Letter: The Arab boycott of Israel is legitimate

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The Independent Online
Sir: Bernard Josephs (Letters, 18 May) is entitled to his opinions concerning the Arab boycott of Israel, but he should not press the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding (CAABU) into service to support them.

Our position has been very clear. The council considers that the boycott is a legitimate, non-violent method by which the Arab states can put pressure upon Israel to respect the rights of the Palestinian people and bring a just settlement to the Middle East conflict.

We have criticised some aspects of the secondary boycott, including vague formulations concerning individual company directors who have 'Zionist connections' and measures that have restricted the sale of produce from the West Bank and Gaza Strip to Arab countries.

The time will come when the Arab boycott should go, but we believe that should be as part of an overall resolution of this protracted conflict. Israel cannot be allowed to strip the Arabs of all means by which they might seek to secure the end of the occupation of Arab land and the cruel repression of the Christian, Muslim and Druze inhabitants.

They have a right to seek justice, and not be subjected to an Israeli-dictated peace.

Yours faithfully,



Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding

London, SW5

19 May