The Middle East: The Arab Boycott of Israel

Courtesy Reuters

For 30 years, members of the League of Arab States (Arab League) have engaged in a boycott of Israel, a country with which they have been at war and remain in a state of hostility. As an instrument of this state of war, the boycott is intended to prevent Arab states and discourage non-Arabs from directly or indirectly contributing to Israel's economic and military strength.

For most of its existence, the boycott has been a practically dormant dimension of Israeli-Arab politics and almost unknown and irrelevant to the United States. During its first 20 years there was no U.S. legislation concerning it and for the next decade, until last year, it was the subject of but one amendment to a U.S. law.

The recrudescence of the boycott as a national and international issue results most directly from the increased importance of the Arab nations and consequently of the Arab-Israeli conflict

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