The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) must enforce a settlement boycott by ensuring that the database of businesses operating over the pre-1967 lines can be used for enforcement action, special rapporteur Michael Lynk said in a written report he submitted to the General Assembly in New York.
“The UNSC should ensure that the database becomes a living tool, that it clarifies and broadens its mandate, and that it provide the database with sufficient resources so that its spotlight can properly identify the scope of all business involvement with the settlements and the occupation,” wrote Lynk in his annual report published over the weekend.
He is a Canadian legal expert who is the UN Human Rights Council special rapporteur for the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories.
In February of this year the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights published a list of 112 business entities – 94 domiciled in Israel and 18 in six other countries – which it has reasonable grounds to conclude operate over the pre-1967 lines.
These countries include the United States, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Thailand and Luxembourg.
The list gives a boost to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and operates as a warning to those companies that such business dealings could constitute a war crime.
Neither the High Commissioner’s office or the UNHRC which commissioned the list, have any enforcement power and the list is advisory only.
Lynk, however, has now asked the UNSC to enforce a boycott of Israeli areas over the pre-1967 lines in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
Lynk called on states to boycott Israeli entities located over the pre-1967 lines, including banning Israeli goods from such areas.
He also urged nations “to discourage the promotion of tourism and emigration to the Israeli settlements.”
Israel has conducted a “cost free occupation,” Lynk wrote, adding that without consequences there is no incentive for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
“Without the development and application of comprehensive accountability measures by the international community against the Israeli occupation, it will continue well into the future,” Lynk wrote.
“It is well past time for the Council to lead the international community by drawing from its own precedents… and other modern sanctions regimes to honor its directions to end assistance to the settlements and to end the occupation,” Lynk said.
His proposal is based on his legal determination that Israel’s hold on territory over the pre-1967 lines is illegal under international law. It’s a view that both Israel and the United States have rejected.
US President Donald Trump’s peace plan to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict would allow for Israel to retain most of Jerusalem and 30% of the West Bank. The US has separately recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Lynk’s call comes as the Arab world has begun to embrace Israel, with the UAE and Bahrain signing normalization deals with Israel and Sudan agreeing to establish ties with the Jewish state irrespective of the status of the territories over the pre-1967 lines.