Dubai's Support of Arab Boycott of Israel Should 'Torpedo' Ports Deal, ADL Says

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - The Anti-Defamation League Tuesday said the Dubai government's continued support of the Arab economic boycott of Israel "should torpedo any deal with the United States on port operations."

Dubai Ports World, which is owned by the Dubai government, is set to take over operations at six major U.S. ports, a move that has prompted opposition from U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

"That Dubai Ports World is owned by the emirate of Dubai, which actively supports the Arab economic boycott of Israel, should be grounds enough to torpedo any deal with the United States on port operations," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director in a statement.

"Dubai should not benefit from America's open trade policies unless it discontinues its anti-Israel activity," Foxman added.

The ADL sent a letter to Treasury Secretary John Snow, chair of the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which is overseeing the review of the agreement between Dubai Ports World and the British company that oversaw operations of the ports prior to the deal.

According to the ADL, the Commerce Department as recently as 2005 alleged that Dubai Ports World was asking U.S. companies to certify that goods shipped to Dubai were "neither of Israeli origin, nor do they contain Israeli materials, nor are being exported from Israel."

In the letter to Snow, Foxman said, "For decades, the United States has been a leader in the fight against the Arab economic boycott of Israel, one of the most punitive and long-term restrictive trade practices."

Foxman added, "The Administration's leadership has been critical in securing commitments from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to cease their boycott of Israel. Dubai must take similar public action to even be considered for a deal with the U.S. government."

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