The United Nations and BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions): Modern Antisemitism

UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories


UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

Reports

  • August 23, 2016. Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, A/71/352

    "96. The Special Committee also calls upon the international community:
    (a) To ensure that financial pledges made by donor countries in Cairo for the reconstruction of Gaza are honoured and urgently disbursed so that the humanitarian situation is eased;
    (b) To use its influence to end the blockade of Gaza, which has a significant detrimental effect on Palestinians;
    (c) To review national policies, legislation, regulations and enforcement measures in relation to business activity to ensure that they effectively serve to prevent and address the heightened risk of human rights abuses in conflict-affected areas;
    (d) To ensure that corporations respect human rights and cease to fund or enter into commercial transactions with organizations and bodies involved in settlements or exploitation of natural resources in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories;"

  • October 5, 2015. Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, A/70/406

    "23. The Special Committee was informed about attempts geared towards differentiating between an illegal settlement-based economy and an Israeli economy within the Green Line. It was submitted that that separation was a misconception which overlooked the corporate interdependency in what essentially was one economy. Such an economy, it was contended, was comprised of Israeli and multinational corporations that continued to reap profit from the occupation, whether they had their headquarters in Israel or in the occupied territories. To illustrate that point, NGOs presented the case study of Tnuva, the largest Israeli dairy farm. Photographic evidence was presented to the Committee to demonstrate that Tnuva uses raw material for its dairy products from the dairy farms of Beit Yatir, Carmel, Migdal Oz and Rosh Tzurim, which are all settlements in the West Bank, and manufactures its final products in its main factory in Rehovot, in Israel.
    ...
    27. In that connection, it was stressed that corporate actors needed to be held accountable for the impact of their activities on human rights. Governments and business both had roles and responsibilities with regard to the protection of and respect for the human rights of the Palestinian people. Moreover, it was stressed that the responsibility for ensuring corporations' respect for human rights should also lie with third countries, which should cease to fund or enter into commercial transactions with organizations and bodies involved in settlements or the exploitation of natural resources in the Palestinian and Syrian occupied territories.
    ...
    88. The Special Committee proposes the following recommendations for consideration by the General Assembly. It is recommended that the Assembly call upon the Government of Israel to:
    ...
    (t) Inform Israeli and multinational corporations working in the occupied territories of their corporate social responsibilities to act with heightened due diligence and of the international legal ramifications of business activities with negative human rights impacts;
    (u) Take appropriate measures to prevent, investigate, punish and provide redress for corporate abuse and/or exploitation of resources in the occupied territories through, inter alia, effective policies, legislation, regulations and adjudication.

    89. The Special Committee also calls upon:
    ...
    (e) Member States to review national policies, legislation, regulations and enforcement measures in relation to business activity to ensure that they effectively serve to prevent and address the heightened risk of human rights abuses in conflict-affected areas;
    (f) Member States to ensure that corporations respect human rights and cease to fund or enter into commercial transactions with organizations and bodies involved in settlements or exploitation;"

  • August 26, 2014. Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, A/69/355

    "83. The Special Committee was briefed on the continuing exploitation of natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory by Israel and Israeli and foreign companies, and on corporate involvement in a number of Israeli measures with adverse human rights impacts, including involvement in Israeli settlements.

    84. In June 2014, the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises issued a statement on the implications of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the context of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In that statement, it recognized that the military occupation of the Palestinian territory constituted a conflict situation, even in the absence of active hostilities, and referred to the heightened risks of corporate involvement in human rights abuses in such situations.

    With respect to the illegal status of settlements under international law and the publicly available information about the relation between settlements and human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Working Group noted that this 'should necessarily preface and inform any human rights due diligence exercise carried out by a business operating in the settlements' and that 'the corporate responsibility to respect human rights exists over and above compliance with national laws and regulations'.

    85. With reference to the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Working Group stated that, where a business could not prevent or mitigate human rights risks, it might need to consider termination of operations (Principle 19). The Special Committee would like to stress that the heightened risk of negative human rights impacts applies to the entire Occupied Palestinian Territory as a conflict-affected area and is relevant not only for corporate involvement in settlements but also for corporate involvement in other measures related to the occupation.

    86. The Special Committee was briefed on corporate activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and on their effects on a range of human rights, including on the right to self-determination as encompassing the right of the Palestinian people to 'freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources'. The Special Committee will highlight just three examples that were brought to its attention.

