- Arkansas voter ID law struck down by state judge
- FDA proposes ban on e-cigarette sales to minors
- Bad omen? Italian man crushed to death by John Paul II crucifix
- Company stopped from accepting abortion waste
- Girl surprises Michelle Obama with unemployed dad’s resume
- ‘Harry Potter’ religion class seeks to enlighten students on ‘God, sin, and theodicy’
- ‘Optionally piloted’ Black Hawk helicopter clears tests; future missions to go ‘fully unmanned’
- Vice News reporter kidnapped in Ukraine is freed after being beaten, blindfolded
- FCC’s new ‘net neutrality’ proposal sparks outrage among consumer advocates
- Families of ferry’s lost confront South Korean officials
U.S. urges UAE to end its boycott of Israel
The Bush administration said yesterday it is pressing the United Arab Emirates to drop its economic boycott of Israel — a major sticking point in the proposed takeover of key U.S. ports by a UAE-owned firm.
A joint U.S. agency team traveled to the oil-rich Gulf kingdom last month to discuss the boycott, and a senior Commerce Department official will press Dubai again during a visit this month, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said.
“The United States wants to see the boycott against Israel dropped completely by everybody, and that’s our position,” he said.
Mr. Ereli said the talks on the boycott were part of a larger drive to nail down a bilateral free-trade agreement with the UAE.
But U.S. lawmakers said the country’s participation in the Arab League boycott raises fresh questions about the deal to allow UAE-owned DP World to purchase the management contracts for New York, Baltimore and other major U.S. ports.
“Obviously, it should be a factor” in whether to approve the deal, said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, who has helped rally bipartisan opposition to the Dubai deal in Congress.
“Security has to come No. 1, but [the boycott’s] something that has to be weighed,” he said.
Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, New Jersey Democrat, added, “I don’t like the fact the UAE is a party — whether directly or indirectly — to a boycott, which is illegal under all kinds of international agreements, against Israel, and that it is still sticking by that.”
Leading U.S. Jewish groups have long sought to end the boycott.
The boycott “is an anachronistic practice that has been used by the Arab world to unfairly isolate and stigmatize Israel,” said Josh Block, a spokesman for the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “No company should be participating in the boycott.”
Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote in a Feb. 28 letter to Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, “If Dubai continues its anti-Israel activity, it must be grounds for the cancellation of the deal.”
It has been illegal since 1977 for U.S. companies to comply with the boycott, either by agreeing not to do business with Israel or by certifying that their products do not contain any Israeli materials. Companies are also required to report any requests for such restrictions to the Commerce Department.
Last year, two firms were fined for issuing certifications “in connection with requests by entities in the United Arab Emirates to support the Arab League boycott of Israel,” according to a Commerce Department official authorized to speak to the press.
The official said the requests to honor the boycott did not come from the government of Dubai or the government of the UAE. Such requests sometimes come from purchasing companies.
In 2004, the most recent year for which complete records are available, 118 U.S. companies reported receiving boycott requests from UAE export partners, according to the office of Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Democrat.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- Holder cancels appearance in OKC amid angry protests
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- 'Conservatives' should feel exposed by Bundy's racist comments: Scarborough
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- HURT: President Obama's 'Selfie Doctrine'
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014