WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) released the following statement after the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) at the United Nations (UN) released a blacklist of businesses tied to Israeli settlements in the West Bank and elsewhere.
“I strongly condemn the United Nations’ blacklist. The UN has provided the enemies of Israel with direct targets for hatred, economic punishment, and even violence. Such blacklists can only be seen as an extension of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to economically isolate and delegitimize Israel. Rep. Lee Zeldin has introduced legislation, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which formally recognizes such blacklists as an act of BDS and House Democrats should bring this bill to the floor.
“This action by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights undermines peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. The UN Human Rights Council continues to spend a disproportionate amount of time targeting the Jewish state of Israel while turning a blind eye to murderous regimes across the globe. The United States is proud to stand with Israel against this harassment.”
Background: In May of 2019, Whip Scalise joined Reps. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), David Kustoff (R-Tenn.), and Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) to file a discharge petition to bring H.R. 336, the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019, which allows local and state governments to divest public funds from organizations that have pledged to boycott Israel, to the House Floor for full debate and a vote. The Senate passed H.R. 336’s companion bill, S. 1, by a strong bipartisan vote in February of 2019. Speaker Pelosi continues to prevent H.R. 336 from coming to the Floor for consideration in order to protect anti-Israel members of her caucus from taking an indefensible vote.