Caterpillar, Priceline on UN council’s warning list for doing business in settlements


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The United Nations Human Rights Council has sent letters to 150 companies warning them that they will be placed on a database of companies that do business in Israeli settlements.

The companies are located in the United States, Israel and around the world, Haaretz first reported, citing unnamed senior Israeli officials and Western diplomats involved in the matter.

Caterpillar,, TripAdvisor and Airbnb are among the 30 U.S. companies on the list. Israeli companies reportedly on the list are Teva, Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Bezeq, Elbit, Coca-Cola Israel, Africa-Israel, IDB, Egged, Mekorot and Netafim.

The letters sent by the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Raad Al Hussein, ask the businesses to clarify their involvement in the West Bank.

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Along with the American companies, others are from countries including Germany, South Korea and Norway. The rest are Israeli, according to the World Jewish Congress.

A number of international companies receiving the letter have replied to the human rights commissioner by saying they do not intend to renew or sign new contracts in Israel, WJC said in a statement, citing Israel’s Economic Ministry.

The Trump administration has referred to the database as a blacklist and urged the Human Rights Council not to publish it, saying it is counterproductive to Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives.

The list reportedly will be published by the end of the year.

The World Jewish Congress delivered a statement Monday to the Human Rights Council calling on the Office of the High Commissioner to refrain from publishing the database.

“It is most unfortunate that an important U.N. body would blackmail global businesses into joining a hypocritical international boycott campaign against Israel,” the group’s CEO, Robert Singer, said in a statement.

The Human Rights Council has no power to sanction any of the companies on the list, but other U.N. committees could use the list to do so.

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