By Fred Taub
President, Boycott Watch
Author, Boycotting Peace
Dictatorships silencing opposition is common. It should be no
surprise, therefore, when the Arab world remained silent to deadly retaliation
for Arab Spring protesters. In its silence, the Arab League effectively
endorsed Syria as it murdered civilians protesting against their own
government. After all, oppressive governments stick together. Feeling both
internal and global pressure, Arab leaders are now threatening to suspend Syria
from the Arab League. That, however, is nothing more than a PR move because it
is impossible to separate Syria from the Arab League.
In 1910, boycotts of "Jewish Interests" started
popping up in the Middle East as the movement to rebuild Israel was gaining
momentum. Then in 1921, the Arab Congress, copying the name from the American
Jewish Congress, was formed to coordinate the various Arab boycotts of Jews.
Few realize boycotting Jews was the official Arab policy
prior to Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch in Munich in November 1923, the publishing
of Mein Kampf in 1925, and for that matter the Nazi boycott of Jewish
businesses that preceded Kristallnacht on November 9-10, 1938. All these
boycotts all had the same intent, to starve out the Jews.
Then in the 1940's, the name of the Arab Congress was updated
as the Arab states and Israel were established. Today, the League of Arab
States, more commonly known as the Arab League, has been expanding their
boycott globally. When the Arab boycott efforts reached a peak in the 1960's,
efforts to block it emerged in the United States, ultimately resulting in the
U.S. Import-Export Act Amendment of 1977 which made boycotting Israel illegal
in the United States.
The Arab boycott was meant to harm far more than just Israel.
Their goal was, and continues to be, as evidenced by the Boycott Divestment
Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, to harm anyone associated, conducting
business with or in Israel, and Jews in general.
For example, Yeshiva University and even Jewish bookstores
are documented in the official boycott lists submitted to Congress in the
1970's, despite the fact that Muslims are neither hiring rabbis for mosques nor
buying Jewish prayer shawls at Jewish religious stores. The Arab boycott
clearly targets all business with Jews, anyone with a degree from a Jewish
school, and even anyone who had purchased religious goods from Jewish stores,
as they were all blacklisted from doing business with the Arab world. The
intent of the Arab boycott was, and still is to isolate all support for Israel.
The same applies today where BDS, the official policy of the
Arab League, both pressures schools and businesses to not invest in, or conduct
any business with companies which work with Israel. Businesses are routinely
threatened with boycotts for using Caterpillar machinery, for example, because
that company sells its products to Israel. Stock funds and universities are
also routinely targeted to divest their stock holdings from companies such as
the Peoria, Illinois based Caterpillar and all Israeli companies.
That is where the Syria connection to the Arab League comes
into play. The Central Boycott Office, which coordinates the primary mission of
the Arab League, is located in, you guessed it, Syria. Suspending Syria from
the Arab League is, therefore, like suspending the heart from a living person
while keeping the person alive - it is impossible.
So, when you read headlines about Syria possibly being
suspended from the Arab League, be it a full suspension or just from meetings,
you now know it is just a PR game to get the non-Arab world to see Arab world
standing for freedom, despite the fact that in Saudi Arabia and in most of the
rest of the Arab world, women are not allowed to drive or leave the house
without a male escort, as dictated by Islamic law.
Non-Muslims in the Arab world are also subject to religious
discrimination, starting with having to pay a special tax just because there
are not Muslims. While there are few churches in the Arab world, synagogues are
forbidden. In Saudi Arabia, which is considered the most 'moderate' Arab
nation, tourism is forbidden as evidenced by the fact that you cannot obtain
tourist visa, and even Muslims participating in the Haj pilgrimage have severe
travel restrictions, primarily because the Saudi Royal Family does not want
anyone to see the mass starving poor in comparison to the royal opulence. It's
just another PR move by the Arab world as they hide the true intention of the
Arab League and their boycott, which is the economic destruction of Israel and
Jews in general while maintaining a false vision of a grand Arab world.
Despite the Arab boycott campaign failing since inception in
1910, every meeting of the Arab League begins with a report from the Central
Boycott Office in Damascus, Syria, followed by a vote to re-affirm their
boycott. It is the centerpiece of Arab policy therefore the Arab League cannot
actually suspend Syria, no matter what they may say publicly. Additionally, the
Arabs do not want you to know suspending Syria is a farce, and they secretly
stand by the oppressive Bashar al-Assad regime and their policy which includes
murdering their own people just to stay in power. That secret, however, has
just been exposed.
Fred Taub is the President of
Boycott Watch, the leading authority
on boycotts. His new book, Boycotting
Peace, reveals the secrets behind the Arab boycott of Israel and the
associated BDS campaign. He regularly appears in the media and is work has even
been cited in two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.