Arab League Boycott of Israel [Updated August 27, 2008]   [open pdf - 102KB]

This CRS report discusses the Arab League boycott of Israel. "The Arab League, an umbrella organization comprising 23 Middle Eastern and African countries and entities, has maintained an official boycott of Israeli companies and Israeli-made goods since the founding of Israel in 1948. The boycott is administered by the Damascus-based Central Boycott Office, a specialized bureau of the Arab League. [...]The U.S. government has often been at the forefront of international efforts to end the boycott and its enforcement. Despite U.S. efforts, however, many Arab League countries continue to support the boycott's enforcement. U.S. legislative action related to the boycott dates from 1959 and includes multiple statutory provisions expressing U.S. opposition to the boycott, usually in foreign assistance legislation. In 1977, Congress passed laws making it illegal for U.S. companies to cooperate with the boycott and authorizing the imposition of civil and criminal penalties against U.S. violators. U.S. companies are required to report to the Department of Commerce any requests to comply with the Arab League Boycott. In FY2006, U.S. companies submitted 1,291 reports on boycott-related requests. During the same period, penalties for violating U.S. anti-boycott legislation worth $95,950 were levied on nine companies to settle allegations they violated U.S. antiboycott provisions, an increase from five cases and $57,000 in FY2005. This report provides background information on the boycott and U.S. efforts to end its enforcement. It will be updated as events warrant."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33961
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