Congressman Peter Roskam

Representing the 6th District of Illinois

Roskam statement on UN Human Rights Council report compiling Anti-Israel Blacklist

Feb 2, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC —   Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL), Co-Chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, and author of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (H.R 1697), issued the following statement in response to the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) report detailing its work establishing a list of companies operating or investing in certain Israeli-controlled territories, which preliminarily targeted 22 U.S. companies:

“The report issued yesterday by the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is a blatant example of the pervasive anti-Israel bias plaguing the United Nations.  By targeting legitimate international commerce with Israel – including 22 American companies operating legally in Israel or Israeli-controlled territories – this report strengthens the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement’s effort to impose discriminatory economic harm against a key U.S. ally. The United States has firmly opposed international efforts to stigmatize, isolate and delegitimize Israel, and we must continue to do so.
 
“I introduced the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (H.R. 1697) with Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA). This legislation would expand our current anti-boycott laws to ensure that boycott efforts against Israel stemming from international bodies such as the European Union or the UN are combated in the same manner as those emanating from Arab League Boycott. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act has broad bicameral, bipartisan support and should be advanced swiftly through Congress to combat economic warfare against Israel and to protect American companies.”

 

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BACKGROUND

  • The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, sponsored by Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Juan Vargas (D-CA) in the House and by Senators Cardin and Portman in the Senate, was introduced in response to a March 2016 UNHRC resolution, which directed the preparation of a database of companies operating or investing beyond the “Green Line,” including, among other areas, East Jerusalem and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. 
  • The bill would amend the Export Administration Act of 1979 to prohibit boycotts or requests for boycotts imposed by international governmental organizations against Israel—similar to prohibitions already long in place with respect to boycotts imposed by foreign countries.
  • The legislation makes clear that the Israel Anti-Boycott Act does not “alter the established policy of the United States or establish new United States policy concerning final status issues associated with the Arab-Israel conflict, including border delineation that can only be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties.”