Arab League Boycott of Israel - Organized Boycott of Israel - Recent Events

Recent Events

During the al-Aqsa Intifada there were calls for a renewal of the boycott and the boycott council finally met again. However, these meetings came to nothing. In 2005, shortly after the Gaza disengagement, Bahrain announced that it was completely withdrawing from the boycott. The withdrawal of Bahrain from the boycott was in order to ease the approval of free trade agreements between Bahrain and the United States. The decision to leave the boycott sparked harsh criticism of this move by the Bahraini public, and on October 11 the Bahraini parliament voted for a non-binding resolution asking for Bahrain to return to participating in the boycott.

In 2005, Saudi Arabia announced the end of its ban on Israeli goods and services, mostly due to its application to the World Trade Organization, where it is illegal for one member country to ban trade with another. However, as of summer 2006 Saudi boycott was not cancelled.

On May 16, 2006, after four-day conference of the Arab Boycott Bureau in Damascus, Syria, a "source close to the conference" reported that "the majority of Arab countries are evading the boycott, notably the Gulf states and especially Saudi Arabia. ... The boycott deteriorated a lot, regressed and even almost collapsed... We should not lie on each other, because the boycott is quasi... paralyzed."

However, reporting by the Jerusalem Post has found that many countries and entities are still enforcing aspects of the boycott, including the UAE and its Dubai Ports World firm, and the Sultanate of Oman.

In November, 2006, The Jerusalem Post reported that "According to material compiled by the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security, ... Arab states made a total of 201 boycott-related requests in all of 2005, or fewer than 17 per month. By contrast, US firms have reported receiving 120 boycott-related requests in just the first six months of this year, for an average of 20 per month, marking an increase of nearly 20 percent over the rate recorded last year." and "it appears that at least seven Arab countries, including ostensible US allies such as Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Iraq, are enforcing the terms of the Arab boycott more energetically this year than in 2005. At the top of the list is the UAE, which made 40 boycott-related requests during the period of January to June, followed by Syria, with 20."

Read more about this topic:  Arab League Boycott Of Israel, Organized Boycott of Israel

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