Another embarrassment from the Washington Post

In "U.N. report identifies 112 companies doing business with Israeli settlements" (2/13/20), the Post states that "President Trump has declared that U.S. policy no longer views the settlements as inherently illegal."  The Post is wrong.  With one brief four-year exception 40 years ago, U.S. policy never previously viewed the settlements as illegal.  All but one past administration took the political position that settlements were either "unhelpful" or even an "obstacle to peace."  Only President Carter, as long ago as the 1970s, called the settlements illegal.  President Reagan, who succeeded Carter, reversed Carter's legal claim, and no administration has viewed the settlements as illegal since then.  

What is sad about this "identification" by the U.N. of the 112 West Bank companies, essentially a blacklist for boycott, is that it hurts Palestinians first and foremost.  Many Palestinians work at these companies.  Unemployment among Palestinians is already sky-high.  Why make it worse for them?  Further, according to Palestinian Media Watch (a media watchdog group), Palestinians earn twice as much working for Israelis in the West Bank than in Palestinian workplaces.  Their health benefits, vacation time, and sick pay are also better.  Lastly, there is no sex discrimination among the Israeli employers, unlike the Palestinian ones.  This unprecedented move by the U.N., which discriminates against Israel and otherwise treats it unlike any other country, is pure antisemitism. 

Faced with many countries that commit real human rights abuses, the U.N. is practically silent.  But in Israel's case, the U.N. invents abuses and punishes them obsessively. 

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