Friday, May 19, 2006

Iraq backs boycott of Israel

It looks like Iraq is reverting back to its pre-Saddam, knee-jerk antisemitic policies, according to this report by Michael Freund in the Jerusalem Post (with thanks: Lily).

The US-backed Iraqi government sent an official representative to this week's meeting of the Arab League Boycott Office in Damascus, The Jerusalem Post has learned, prompting criticism from members of Congress and the Bush administration.

Rep. Paul Ryan, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, told the Post that "the US government has been very successful in negotiating the cancellation of Israeli boycotts from many countries throughout the Arab world. This would appear to be a big step in the wrong direction on the part of the new Iraqi government." (...)

Contacted by phone, a spokesman for the Iraqi embassy in London declined to comment.

According to figures released this week by the Israel Export Institute, there has been a 46 percent rise in Israeli sales to Iraq (valued at $320,000), with 27 exporters active in that market dealing primarily with the US military.

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