In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 12, 2004 / 21 Iyar, 5764

Arab Boycott Redux

By Michael Freund

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Is the Arab boycott of Israel making a comeback?

Once a vaunted weapon in the Arab world's arsenal against the Jewish state, the boycott largely fell into disuse in recent years, with several Arab countries openly ignoring its provisions.

Now, though, it seems that a renewed effort might be underway to revive the embargo, as a means of further isolating Israel and hurting its economy. It is imperative that the US and Israel take steps now to prevent this from happening.

Take, for example, the recent four-day summit held by the Central Boycott Office at the end of April in the Syrian capital of Damascus. Attended by representatives from 19 Arab countries, the conference decided to add 10 international firms to its blacklist, including two American companies, because they do business with Israel (UPI, April 29).

That means, in effect, that nearly the entire Arab world, with the exception of Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania, continue to see themselves as active participants, to one degree or another, in the embargo against Israel and have yet to disavow this shameful and discriminatory tool.

Even more worrisome is the fact that Iraq's ruling interim governing council decided to send a delegation to the meeting.

According to Ahmed Khazaa, the boycott office's commissioner general, the Iraqis agreed to respect the Arab boycott and pledged not to do business with Israel. Speaking to reporters, Khazaa read a statement, which said the conference had discussed "Israeli attempts to penetrate Iraq" and that the Iraqis "cannot but be against such attempts" (Associated Press, April 29).

The Iraqi agreement to abide by the embargo is particularly astonishing given that Baghdad is still under US control, at least until the end of June. If Iraq is to serve as the model for a new and friendlier Middle East, then joining the Arab boycott of Israel hardly seems like an auspicious way to start.

The Palestinians are also working overtime to try and breathe new life in to the boycott. At a meeting tomorrow in Kuala Lampur of the ministerial committee of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Palestinian delegation will reportedly call on the 118 member countries to suspend all trade ties with Israel.

As Palestinian Ambassador to Malaysia Ahmad Al Farra told a Malaysian newspaper earlier this week, "It is not enough to be angry or to condemn the Israelis… we want the UN to initiate economic sanctions against Israel" (New Straits Times, May 10).

Similar calls have been made elsewhere in the Arab world in recent weeks. Lebanon's senior Muslim cleric, Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani, is said to have reaffirmed his support for the boycott after being accused of renting property to a company that sells goods produced by the Estee Lauder cosmetics firm.

Donate to JWR

"Qabbani is determined that no company connected with Israel should be given any help to sell its goods in Lebanon," a cleric close to the Mufti told a Lebanese newspaper (Beirut Daily Star, May 8, 2004).

And Syria's Ministry of Economy issued a statement last week barring four European ships from docking in Syrian ports because they had made stops in Israel. The Syrians also added nine companies to a national blacklist due to their ties with the Jewish state (Associated Press, May 6).

Even in countries considered close to the US, there are signs of mounting agitation to re-impose the embargo. Last month, the National Union of Kuwaiti Students issued a call to prohibit "American and Zionist goods" (DPA, April 19). In 2003, the Saudi government banned three American companies from doing business in the Kingdom because of the boycott, while in January of this year, two cameramen for a Spanish television network were denied entry to the Arab League's headquarters in Cairo when it was discovered that they were Israelis (AP, January 20).

The Arab embargo, of course, has nothing to do with Israeli policy, and everything to do with Arab opposition to the very existence of the Jewish state. Indeed, it was first launched on December 2, 1945, or more than two years before the founding of the State of Israel, when the Arab League Council declared all Jewish and Zionist products to be "undesirable to the Arab countries".

Application of the boycott later waned during the 1990s, but it was formally revived two years ago at a meeting in Damascus. Though current compliance with is said to be spotty, and is far less thorough than it once was, it would nevertheless be a mistake for Israel and the United States to ignore the Arabs' renewed interest in reviving the embargo.

After all, the use of this economic weapon is a throwback to the darker days of regional conflict and tension. If US President George W. Bush is serious about promoting reform in the Middle East, then he should take a firm stance against the renewal of the Arab boycott of Israel. The embargo is an affront to the principles of free trade, and will only make Arab-Israeli reconciliation even more difficult to achieve.

Moreover, the boycott not only targets Israel, but it also harms US economic interests abroad. As the Office of the US Trade Representative said in its 2004 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, "The Arab League boycott of the state of Israel is an impediment to U.S. trade and investment in the Middle East and North Africa."

It is therefore essential that Washington wield its diplomatic and economic clout to forestall a resurgence of this weapon. While US law has forbidden American companies since 1977 from complying with the embargo, Congress should consider passing new legislation to punish countries that brazenly continue to support it, such as Syria and Saudi Arabia.

And the US should also make it clear to Iraq's new rulers that taking part in the boycott is simply out of the question. America cannot allow Iraqis, and other Arab states, to fall back into the bad habits of yesteryear, such as rejectionism and obstinacy.

The only way the Arab world can possibly hope to progress is to cease fighting the battles of the past, and to start embracing the realities of the present: chief among them that the Jewish state is here to stay. And there could be no better symbol of a new Arab approach then by renouncing the boycott of Israel, once and for all.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Michael Freund served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning under former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Comment by clicking here.

© 2004, Michael Freund