    87. The Special Committee learned of 10 Israeli and multinational companies currently involved in stone quarrying in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. One of those is HeidelbergCement, which since 2007 has owned three plants in West Bank settlements through its subsidiary Hanson (UK) and one Israeli aggregates quarry in the occupied West Bank through Hanson Israel. According to information received, around 75 per cent of the product from the stone quarry is transferred to the Israeli construction market while the remainder is sold to both settlers and Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

    88. The Israeli cosmetics company Ahava has previously been criticized for exploiting the natural resources of the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the profit and benefit of Israeli settlers. The detrimental impact of their activities on the natural resources of the Occupied Palestinian Territory was also highlighted by non-governmental organizations. According to information received, it is the only cosmetics company licensed by the Government of Israel to mine mud in the Dead Sea area. The Israeli settlements of Mitzpe Shalem and Kalia hold 37 per cent and 7.5 per cent of Ahava's shares, respectively.

    89. The Special Committee heard how G4S Israel, a subsidiary of the large British multinational company G4S, had been contracted by Israeli authorities, as well as private actors, to provide security services in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. According to testimony received, such activities include armed guarding within Israeli settlements in the West Bank; provision and maintenance of equipment of checkpoints associated with the wall and its related systems, and the provision of systems; and personnel directly related to the detention or imprisonment of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in Israel. The Special Committee notes that concerns have previously been raised over the business activities of G4S in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (see A/67/379, paras. 47-51, and A/68/379, para. 37).

    90. The Special Committee is aware of a human rights review dated June 2014 available on the website of G4S,16 in which the company asserts that it does not intend 'to have an adverse impact on Palestinian human rights, and does not plan deliberate joint wrongdoing with Israeli authorities'. The review expresses the opinion that 'Israeli systems of detention and movement restrictions are essentially justifiable and properly managed'. The Special Committee refers to the wealth of United Nations reports and documentation on human rights concerns in these areas, including by the Working Group on business and human rights, and stresses the importance of companies acting with enhanced due diligence in the context of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in line with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

    91. The Special Committee notes reports that many States members of the European Union have issued statements warning of the legal and financial risks of doing business with Israeli settlements, including in the occupied Syrian Golan.
    ...
    96. The Special Committee calls upon the Government of Israel to:
    ...
    (r) Inform Israeli and multinational corporations working in the occupied territories of their corporate social responsibilities to act with heightened due diligence and of the international legal ramifications of business activities with negative human rights impacts;
    ...
    97. The Special Committee calls upon:
    ...
    (c) Member States to review national policies, legislation, regulations and enforcement measures in relation to business activity to ensure that they effectively serve to prevent and address the heightened risk of human rights abuses in conflict-affected areas;"

  • September 11, 2013. Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, A/68/379

