Dubai Ports Firm Enforces Arab Boycott of Israel

My friend Michael Freund has this interesting tidbit — the parent company of Dubai Ports World also operates the Dubai Customs Department, which enforces the Arab Boycott for the country of Dubai.

I will admit, I didn’t see the idea of Dubai Ports taking over stevedoring at six American ports as much of a problem. The customs officials will be American and not under their control, the security officials will be American and not under their control, and, frankly, it’s not as if they’re going to import Arab laborers to work as stevedores either.

The fact that the parent company is actively involved in enforcement of the Arab boycott casts things in a very different light. Arab employees will quite possibly be in charge of scheduling, for example. It is all too easy to imagine that mixups and delays might mysteriously happen with alarming frequency whenever an Israeli vessel comes into port. To ships and businesses, time is money, and the idea that someone who just spent six years working in the Dubai Customs Department’s Office for the Boycott of Israel might now be running scheduling for Israeli vessels could inflict serious damage on Israeli commerce.

I still don’t see any serious security ramifications of Dubai Ports’ purchase of the stevedoring business. Nonetheless, Mr. Freund provides us with enough good reason to oppose it in any case.

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3 Responses

  1. HILLEL says:

    You have wisely-resisted the demagoguery arounfd this issue.

    However, I think it is even smarter to stay out of this fight entirely. This is something that involves serious policy conerns for America, and we Jews should best keep our heads out of it lest we get crushed.

    Here is an srticle that confirms your analysis of Dubai.

  2. Ahron says:

    I don’t think I agree with R. Menken’s conclusion. As long as we know that security will be enforced by Americans, there really should not be a big problem with this arrangement (certainly not more of a problem than when Chinese companies, for example, run some US ports). I suppose though that Dubai Ports World should annul its cooperation with the anti-Israel boycott for the sale to go through. I think that is the real mystery: How was this company cleared to run the port operations in spite of its boycott stance? The Commerce Department has strong policies against that. So there may be an upside to this emotional affair if DPW ends its boycott cooperation. But assuming the absence of any funny business of the kind R. Menken mentions, I think there’s little to worry about.

  3. Bob Miller says:

    Who can justify allowing any foreign-owned entity to manage our ports or other border installations?
    This is not the same as the normal free trade practice of allowing a foreign company to trade with US companies or own US subsidiaries. Borders and ports should be treated as a special case.

    As for the UAE, as long as the US wants to pretend that the Arab Gulf states are on our side, we will see attempts to curry their favor. Which is odd since, if their own interests dictate working with us, why would we need to pay them off in any fashion?

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