Israel Institute of New Zealand co-director, Dr David Cumin, is calling on the New Zealand Government to immediately condemn a ‘disgraceful’ United Nations report labelling it as ‘consistent with the worst traditions of the Third Reich’.

Dr Cumin was referring to an unprecedented UN Human Rights Council report listing 112 companies doing business with Israelis living in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and other areas over which sovereignty is disputed.

Dr Cumin says that, by any reasonable definition, the UN Human Rights report is a “blacklist” of businesses and is similar to the Nazi-imposed boycott of Jewish businesses in the 1930s.

“There are eerie echoes of Hitler’s regime here. These businesses haven’t committed any crime – yet they’re being singled out by an agency which is supposed to uphold human rights. What possible purpose is there in compiling, and publishing, a list to ‘shame’ them if it isn’t to intimidate and incite hatred and violence?”

Dr Cumin says that the report perpetuates the UN’s disgraceful record of bias against Israel and notes that most New Zealanders would be appalled if they knew which countries made up the majority of the membership of the UN Human Rights Council.

“A majority of the (United Nations Human Rights) Council members are countries with appalling human rights records, yet they single out the only democracy in the Middle East for condemnation. This gross hypocrisy and double standard is blatant antisemitism”.

Dr Cumin says that while antisemitism in the UN has been growing over the past 20 years, it was given a boost with the passing of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, in which New Zealand was complicit, in 2016.

“Sadly, New Zealand co-sponsored the resolution along with Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela and, in so doing, it has given legitimacy to a growing tide of hatred.”

“Worse still – New Zealand is continuing to vote disproportionately against Israel at the UN General Assembly and is funding antisemitism, incitement to violence and supporting terrorism through the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to the tune of at least $1m each year.”

Dr Cumin says that the latest UNHRC move just shows how politicised the UN has become.

“There are more than 100 territorial disputes in the world today but the UN chose only to blacklist companies doing business in Israel’s disputed territories”.

“These companies have done nothing wrong and many are involved in providing goods and services to Palestinians pursuant to the Oslo Accords; affording them good wages and allowing for Arab-Jewish interaction that could lay the foundation for peace between the two peoples.”

“The HRC bias is clear but the timing of this “blacklist” is especially cynical, coming hot on the heels of a peace proposal. The HRC is obviously not interested in peace.”

Dr Cumin notes that the Human Rights Council also has only one standing agenda item to condemn a particular country – item 7, which singles out Israel.

“Imagine going to your Neighbourhood Watch meeting, month after month, year after year, and there being just one item, is on every agenda, which is to reaffirm how much you all hate the only Jew on the block. That’s just not cricket. We must stand up to racism wherever it comes from.”