Long a forum for despotic and ruthless regimes to criticize the Jewish state, the UN Human Rights Council has now commissioned an investigation into corporations doing business in Jewish areas of the West Bank and is set to release a list of such companies. The editors of the New York Post comment:
The Human Rights Council (HRC) believes companies doing business in the settlements are somehow [committing] a human-rights violation. Never mind that many of these firms provide jobs for Palestinians in the area and that the blacklist could cost many of them meaningful work. Or that the companies provide needed goods and services to anyone, no matter their background or where they live.
Ignore, too, the fact that the panel . . . has never voiced any human-rights concerns about firms in “occupied territory” elsewhere in the world, even where ethnic cleansing has taken place. And that numerous legal opinions and rulings [permit] such practices, with some citing language in the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The World Bank itself has lent billions to companies in occupied territories around the world. Heck, even the United Nations’ own legal adviser, in a 2002 memo on Western Sahara, concluded that such a practice raised no human-rights concerns.
But then, the move by the HRC isn’t really about fighting human-rights abuses (or, for that matter, making rational and consistent policy of any kind). It’s about trying to hurt Israel in any way possible and gin up opposition toward it. . . . Meanwhile, the council and [its director’s] office get hundreds of millions of dollars every year, much of it from the United States. Surely there are better uses for that money.