Diplomacy

CEO of Communications Giant Bezeq Blasts UN Blacklist as “Anti-Israel Propaganda”

Stella Handler, the CEO of Israeli telecommunication company, Bezeq, slammed on Monday a United Nations blacklist of Israeli companies as “anti-Israel propaganda”  in a Facebook post, Haaretz reported.

Handler was criticizing a letter Bezeq had received from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that said that her company was subject to a blacklist for doing business in the West Bank, a copy of which she had also posted to her Facebook account.

The Facebook post and letter were later deleted at the request of Israel’s foreign ministry.

In her criticism of the letter, Handler wrote, ““From our point of view, UN HRC Resolution 31/36 is a biased attempt to attack Israel by applying illegitimate pressure on businesses that operate legally. We won’t cooperate with any move that is entirely anti-Israel propaganda.”

Specifically, Handler criticized the UNHRC for focusing disproportionately on Israel, while “North Korea, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen are not addressed by it.”

She also asserted that Bezeq serves all of its customers without bias.

Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, an expert in international law, presented a study to the UNHRC in June showing that some 44 companies from countries including Sweden, Switzerland, France and Germany operate in different occupied territories around the world.

“The study reveals that international businesses play a crucial role supporting occupation and settlement enterprises around the world in places such as Western Sahara, Northern Cyprus, Nagorno-Karabakh and Crimea,” Kontorovich said, but “the Council has never condemned any of this business activity.”

Kontorovich called the blacklist of Israeli companies “absolutely unprecedented.”

[Photo: zeevveez / Flickr]