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
opposition to the boycott is unyielding, and I strongly believe that Saudi
Arabia and the entire Arab League must end this practice immediately,” he
Crowley added that in light of the Saudis’ behavior, he had doubts
about the wisdom of additional US weapons sales to Riyadh.
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
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.
the Saudis continue to boycott Israeli goods and services.
its boycott of Israel was a condition for US support for Saudi Arabia’s
acceptance into the WTO – not merely a suggestion.
seen this game played before, and the time for it to end is long overdue,”
The Saudi boycott of Israeli-made goods is part of the
decades-old Arab League effort to isolate and weaken the Jewish
The league established an Office for the Boycott of Israel in
Damascus in 1951, aimed at overseeing implementation of the economic and trade
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
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