VFI News February 18, 2020

UN Blacklist Targets Israeli Companies

"Evildoers will bow down in the presence of the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous." Prov. 14:19

The UN Human Rights Council last week published a blacklist of companies operating in Israeli settlements throughout Judea & Samaria, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, accusing them of raising "particular human rights concerns". The industrial areas of Judea & Samaria employ close to 20,000 Palestinian workers. Many Palestinians hold senior positions and earn up to four times the salaries paid in the Palestinian Authority. Workers also receive the same health benefits, sick leave and vacation time as Israelis. The anti-Israel obsession of the UNHRC is indeed a manifestation of anti-Semitism. The 112 total companies on the list had not even been given prior notice of their presence on it before its release. Only eighteen of the companies on the list were international companies such as Airbnb, Motorola, and Expedia, while ninety-four of them were Israeli companies that include a wide range of banking and construction businesses. Anne Herzberg, UN liaison at NGO Monitor said the list indicated that the UN had “officially decided to endorse the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement by issuing a defamatory list of companies it says are involved in ‘settlement activity,'" claiming it had been created "in conjunction" with anti-Israel organizations. (VFI News)

"Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows." Ps. 64:2-3

We Want You to See What we Are Doing at VFI

Take a few moments to review the projects we continue to undergird, and the accomplishments that are taking place as you give to Vision for Israel. In order to see our many areas of outreach, including those to terror victims, children at risk, the elderly, Holocaust survivors and lone soldiers, go to https://www.visionforisrael.com/en/outreach. There, click on one of the four categories and view the list of the projects with which we are actively involved in that category. Thank you and please continue to give generously to those in need in Israel. You can do so with easy instructions at the VFI website page.

"Blessed is he who considers the poor, the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, and he will be blessed on the earth. You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness. You will sustain him on his sickbed." Ps. 41:1-3

Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

BDS refers to the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement, whose supporters call for the withdrawal of financial support for the Israeli government in protest of what it deems to be the "poor treatment" of Palestinian people. The BDS movement started on 9 July 2005, when 171 Palestinian civil society organizations banded together and decided to try a new approach to fight Israel's [so called] occupation. Since then, the movement has expanded to include hundreds of campaigns on six continents. They range from pushes for investors such as churches, trade unions, and universities, to divest from companies holding Israeli military contracts, to consumer boycotts, calls for musicians and other artists to cancel appearances in Israel, and demands for governments to impose sanctions. Each of these diverse efforts shares common demands of Israel: end the “occupation” and colonization of Arab lands and demolish its Judea & Samaria separation barrier. It also insists that Israel allow the return of not only original Palestinian refugees - who left the Jewish state willingly decades ago at the behest of Arab leaders and now claim the right to return - but with millions of their second and third-generation progeny. If Israel were to agree to this Jews would become a minority in their own state. Return of the refugees would put an end to the Jewish homeland. (VFI News)

Much of the BDS in Europe and the USA is connected to radical Islamic groups and Palestinian terror organizations such as Hamas. Hamas and its parent Muslim Brotherhood fuel and direct BDS and anti-Israel political activities on hundreds of university campuses via the Muslim Students Association, with hundreds of chapters in N. America. BDS groups such as American Muslims for Palestine and Students for Justice in Palestine have funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Hamas terrorist group.

Israel Strongly Rejects UNHRC Blacklist Targeting Israel

Israel reacted with indignation at the UN Human Rights Council’s unexpected decision last week to release a blacklist of companies that do business in Judea & Samaria. PM Benjamin Netanyahu warned in response, “Whoever boycotts us will be boycotted. In recent years, we have promoted laws in most USA states, which determine that strong action is to be taken against whoever tries to boycott Israel. Therefore, this [UNHRC] body is unimportant. Instead of the organization dealing with human rights, it only tries to disparage Israel. We strongly reject this contemptible effort,” the prime minister said. Israel’s Foreign Ministry cut ties with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michael Bachelet, hours after her office released the list on Wed. 12 Feb. 2020. Foreign Minister Israel Katz said he took the “exceptional and harsh measure” as her office is “serving the BDS campaign.” NGO Monitor Legal Advisor Anne Herzberg commented, “This list was made in conjunction with pro-BDS and PFLP-linked NGOs.” The PFLP is the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, designated a terrorist organization by the USA, Japan, Canada, Australia, and the EU, as well as Israel. Herzberg urged that the maligned companies should begin assessing plans to take legal action against the UN officials who prepared the list and those who will propagate its false claims." (VFI News/ World Net Daily)

