Friday, January 1, 2016

70 years ago: Arab League economic boycott of Jewish goods in Palestine goes into effect

Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein:
For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.
Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the Lord: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the Lord.
Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.
For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.
For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me.
Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.
And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.
Zechariah 2:4b-12

From the "the more things change, the more they stay the same" department:

For those who think that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS Movement)--the worldwide anti-Israel campaign on behalf of the Palestinian cause--is a recent phenomenon, it's worth noting that the idea goes back to 1945, before the state of Israel existed, when the Jewish community in Palestine was known as the Yishuv.

On December 2, 1945, the Arab League announced that, effective January 1, 1946, its seven member states--Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen--would boycott all Jewish-produced goods from Palestine in an effort to weaken Jewish industry in the region and to deter Jewish immigration to Palestine. The declaration urged both Arab states that were members of the then-new United Nations and Arab states which had not yet obtained UN membership to prohibit the products and usage of the products of Jewish industry in Palestine. The declaration, contained in Arab League Resolution 16, stated:

Products of Palestinian Jews are to be considered undesirable in Arab countries. They should be prohibited and refused as long as their production in Palestine might lead to the realization of Zionist political aims.

On December 30, 1945, the Egyptian cabinet of Prime Minister Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha approved the boycott. The Arab League boycott of Israel largely failed; Jewish immigration to Palestine continued, and Israel became a state, with a prosperous economy. Egypt and Jordan ended their participation in the boycott when they signed peace treaties with Israel in 1979 and 1994, respectively. Most Arab nations don't enforce the economic boycott against Israel today; neither, apparently, does ISIS, as reported by the Israeli business news service Globes, November 30, 2015:

Kurdish and Turkish smugglers are transporting oil from ISIS controlled territory in Syria and Iraq and selling it to Israel, according to several reports in the Arab and Russian media. An estimated 20,000-40,000 barrels of oil are produced daily in ISIS controlled territory generating $1-1.5 million daily profit for the terrorist organization.

The oil is extracted from Dir A-Zur in Syria and two fields in Iraq and transported to the Kurdish city of Zakhu in a triangle of land near the borders of Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Israeli and Turkish mediators come to the city and when prices are agreed, the oil is smuggled to the Turkish city of Silop marked as originating from Kurdish regions of Iraq and sold for $15-18 per barrel (WTI and Brent Crude currently sell for $41 and $45 per barrel) to the Israeli mediator, a man in his 50s with dual Greek-Israeli citizenship known as Dr. Farid. He transports the oil via several Turkish ports and then onto other ports, with Israel among the main destinations.

In August, the "Financial Times" reported that Israel obtained 75% of its oil supplies from Iraqi Kurdistan. More than a third of such exports go through the port of Ceyhan, which the FT describe as a “potential gateway for ISIS-smuggled crude."

“Israel has in one way or another become the main marketer of ISIS oil. Without them, most ISIS-produced oil would have remained going between Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Even the three companies would not receive the oil if they did not have a buyer in Israel,” an industry official told the newspaper "al-Araby al-Jadeed."

"Israel has in one way or another become the main marketer of IS oil. Without them, most ISIS-produced oil would have remained going between Iraq, Syria and Turkey," the industry official added.

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