UN Human Rights Council publishes controversial list: Israel Update


February 14, 2020


The United Nations Human Right Council (UNHRC) published a controversial database blacklisting over 100 businesses operating in Israeli-controlled territories, on Wednesday. Israel is the only country against which such a list has been complied. Israel and the US both withdrew from the UNHRC two years ago to protest its biased treatment of the Jewish state and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement in response, claiming, "The UN Human Rights Council is a biased and uninfluential body." US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo echoed this criticism of the UNHRC, saying, “Attempts to isolate Israel run counter to all of our efforts to build conditions conducive to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that lead to a comprehensive and enduring peace.” The Palestinian Authority welcomed the release of the data and pledged to use the information to keep the named companies from operating beyond the pre-1967 lines. The Cincinnati JCRC echoes the concerns the The Jewish Federations of North America articulated in this statement.


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with former Israeli premier Ehud Olmert Tuesday, committing to restarting peace talks where they left off with the former Israeli leader 12 years ago, while rejecting the current US-backed peace effort. The New York meeting and press conference by the two drew vociferous condemnation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who accused them of trying to undermine the US peace plan. In his comments, Olmert insisted that in the end, peace could only come from direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.


Kahol Lavan Chairman Benny Gantz said Tuesday that the Joint List alliance of Arab-majority parties “won't be a part of my government," should he be recommended to form one after the March 2 election. Gantz’s efforts to distance his campaign from the Joint List was sparked by disagreement between the two over the newly introduced US peace plan. Joint List leader Ayman Odeh said his party would not recommend that Gantz form a government if he does not make a statement against annexation. Gantz has started firmly that he intends "to implement President Trump's peace plan,” including the annexation of the Jordan Valley. 


The American Israel Public Affairs Committee apologized for and removed at least four Facebook ads that harshly criticized so-called “radical Democrats" in Congress. The remarks came after US Senator Elizabeth Warren publicly indicated she would skip AIPAC's upcoming conference. AIPAC posted its retraction on Twitter, offering an “unequivocal apology to the overwhelming majority of Democrats in Congress, who are rightfully offended by the inaccurate assertion that the poorly worded, inflammatory advertisement implies.” The controversy comes just weeks before AIPAC’s annual conference and at a time when left-wing activist groups are pressuring Democratic presidential candidates to boycott the conference. 


Shabbat Shalom,


Jackie Congedo, Director, JCRC


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The 2020 Jewish and Israeli Film Festival has begun, showcasing award-winning films from around the world right here in Cincinnati. The festival features the best of the thriving independent film industry, showcasing established and emerging filmmakers and provocative, humorous, inspiring, and enlightening films. To learn more and purchase tickets, click here. 

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Join the community on Tuesday, March 14, at 7:00 PM, at the Mayerson JCC to hear from two diverse voices on the difficult topic of Arab-Jewish relations in Israel: an Israeli-Arab thought leader on this issue, and a Jewish government official from Israel’s conservative Likud party. For more information and to register, click here.  

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The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is the non-partisan, public affairs arm of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.

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