A view from outside the United Nations building on March 17, 2011 in New York City. A U.N. investigator released a report Thursday calling for a boycott of companies doing business in Israel. (AFP/Getty Images)
A United Nations special investigator is calling for a boycott of companies that do business in Israel, including the U.S.-based Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions Inc., until they adhere to "international human rights standards" with regard to the "occupied Palestinian territory."
U.N. Special Rapporteur Richard Falk claimed in a report to the General Assembly on Thursday that a number of Israel-owned and multinational companies may be violating international human rights standards and practices by exploiting Palestinians or assisting Israel with security matters.
Caterpillar, for example, has "suppl[ied] equipment, such as bulldozers and construction apparatus to the government of Israel, which is used in the demolition of Palestinian homes, schools, orchards, olive groves and crops," according to the report.
"[A]ll companies should be boycotted, until such point as they bring their operations fully in line with international human rights standards and practice. In this regard, civil society efforts to pursue the implementation of the [U.N.] Guiding Principles establish a distinctive space between voluntary and obligatory action in the struggle to protect persons vulnerable to human rights abuse," the report states.
The Anti-Defamation League blasted the report and its author, saying Falk has "made it his mission to single out Israel as a human rights violator" and uses his position to "advance a biased agenda fueled by anti-Israel animus."
"While the issue of human rights violations experienced by Palestinians is a legitimate area of concern and inquiry, Richard Falk has repeatedly abused his position as special rapporteur to unleash unrestrained hatred and disdain for Israel," Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman said in a statement. "This malevolence permeates his official reports and, at times, his personal statements, which include the use of anti-Semitic imagery and comparisons of Israeli actions to those of the Nazis."