February 28, 2006
When Ideologies Collide: DPW, Israel & Everything
With the Israel card played on the DPW ports purchase, internally conflicting ideologies, loyalties, prejudices, and knee-jerks appear to be flying about, Left and Right, like a hockey/rugby rumble.
[Note: as seen in comments, the issue boils down to a report from the Jerusalem Post on Dubai's maintaining a boycott on importation of Israeli goods, which by extension, Dubai ports participates in for Dubai. One may question the substantive connexion, but politically this is a death knell in re US domestic politics]
Posted by Matthew Hogan at February 28, 2006 10:50 AM
Filed Under: Foreign Policy & MENA
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Well, the Jerusalem Post. Always at the service of the AIPAC lobby.
Sadly, they seem to have scored a low but accurate blow. Low in the sense that it is not the firm, DPW, but Dubai Customs, but let me get into the pieces.
Okay, the article is a bit of a muddle, but the following may be extracted:
(i) Dubai customs prevents the importation into Dubai of Israeli products. The Israeli boycott. This is correct.
(ii) There is an overarching authority that contains both Dubai customs and DP World, Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Authority.
(iii) By extension DP World is associated with the boycott.
As a purely factual matter, I am unclear as to whether Israeli goods are barred from passing through the Free Zones. I am under the impression no, but can not recall where I have that impression from.
Substantively, does DP World 'participate' in the boycott - to the extent it runs Dubai ports, and is subject to Dubai customs.
Substantively does this effect US or UK operations, operationally. Not really.
However, one has to suspect this is a dead-one political bullseye in the US of A. DPW is going to have to hive off and divest the US ports. Hardly worth the fight now that there is this angle.
Certainly it shows the downside of these over-arching authorities Dubai likes to use.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at February 28, 2006 12:14 PM
The link has died and I have no access to change.
This works but the debate-over-the-issue link isnt working.
Posted by: matthew hogan at February 28, 2006 02:38 PM
Never mind, it appears to be working.
Posted by: matthew hogan at February 28, 2006 02:45 PM
God I'm loving this whole furore. It's sheer pull-up-a-deckchair time for me. This kind of stuff:
"I don't want wahhabi's (like Osama bin Laden) running our nations ports. I don't want wahhabi's (like Abu Wanker Zarqawi) anywhere near the US of A. If that makes me a racist,I'm as racist as they come."
(by someone called "Maury") just makes my day. Bring it on.
Posted by: secretdubai at February 28, 2006 03:23 PM
For more maury fun - go here:
Posted by: secretdubai at February 28, 2006 03:27 PM
From that site, this is from a DEFENDER of the deal.
"Comparing UAE to Iran or Saudi Arabi is incredible. The 2003 human rights report from the State Dept main complaint on them was under age Camel Jockeys that were being imported in."
Posted by: matthew hogan at February 28, 2006 04:12 PM
Good point-by-point, somewhat easier to follow if slightly less entertaining than Lounsbury's various expostulations, from Booman Tribune.
Posted by: Tom Scudder at February 28, 2006 05:03 PM
Booman tribune contains this interesting comment on the 45-day thing, indeed suggesting it was mandatory:
"The CFIUS board, which oversees all direct foreign investments in the U.S. did their original 30 day review of the sale. They did however fail to do the 45-day follow-up review which seems fairly clear was mandated by a 1993 law. It says the 45-day second review is mandatory where the business is "acting on behalf of a foreign government". In this case, DPW is owned by the Emirate of Dubai, which is almost and sort of a foreign government but not exactly the same thing as the UAE government."
Posted by: matthew hogan at February 28, 2006 05:15 PM
Reading the discussion on thinkprogress makes me feel like I walked into a full bar-room brawl.
Posted by: zurn at February 28, 2006 09:17 PM
In the news highlights from the hearings in Congress today, was Barbara Boxer looking the American head of DPW straight in the eye and asking him if it participates in the boycott. He of course had to say yes.
As observed, that cinches it.
The icing, and this is pure US domestic politics, is having Chertoff, the head of Homeland Security, whose name is synonymous with the Katrina debacle, saying that the thing had been reviewed rigourously, or words to that effect.
This of course has the reverse effect from what was intended: I looked at it and thought to myself, "Do you think anyone takes you seriously?"
Bush, of course, now has the same problem by extension, which, once again, cinches the death of this thing. Every time he opens his mouth to say that the deal wouldn't go forward if the Admin wasn't convinced it wouldn't compromise the safety of Americans, you can hear another nail going into the coffin of this deal.
Posted by: pantom at February 28, 2006 11:31 PM
UAE is worse than Iran or Saudi Arabia.
No ports for you.
Posted by: Matamoros at March 2, 2006 06:33 PM
"UAE is worse than Iran or Saudi Arabia.
No ports for you."
Is that the Seinfeldian ports-nazi?
Posted by: matthew hogan at March 2, 2006 09:41 PM
Mathew see my link to the legal issue, the 45 review is mandatory "if" there is a conclusion of a security issue when there is governmental connexion. As there was not such conclusion, it was not legally mandatory. One can argue the decision was a mistake, but it seems clear.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at March 5, 2006 11:53 PM