(August 19, 2020 / Israel Hayom) Israeli supermarket and telecoms magnate Rami Levy on Monday filed a defamation lawsuit against the United Nations Human Rights Council over claims his company violates international law by operating in Judea and Samaria.
The claim, to the tune of NIS 280,000 ($82,000), was filed with the help of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, after Levy’s supermarket chain, which has several locations in Judea and Samaria, was included in a list of businesses the UNHRC determined were operating illegally.
The U.N. agency’s blacklist comprises 112 business entities, 94 in Israel and 18 in six other countries—the United States, United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Thailand and Luxembourg—whose activities “raise particular human rights concerns.”
The suit, filed with the Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court, claims that operating in Judea and Samaria does not constitute a violation of international law or Palestinians’ rights.
“Jews and Palestinians are employed equally by Rami Levy. It can be said that the plaintiff companies improve the rights of Palestinians and their financial well-being immeasurably,” Shurat HaDin wrote in the claim.
The advocacy group further claimed that the UNHRC was “violating its own charter by specifically singling out Jewish-owned businesses.”
Levy, whose brand holds the second-largest market share in Israel’s food industry, said in a statement, “I believe in true coexistence. All of the workers in our market chain are employed regardless of differences in religion, race or nationality and are equally entitled and even earn three times the wages of what is the average wage in the Palestinian Authority. We are happy to serve all customers regardless of religion, race and nationality, and we will continue to do so.”
Shurat HaDin founder Nitsana Darshan-Leitner called the UNHRC blacklist “blood libel,” saying it means only to “harm Israeli businesses’ reputation and hurt them financially through boycotts.”
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.