“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.
Close on the heels of the cartoon controversy raging across the Muslim world, it is the turn of an upscale American school in Abu Dhabi to ruffle Muslim sentiments by teaching lessons that allegedly ”smell of racism.”
Over 100 copies of the social studies text book, ‘World Cultures’ taught to the sixth grade children were confiscated by the Ministry of Education yesterday, for allegedly presenting Islam and the Muslim countries including Gulf states in a negative light while glorifying Israel on the other hand, Khaleej Times has learnt.
It has been accused that chapter 25 of the book running from page 599 to 614 contains a deluge of derogatory remarks against Islam and the Muslim world, for example, dubbing Middle East as one of the most dangerously explosive areas in the world and the Muslim conquest of India as the most bloodiest in the world history, to mention a few.
The sub chapters clubbed under the title ‘North Africa and the Middle East’ also elaborate on the religion and life-style of Israel with pictures. “Israel is one of a few democracies in North Africa and the Middle East today. Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco are all kingdoms; the country of Syria has sponsored terrorism by giving aid to radicals in the Palestine Liberation Organisation, known as the PLO,” read excerpts from page 610 of the book, copies of which Khaleej Times possess.
Juma Salami, Assistant Undersecretary to Foreign Private Education said that the book published by Silver Burdett Ginn has a racist tone and is insulting to the country’s religion and culture. “It is not a community school and a good number of Muslim and Arab children are studying there. By incorporating the book in the syllabus, the schools have failed to show respect to the religious sentiments of the host country.”
Forbes magazine notes:
Dubai, in the final analysis, is still very much a part of the Middle East and Islamic world, where it finds itself geographically, politically and culturally. Its remarkable success–steering a delicate middle course between currents of Islamic extremism that are found as near as its much larger, though scarcely as prosperous, neighbor, Saudi Arabia, and the tolerant moderation valued so deeply by the West–has insulated it from terrorism and lets the sheikh’s palace sit with its gates all but unguarded deep into the night.
Yet Dubai, the single most prosperous of the seven emirates, is still very much a part of the Arab world.
Go ahead. Yell “Islamophobia!”
Les Kinsolving asks the White House about the UAE’s denial of Israel’s existence. No answer.
Gulf News: UAE flays Danish cartoons
Judith Apter Klinghoffer links to the South Asia Analysis Group’s assessment of Dubai security concerns.