    "5. During the aforementioned discussions in March, representatives of regional Member States expressed a general sense of pessimism in relation to prospects for peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in view of the active pursuit of settlement expansion by successive Israeli governments. Certain Member States noted that the new non-member observer State status of Palestine, granted by the General Assembly on 29 November 2012, was not reflected by facts on the ground. A number of Member States raised concerns regarding the involvement of multinational corporations in the exploitation of natural resources in the occupied territories, including the occupied Syrian Golan, and welcomed the recommendation of the international fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements that the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises be seized of the matter.
    ...
    22. The Special Committee heard extensive testimonies regarding continued settlement construction in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the widespread phenomenon of Israeli settler violence and Israel's discriminatory planning and zoning regime that effectively prohibits Palestinians from building or even renovating their homes. The Committee heard disturbingly consistent accounts of how the Wall, checkpoints, roadblocks, permit restrictions, bypass roads and the construction of highways connecting major settlements cumulatively contribute to freezing the natural growth of Palestinian communities and accelerating Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank. The Special Committee was also briefed on the exploitation of natural resources in the West Bank and the role of businesses, including multinational corporations and non-governmental organizations, in sustaining and promoting the State-sponsored settlement enterprise.
    ...
    38. In this connection, the Special Committee shares the concerns raised in recent reports of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 and the fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements regarding the involvement of business profiting from illegal Israeli settlements. The Special Committee wishes to focus international attention on the responsibilities of businesses not to be complicit in policies and practices of Israel that violate Palestinian rights. Committee members note that it is inconceivable for any business not to be aware of the illegal nature of Israel's settlement activities in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and further notes that businesses need to exercise due diligence in the light of the potential legal and reputational consequences for businesses associated with Israel's settlement enterprise.
    ...
    62. In this connection, the Special Committee was informed that the exploitation of natural resources in the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan extends beyond water to investments made by Israeli companies such as Mey Golan and Multimetrix, as well as a United States-based company, AES Corporation, into wind energy turbines near Majdal al-Shams in the northern occupied Syrian Golan. The Committee also notes that in February 2013, a local subsidiary of another United States-based company, Genie Energy, was granted a licence for oil and gas exploration in the occupied Golan. The Special Committee is of the view that such exploitation of natural resources by both Israeli and multinational corporations merits the attention of the international community. Company employees can potentially be held liable for corporate complicity in the commission of a crime. Furthermore, Member States of the United Nations are moving to bring human rights directly to bear on corporations through corporate responsibility initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
    ...
    66. The briefings provided by representatives of United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations and the testimonies of witnesses and victims heard by the Special Committee all indicate that settlement expansion under the full protection of the Israel Defence Forces is proceeding apace across the West Bank, through a combination of home demolitions, the denial of building permits, the enclosure of Palestinian communities and the myriad access restrictions by checkpoints and agricultural gates, which all serve to undermine the contiguity of the West Bank and the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. The Special Committee is disturbed by the role of Israeli and multinational corporations that profit from the occupation and the exploitation of natural resources of the West Bank and occupied Syrian Golan in clear violation of international law. The ability of pro-settler non-governmental organizations to influence the Israeli Supreme Court also merits greater attention.
    ...
    80. The Special Committee further recalls the many United Nations resolutions and reports that have made clear that policies and practices of Israel to transfer its population to the territories it has occupied since 1967 are illegal, and urges the international community to transparently investigate the business activities of companies registered in their own respective countries that profit from and exploit Israel's settlements in the West Bank and the occupied Syrian Golan.
    ...
    85. The Special Committee calls on the Government of Israel to inform Israeli and multinational corporations that are exploiting the natural resources of the occupied Syrian Golan of their corporate responsibilities and the international legal ramifications of such business activities, particularly concerning potential liability for corporate complicity in overseas domestic courts.

    86. The Special Committee calls on civil society to apply pressure on these corporations to cease their business activities in the occupied Syrian Golan and to adopt clear guidelines for corporate responsibility."

  • November 2, 2012. Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, A/67/550

    "50. The Special Committee urges the General Assembly to adopt measures to address Israel's long track record of non-cooperation with the United Nations, especially resolutions of the Security Council, resolutions of the General Assembly and mechanisms established by the Assembly and its subsidiary bodies. In this regard, the Special Committee draws the attention of the Assembly to Israel's decision to suspend cooperation with the Human Rights Council and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Assembly may consider the imposition of sanctions aimed at persuading Israel to fulfil its obligations as a Member State."

  • September 22, 2011 . Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, A/66/370

    "63. The Special Committee urges the Security Council and the General Assembly to adopt measures to address Israel's long track record of non-cooperation with the United Nations, especially resolutions of the Council and the Assembly, and mechanisms established by the Assembly and its subsidiary bodies. Such measures may include the imposition of sanctions aimed at persuading Israel to fulfil its obligations as a Member State."

  • August 27, 2010. Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, A/65/327

    "100. The Special Committee wishes to make the following recommendations, including reiterating some of the recommendations made in its previous report (A/64/339):
    (a) The General Assembly should:
    ...
    (ii) Urge Member States to implement the recommendations of the Special Committee, and intensify diplomatic efforts, including the imposition of appropriate sanctions to enforce Israel's compliance with relevant United Nations resolutions, particularly Security Council resolutions, and with international humanitarian and human rights law;"

  • September 9, 2009. Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, A/64/339

    "102. The Special Committee wishes to make the following recommendations:
    (a) The General Assembly should:
    ...
    (iv) Urge the Member States of the United Nations to implement the recommendations of the Special Committee, and intensify diplomatic efforts including the imposition of appropriate sanctions to enforce Israel's compliance with relevant United Nations resolutions, particularly Security Council resolutions, and international humanitarian and human rights law;"

  • August 13, 2008. Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, A/63/273

    "119. The Special Committee wishes to reiterate some of the recommendations made in its previous report (A/62/360) as follows:
    (a) The General Assembly should:
    ...
    (iii) Urge the Security Council to consider sanctions against Israel if it persists in paying no attention to its international legal obligations;
    (iv) Ensure that other States are not taking actions that assist in any way the construction of the separation wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, either directly or indirectly, and that bilateral agreements between Israel and other States do not violate their respective obligations under international law;"

