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US warns companies over Israel boycott
November 4, 2002
Commerce Official Urges Compliance with U.S. Regulations Opposing Boycott of Israel
Commerce Under Secretary for Industry and Security Kenneth I. Juster today again reminded U.S. companies of the need to comply with laws and regulations prohibiting U.S. persons from taking actions in support of foreign government boycotts against Israel. Juster's comments were in response to recent statements made by certain members of the Arab League's Boycott Office to reactivate the ban on trade with Israel.
"The U.S. Government is strongly opposed to restrictive trade practices or boycotts targeted at Israel," Juster said. "The Commerce Department is closely monitoring efforts that appear to be made to reinvigorate the Arab boycott of Israel and will use all of its resources to vigorously enforce U.S. antiboycott regulations."
The comments were triggered after some Arab groups in the US called for a boycott against Israel. Boycott Watch is looking into whether the statements may have also been triggered by a 'Divestment from Israel Conference' that was recently at the University of Michigan. Jewish groups from across the country, including the Zionist Organization of America, and Betar attended a counter protest organized by AMCHA - The Coalition for Jewish Concerns which is headed by New York based Rabbi Avi Weiss. Protest speakers included Dr. Jerome Kaufman, National Secretary of the Zionist Organization of America. Boycott Watch is looking into this, and plans to post an update soon.
The Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) administers U.S. antiboycott regulations, which prohibit U.S. persons from taking actions in support of unsanctioned foreign government boycotts, including the Arab League boycott of Israel. BIS has a long record of aggressive enforcement of the antiboycott regulations, with over $26 million in civil penalties imposed and denials of export privileges where violations have been found.
Sources include:
Zionist Organization of America;
AMCHA - The Coalition for Jewish Concerns;
US Department of Commerce
Bureau of Industry and Security
© 2005 Divestment Watch