a report by the Jerusalem Post, MK Yoaz Hendel, from the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) list, connected the UN database to anti-Semitism, speaking at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly on Friday.

“The publication of this blacklist embraces the false narrative promoted by the BDS movement and gives in to the very antisemitic and anti-Zionist discourse that this forum seeks to combat,” Hendel told delegates.

“This extreme narrative needs to be uprooted, and here, too all the countries in this forum must make their voices heard loudly and clearly” against the list, the Blue and White MK added.

Hendel was in Vienna representing the Knesset at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 19th Winter Meeting, which included a debate on combating antisemitism in Europe.

Austrian National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka called last week’s meeting on anti-Semitism, with some 30 parliamentarians taking part in the debate.

“Violent antisemitism is again raising its head,” Hendel said. “Who will protect the Jews in your countries from rising antisemitism…Will you allow the return of this shameful disease to our lives?”

The Jerusalem Post added that “Hendel met with Sobotka after the meeting, thanking him for his efforts to fight antisemitism and for a bill condemning antisemitism and the BDS movement that is expected to pass in the Austrian parliament next week.”

The Israeli government has been working for a number of years to promote a definition of antisemitism that includes Palestine solidarity activism and the global anti-apartheid boycott campaign. Part of these efforts have included legislative measures at limiting freedom of speech.