  • September 24, 2007. Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, A/62/360

    "87. The Special Committee wishes to reiterate some of the recommendations made in its previous report, inter alia:
    (a) The General Assembly should:
    ...
    (iv) Ensure that other States are not taking actions that assist in any way the construction of the separation wall in Occupied Palestinian Territory, either directly or indirectly, and that bilateral agreements between Israel and other States do not violate their respective obligations under international law;"

  • October 9, 2006. Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, A/61/500

    "97. The Special Committee wishes to reiterate the recommendations made in its last year's report, and inter alia:
    (a) The General Assembly should:
    ...
    (iii) Request the Security Council to consider sanctions against Israel if it persists in paying no attention to its international obligations; (iv) Ensure that other States are not taking actions to assist in any way the construction of the wall in OPT, either directly or indirectly, and that bilateral agreements between Israel and other States do not violate their respective obligations under international law;"

  • September 26, 2005 . Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, A/60/380

    "123. The General Assembly should:
    ...
    (c) Ensure that other States are not taking actions to assist in any way the construction of the wall in OPT, either directly or indirectly, and that bilateral agreements between Israel and other States do not violate their respective obligations under international law;"

Statements

  • November 23, 2015. Sri Lanka (Amrith Rohan Perera, Chair of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices) at the 374th meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

    "The committee also reported on information received in relation to the role of companies who do business and profit from the maintenance or confiscation of settlements -- or construction of settlements or exploit natural resources in the occupied West Bank or the occupied Syrian Golan. The Special Committee hopes to maintain increasing international attention and growing awareness among companies of the potential financial, legal and reputational risks of doing business in occupied territories."

  • November 11, 2015. Sri Lanka (A. Rohan Perera, Chair of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices) at the 23rd meeting of the 70th session of the General Assembly's Fourth Committee on the Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

    From UN summary record: "As in previous years, the Special Committee had reported on the role of companies that did business with settlements and profited from their maintenance or construction or the exploitation of natural resources in the occupied West Bank or the occupied Syrian Golan. There was a growing awareness among companies of the potential financial, legal and reputational risks of doing business in occupied territories. Submissions made to the Committee listed a number of Israeli and international institutions, including banks. The Special Committee hoped to maintain the growing awareness among companies of the potential financial, legal and reputational risks of doing business in occupied territories. It also called upon Member States to review national policies, legislation, regulations and enforcement measures related to business activity to ensure that they effectively prevented and addressed the risk of human rights abuses in conflict-affected areas. The international community must also ensure that corporations respected human rights and ceased to fund or enter into commercial transactions with organizations and bodies involved in settlements or exploitation of natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the occupied Syrian Golan."

  • November 21, 2014. Sri Lanka (Palitha Kohona, Chair of the Special Committee) at the U.N. International Meeting of Parliamentarians in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace held in New York, United States

    "The Special Committee recalled the many United Nations resolutions and reports that have made clear that the policy of Israel transferring its population to the territories it has occupied since 1967 is illegal, and urged the international community to transparently investigate the business activities of companies registered in their own respective countries that illegally profit from and exploit Israel's settlements in the West Bank and the occupied Syrian Golan.

    The Special Committee has also called on civil society to exert pressure on corporations to cease their business activities in the OPT and occupied Syrian Golan and to adopt clear guidelines for corporate responsibility."

  • November 8, 2013. Sri Lanka (Palitha Kohona, Chair of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices) at the 23rd meeting of the 68th session of the General Assembly's Fourth Committee on the Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

    From UN summary record: "Recalling the many United Nations resolutions and reports concerning the illegality of Israel's policies and practices in the territories it had occupied since 1967, the Special Committee called on Israel to end the blockade of Gaza, and urged the international community to investigate transparently the activities of foreign-registered companies that profited from Israel's settlements in the West Bank and the occupied Syrian Golan.
    ...
    The report also contained a recommendation that the international community should investigate the business practices of companies registered in their own respective countries that profited from and exploited Israel's settlements in the West Bank and the occupied Syrian Golan."

  • November 6, 2006. Sri Lanka (Prasad Kariyawasam, Chair of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices) at the 22nd meeting of the 61st session of the General Assembly's Fourth Committee on the Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

    From UN summary record: "The Special Committee had essentially reiterated its 2005 recommendations, with the significant addition that the Security Council might consider imposing sanctions against Israel if it continued to flout its international obligations."