Saudi Arabia is hosting an Israel boycott event - @MidEastTruth
 
 
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MidEastTruth Forum Index   Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Posted by david barrett

  
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PostTue Mar 07, 2006 2:58 am     Saudi Arabia is hosting an Israel boycott event    


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Saudi Arabia will host Israel boycott event

By Michael Freund
The Jerusalem Post
March 7, 2006

Despite a promise made to Washington last November to drop its economic boycott of Israel, Saudi Arabia plans to host a major international conference next week aimed at promoting a continued trade embargo on the Jewish state, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The Post also found that the kingdom continues to prohibit entry to products made in Israel or to foreign-made goods containing Israeli components, in violation of pledges made by senior Saudi officials to the Bush administration last year.

"Next week, we will hold the ninth annual meeting for the boycott of Israel here in Jidda," Ambassador Salem el-Honi, high commissioner of the Organization for the Islamic Conference's (OIC) Islamic Office for the Boycott of Israel, said in a telephone interview.

"All 57 OIC member states will attend, and we will discuss coordination among the various offices to strengthen the boycott," he said, noting that the meeting is held every March.

The OIC, consisting of 57 Muslim countries, is based in Jidda, as is its boycott office.

Honi, a former Saudi diplomat, has headed the boycott office for the past four years.

The scheduled gathering is listed on the OIC's official Web site in a section entitled "Provisional Calendar of Meetings."

Hamed Salah a-Din, of the OIC General Secretariat, confirmed in a telephone interview that the conference would take place from March 13 to 15, describing it as "our regular annual meeting about the boycott."

The Saudi decision to host the parley appears to run counter to assurances that Riyadh gave the Bush administration when Saudi Arabia was seeking entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

On November 11, the WTO's ruling general council voted to grant Saudi Arabia entry into the prestigious group, which aims to promote international free trade, after it agreed to scrap restrictions on doing business with Israel.

Christin Baker, the assistant US trade representative for public and media affairs, told the Post via e-mail that the US had "ensured that Saudi Arabia in its recent accession to the WTO has taken on all rights and obligations with respect to all WTO members, including Israel."

"Saudi Arabia," she said, "did not invoke the non-application provisions of the WTO agreement with respect to any member," meaning that it must treat all members equally, "including Israel."

Likewise, in hearings last month before the US Senate Finance Committee, US trade representative Rob Portman insisted that the Saudis "have a responsibility to treat Israel as any other member of the WTO."

"We've received assurances from Saudi Arabia," Portman said in separate testimony before the US House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee. "They will abide by their WTO commitments."
Nonetheless, the Post has found, Saudi customs officials continue to enforce the boycott, asserting that no Israeli-made goods be allowed into the country.

"Absolutely not - if it is from Israel it is not allowed," Hamad Abdul Aziz of the Saudi Customs Department at Jidda's Islamic seaport said by phone. "I checked with my manager, and he said it is completely forbidden."

Similarly, a Saudi customs official at King Abdul Aziz Airport outside Jidda also said that Israeli goods were not allowed into the kingdom. "It is prohibited," he said. "It is not allowed to bring any goods made in Israel, whether the whole item or only part of it was made there. That is the rule."

In December, just weeks after being allowed into the WTO, Saudi officials were quoted in the Arab press as insisting that the boycott of Israel would continue. This has raised concerns in Washington that the Saudis are not planning to live up to their commitment.

Baker revealed to the Post that "a team of anti-boycott experts from the US departments of Commerce and State has been visiting the region to discuss efforts to eliminate the boycott."

She added that later this month, "a senior USTR official plans to visit Saudi Arabia and will again seek assurances that Saudi Arabia understands and remains committed to its WTO obligations."

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Posted by Starman3000m

  
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PostTue Mar 07, 2006 3:41 am        


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Quote:
"All 57 OIC member states will attend, and we will discuss coordination among the various offices to strengthen the boycott," he said, noting that the meeting is held every March.

The OIC, consisting of 57 Muslim countries, is based in Jidda, as is its boycott office.


Any guess about how many of the 57 Muslim countries from the OIC are also members of the United Nations; an organization formed to ensure human rights and foster peace and harmony throughout the world?


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Posted by david barrett

  
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PostTue Mar 07, 2006 7:58 am        


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Dont upset yourself! Razz


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Posted by Starman3000m

  
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PostFri Mar 10, 2006 8:15 pm        


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AgapePress
Commentaries and News Briefs
Friday, March 10, 2006


...A leader of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) says next week at a meeting in Saudi Arabia the group's 57 member nations will be urged to boycott trade with Israel. Israeli media say the OIC meeting will result in a violation of Saudi Arabia's commitment to drop its boycott of Israel before the United States agreed to let the kingdom join the World Trade Organization. The WTO's rules forbid any member government from participating in a boycott of a fellow WTO member. Saudi Arabia, which for years has been part of the Arab League boycott of Israel, has taken an ambiguous stance since joining the WTO in December, with the Saudi government saying it will not discriminate against any WTO member and will follow the trade group's rules. However, it never officially called off the boycott and there is still no trade between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Saudi Arabia, well known for its anti-Israel stance and its intolerance of any religion other than Islam, recently staged a telethon that raised more than $100 million for the families of Palestinian homicide bombers. [Rusty Pugh]

http://www.agapepress.org


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