Well, well, well…
From The Jerusalem Post:
The parent company of a Dubai-based firm at the center of a political storm in the US over the purchase of American ports participates in the Arab boycott against Israel, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
The firm, Dubai Ports World, is seeking control over six major US ports, including those in New York, Miami, Philadelphia and Baltimore. It is entirely owned by the Government of Dubai via a holding company called the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCZC), which consists of the Dubai Port Authority, the Dubai Customs Department and the Jebel Ali Free Zone Area.
“Yes, of course the boycott is still in place and is still enforced,” Muhammad Rashid a-Din, a staff member of the Dubai Customs Department’s Office for the Boycott of Israel, told the Post in a telephone interview.
“If a product contained even some components that were made in Israel, and you wanted to import it to Dubai, it would be a problem,” he said.
A-Din noted that while the head office for the anti-Israel boycott sits in Damascus, he and his fellow staff members are paid employees of the Dubai Customs Department, which is a division of the PCZC, the same Dubai government-owned entity that runs Dubai Ports World.
Moreover, the Post found that the website for Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone Area, which is also part of the PCZC, advises importers that they will need to comply with the terms of the boycott.
In a section entitled “Frequently Asked Questions”, the site lists six documents that are required in order to clear an item through the Dubai Customs Department. One of them, called a “Certificate of Origin,” “is used by customs to confirm the country of origin and needs to be seen by the office which ensures any trade boycotts are enforced,” according to the website.
A-Din of the Israel boycott office confirmed that his office examines certificates of origin as a means of verifying whether a product originated in the Jewish state.
On at least three separate occasions last year, the Post has learned, companies were fined by the US government’s Office of Anti-boycott Compliance, an arm of the Commerce Department, on charges connected to boycott-related requests they had received from the Government of Dubai.
US law bars firms from complying with such requests or cooperating with attempts by Arab governments to boycott Israel.
Tsk, Tsk, they did not provide links to the information. Let’s see what we can find?
From the JAFZA Faq:
Certificate of Origin – Produced by the original exporter and legalised by a recognised authority in the country of export. This is used by customs to confirm the country of origin and equally needs to be seen by the office which ensures any trade boycotts are enforced.
OK, so I verified that this part is true, but I am not calling Dubai. So, we are going to have to accept that the reporter did, in fact, talk to them.
This is the last straw that broke the camels back! How is it our government doesn’t know that the company violates U.S. policy in this matter? Well, they had to know, and chose to look the other way.
We cannot do business with a company, that is government owned, that violates our policies. In my opinion, the government would have to publicly recognize Israel, and stop participating in the boycott to be even considered for a contract.
I am still against any foreign countries running our ports, but this can be used to kill the deal. This allows the administration to save face and the UAE can only blame their own policies for their loss of the ports. It is certainly an honorable way out of the deal.
Here is another little tidbit.
The U.S. Coast Guard, in charge of reviewing security at ports operated by a Dubai maritime company, warned the Bush administration it could not rule out that the company’s assets could be used for terrorist operations, according to a document released yesterday by a Senate committee.
in a Dec. 13 intelligence assessment of the company and its owners in the United Arab Emirates, the Coast Guard warned: “There are many intelligence gaps, concerning the potential for DPW or P&O assets to support terrorist operations, that preclude” the completion of a thorough threat assessment of the merger.
“The breadth of the intelligence gaps also infer potential unknown threats against a large number of potential vulnerabilities,” says the document, released by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
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