Regional Bureaus of Arab Boycott of Israel Conference Starts Deliberations
Monday, April 23, 2007 - 02:55 PM
DAMASCUS,(SANA)- The Damascus-based Arab Office for Boycott of Israel (OABI) focused in its Monday's 78th Conference on the important role of such offices which is considered one of the corner stones in the Arab struggle against the Israeli occupation and its daily crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people.
Assistant Secretary General of the Arab League, Mohammad Soboh explained dangers of Israel on the just and comprehensive peace based on the international legitimacy resolutions and the Arab peace initiative approved in Beirut 2002 summit and reaffirmed in Riyadh recent summit.
He praised Syria's important role in defending the Arab rights and embracing and sponsoring the boycott offices due to her keenness to activate role of such offices in resisting the occupation.
General Commissioner of OABI Mohammad al-Tayyeb Bosalla'a reviewed the big challenges and successive threats that the Arab nation exposed to aiming at changing its political, cultural and demographic face and remapping it in a way that serves strategy and interests of some foreign powers particularly Israel.
"Work of the boycott offices constitutes one kind of the existing cooperation between the offices and the Islamic organization to achieve the joint goals in boycotting Israel, "General Commissioner of the Islamic Boycott Office Salem al-Haoni said.
For his part, Director of the Syrian Office for the Boycott of Israel Mohammad al-Ajami said that the boycott constitutes a powerful weapon which has influential effect on the Israeli economy, and is considered a demand by Arab masses in reaction to Israel's policies and its rejection to establish the sought-for just and comprehensive peace in the region.
"The Arab boycott of Israel will remain an influential tool and strong backer to the Palestinian people till the establishment of their independent state with Jerusalem as capital and the restoration of all the occupied Arab territories." He added.
The 4-day conference is attended by Heads and Liaison Officers representing regional offices from 14 Arab states as well as representatives from the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).
Source: SANA - Syrian Arab News Agency http://www.sana.org/eng/21/2007/04/23/114675.htm
Myth and Fact: The Arab Boycott of Israel and the Peace Process
By Dr. Mitchell Bard
"The Arab world's commitment to peace is reflected by its abandonment of the boycott against Israel."
The Arab League declared a boycott against the Jews before Israel was established, and most of its members have pursued a diplomatic and economic embargo against the Jewish State since its establishment. The boycott's influence waned after Egypt and Jordan made peace with Israel, the Palestinians became engaged in peace negotiations, and several Gulf states started ignoring the blacklist, but it was never abandoned, and several nations, most notably Saudi Arabia, have energetically enforced it for decades.
To give an indication of how entrenched the boycott is within the Arab world, the Bureau for Boycotting Israel held its 72nd conference in April 2004. Representatives from 19 Arab countries met in Syria to discuss tightening the boycott, and blacklisting new companies that do business with the Jewish state.69
To their credit, Mauritania, Egypt and Jordan, which have diplomatic ties with Israel, stayed away from the meeting. The Palestinians, however, did participate, and the head of their delegation, Ali Abo al-Hawa, asked the conference to respond to the Arab public's call for boycotting Israel, particularly in commercial relations. This was a violation of the PLO promise to oppose the boycott made in the September 28, 1995, Joint Declaration of the Washington Summit. It also contradicts the commitment made by Ahmed Korei (now the Palestinian Authority's Prime Minister) in an October 17, 1996, letter to then U.S. Trade. Representative Mickey Kantor: "The PLO and the Palestinian Authority and its successors will support all efforts to end the boycott of Israel and will not enforce any elements of the boycott within the West Bank and Gaza Strip."
Delegates to the conference also wanted to take measures to prevent Israeli companies from trying to penetrate the Iraqi market, but removed the issue from the agenda after the Iraqi delegate, Sabah al-Imam, assured the group, "there is no Israeli activity in Iraq" approved by Iraqi authorities.
The continued effort by most of the Arab world to isolate Israel economically and diplomatically demonstrates that most Arab states are still unwilling to recognize Israel. Until the boycott is terminated, and the Arab League members accept the existence of Israel, the prospects for regional peace will remain dim.
For more on this topic please see Dr. Bard's full article at: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Arab_boycott.html
The Galilee Institute is proud to present 50 ways is which you too can combat this boycott by showing your support for Israel: