WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), both members of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statements after the public release of the long-awaited United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) anti-Israel database, akin to a blacklist, of companies. Major American companies, including General Mills, Airbnb, Expedia, Travel Advisor, Bookings Holdings and Motorola, are being targeted for potential international boycotts because they do business with Israel, a major ally of the United States.
“The Human Rights Council should use its energy to encourage both Israel and the Palestinians to return to good faith negotiations. One-sided campaigns by international organizations or other entities will undermine the prospect for peace and any reasonable chance of reaching two-state solution. A two-state solution is the only way to achieve real peace and stability in the Middle East,” said Senator Cardin. “The United States cannot stand by while American businesses are being pressured by a foreign entity because of their work in Israel, one of our key allies.”
“Politically motivated boycotts of Israel are unacceptable and I strongly condemn this effort to blacklist companies, including six American companies, that do business in Israeli-controlled territories,” said Senator Portman. “This discriminatory effort is designed to undermine prospects for resuming negotiations for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. I stand against illegitimate attempts to isolate our ally Israel or impose policy solutions to issues that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The preliminary list released yesterday by UNHRC underscores the urgent need for swift action to modernize existing anti-boycott laws.”