Since its beginnings in 2005, BDS has never been invoked against any other country. How does a self-described "human rights" movement single-out the only democracy in the region while ignoring the brutal treatment of women and minorities in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan. BDS is simply another anti-Semitic hate fest. Jewish history demonstrates that where anti-Semitism becomes legitimate, anti-Semitic violence follows. Almost everything the Nazis said about the Jews is said today by BDS supporters about Israel. There is a worldwide struggle today against the very existence of one country of all countries in the world.  It's not North Korea, not Iran, not Sudan. It's only Israel.

Pompeo Blasts UN List of Firms Doing Business in Settlements

USA Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thur. 13 Feb. 2020: "I am outraged that High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, published a database of companies operating in Israeli-controlled territories. The United States has long opposed the creation or release of this database, which was mandated by the discredited UN Human Rights Council in 2016. Its publication only confirms the unrelenting anti-Israel bias so prevalent at the United Nations. We call upon all UN member states to join us in rejecting this effort, which facilitates the discriminatory Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) campaign and delegitimizes Israel". Likewise USA Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the panel's ranking member, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) slammed the report by the UN human rights body for blacklisting USA companies that operate in the Israeli-controlled parts of Judea & Samaria. "This incredibly biased report is in direct support of the Boycott, Divestment & Sanction movement against our close ally Israel," Risch said. "This list and its public release were driven by politically motivated actors who seek to isolate Israel and undermine its right to exist," said Menendez. (VFI News)

Nikki Haley: UN List of Companies an "Anti-Semitic Blacklist"

Former USA Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has accused the UN of hitting “a new low” with the publication last week by the world body’s Human Rights Council of a list of some 112 companies that it says are operating in Israeli communities in Judea & Samaria. She called it an “anti-Semitic blacklist.” Haley served as UN ambassador in 2017 and 2018 and during her term made anti-Israel bias at the UN a central theme, declaring that she would fight it.  Posting on Twitter last week, Haley strongly hinted that she believed the list was published now to sabotage the efforts of President Donald Trump on the heels of his 28 Jan. 2020 announcement of a peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians, which acknowledges the Jewish people’s right to their biblical land, including Judea & Samaria. “The timing of this after the USA released a peace plan is conniving & manipulative at best. Shameful,” Haley tweeted.

The USA left the UN Human Rights Council in June 2018 due to its anti-Israel slant, with then-USA Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley calling it a "cesspool of political bias."  The UNHRC has a permanent agenda item against Israel at its annual sessions. The item calls on Israel to "immediately end its occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory," without any mention of Palestinian violence and terrorism against the Jewish state. The UNHRC has never released a similar blacklist for companies in disputed territories in any other conflict, though there are plenty of others. (VFI News)

Thousands of Ethiopian Jews May be Home by Dec. 2020

Israel's Likud party has pledged to promote immigration to Israel of all the rest of the eligible Jewish Ethiopians. The Likud announced the plan over the weekend and is waiting for approval. By the end of 2020, more than 7500 Ethiopians are expected to have made aliyah. This is in addition to the 400 Falash Mura Ethiopians being brought over in the coming weeks. (VFI News)

"I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid." Jer. 30:10

Tel Aviv: First Choice Location for Immigrants to Israel

Tel Aviv is Israel's No. 1 ranked destination for aliyah for the fifth year in a row, with 4,419 new olim coming directly to the city in 2019, the Tel Aviv Municipality reported last week. The figures were based on data from the Jewish Agency and the Absorption Ministry, which also showed that most of the olim came from Russia, the USA, and France. However, Tel Aviv also welcomed new immigrants from Singapore, Nepal, Peru, India, and Honduras. The municipality supports new arrivals by offering various programs and workshops to help with finding work. In 2019, over 1,900 people attended the municipality's annual employment fair. (VFI News)