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Middle East
Arab League meets to strengthen Israel boycott
JPost Reg Reqd - EFL
Arab countries opened a five-day meeting on their weakened regional boycott of Israel on Sunday with plans to blacklist additional companies that do business with the Jewish state.

The 18 attending states of the 22-member Arab League were also expected to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and consider lifting sanctions against companies who have stopped dealing with Israel.

Ahmed Khazaa, commissioner general of the 52-year-old Damascus-based Central Boycott Office, denounced Israel’s airstrike last Sunday against what it said was a Palestinian training camp in retaliation for a suicide bombing in Haifa that killed 20 people. Syria says the camp was abandoned years ago.

"The Palestinian people who are struggling for freedom and independence ... are being subjected to an organized war of annihilation by Israel," Khazaa said. "The aggression that was carried out by Israel on Syrian territories is a good example."

The boycott office once blacklisted more than 8,500 companies and people for dealing with Israel. But its influence has waned considerably over the past two decades as Egypt and Jordan made peace with Israel, the Palestinians embarked on a now-faltering peace process and several Gulf states started ignoring it.

Sunday’s meeting comes amid rising tension in the Middle East with Israeli-Palestinian clashes, US occupation of Iraq and Syria’s strident protest of the Israeli airstrike on its territory, the first such deep Israeli attack in Syria in three decades.

Arab League members Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania and Comoros did not attend the meeting.
Sabah al-Imam, who headed the Iraqi delegation, said the boycott should continue until the Palestinians get their rights, and he said Iraqis would oppose Israeli companies receiving reconstruction concessions in the country.

"There can’t be any (economic) relations with Israel as long as the Palestinians and the Israelis have not reached an agreement that is satisfactory to the Palestinian people," said al-Imam.

He also denied that Israeli good were flowing into Iraq. Asked what Iraq’s Governing Council would do if US occupation authorities gave reconstruction contracts to Israeli companies, al-Imam said: "We will not accept this at all."

Ali Abul-Huda, who is representing the Palestinians, said that economic and trade relations between all Arab countries, including those who have peace agreements with Israel, should be severed.

The once-influential Damascus office was set up in 1951 and funded by the Arab League to track down foreigners who did business with or supported Israel and then ban them from operating in the Arab world
Without Egypt and Jordan actively participating, this is just more seething and making faces at the Joooos
Posted by:Frank G

#1  How do you get on the blacklist? I want to be on it! (I sent a pizza to the IDF, so could I be considered a "military supplier"?)
Posted by: Baba Yaga   2003-10-12 1:45:20 PM