Nearly six years after promising Washington to drop their boycott of Israel, Saudi Arabia continues to enforce an embargo against the Jewish state, eliciting sharp criticism from a prominent US Congressman.

Last month, the US Treasury Department issued a quarterly “list of countries requiring cooperation with an international boycott,” which was published in the Federal Register on August 11, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 155). One of the countries appearing on the list is Saudi Arabia.

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In addition, the Bureau of Industry and Security of the US Department of Commerce also says that the Saudis continue to boycott Israel. On their website, BIS lists nine separate examples of recent Saudi efforts to enforce a boycott of the Jewish state.

“This new information about Saudi Arabia’s ongoing disregard of their commitments is deeply disturbing,” Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-New York), a member of the Trade Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, told The Jerusalem Post. “My opposition to the boycott is unyielding, and I strongly believe that Saudi Arabia and the entire Arab League must end this practice immediately,” he said.

Crowley added that in light of the Saudis’ behavior, he had doubts about the wisdom of additional US weapons sales to Riyadh.

“I have serious questions about any future sale of arms to Saudi Arabia as long as this practice continues, and I’m going to raise those questions,” Crowley added.

In November 2005, Riyadh promised the Bush administration they would abandon the boycott after Washington conditioned the desert kingdom’s entry into the World Trade Organization on such a move.

A month later, on December 11, 2005, Saudi Arabia was granted WTO membership.

Nonetheless, the Saudis continue to boycott Israeli goods and services.

“Abandoning its boycott of Israel was a condition for US support for Saudi Arabia’s acceptance into the WTO – not merely a suggestion.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen this game played before, and the time for it to end is long overdue,” Crowley said.

The Saudi boycott of Israeli-made goods is part of the decades-old Arab League effort to isolate and weaken the Jewish state.

The league established an Office for the Boycott of Israel in Damascus in 1951, aimed at overseeing implementation of the economic and trade embargo.

In recent years, enforcement of the boycott has waxed and waned. Some Arab League members, such as Egypt and Jordan, ceased applying it after signing peace treaties with Israel, while others, such as Morocco and Tunisia, do not enforce it.

Other Arab states, such as Lebanon and Syria, continue to bar entry of goods made in Israel and those containing Israeli-made components.

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