One of the accusations hurled against those who don’t want foreign companies to manage U.S. ports is xenophobia. Or, at least, when that foreign company is owned by a foreign government. As is the case with Dubai Ports World (DPW), of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Among other things, the UAE does not recognize Israel, and does not allow its corporations to do business with Israel. In short, Israel is blacklisted by the UAE. Which, sadly, is joined by most other Arab regimes.

Perhaps the Bushies have such good ties with the Arab world that they can ignore this (remember that picture of the president literally holding hands with prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia last year at his Crawford ranch?). To his credit, the president appears to be a man who is not prejudiced against foreigners or Arabs.

The problem is that these particular foreigners are prejudiced against Jews. Turns out that, according to this editorial in the Jerusalem Post

Dubai Ports World (DPW), is an active participant in the illegal boycott of Israel. Under extensive questioning at a Senate hearing on Tuesday, a DPW official admitted that the government of the United Arab Emirates owns DPW and does indeed enforce the boycott of Israel.

Note that the “illegal” claim is that under U.S. law, it is illegal for an American firm or firm doing business in the United States to participate in a boycott of a U.S. ally.

Whether it is, in fact, illegal, it is certainly, to use a word, xenophobic of the Dubai firm to participate in a boycott of Israel. It is, in a better word, just plain wrong. Bill Bennett is quoted in the Jerusalem Post article:

The president has asked “what kind of signal does it send throughout the world if it’s okay for a British company to manage the ports, but not a company that has … been cleared for security purposes from the Arab world?”

The better question is ‘What kind of a signal are we sending by making a public ally of a country that refuses democracy and does not recognize the existence of its most democratic neighbor because it is considered to be inhabited by members of the wrong religion? Who are the real xenophobes here?”

The UAE is an almost exclusively Muslim country, and certainly does not accept Biblical prophecy. One shouldn’t expect that they would, or punish them for not knowing that it is God’s will for the Jews to have a homeland in the Middle East.

But to continue a state of economic warfare against Israel, because her people are Jewish? This is plainly wrong. It’s in flat denial of the special place that Israel and the Jews have in this world. It’s in flat denial of the American sense of justice and fair play. It’s prejudiced, and xenophobic.

And we Christians, including George Bush, should never countenance having such people as Dubai Ports World doing business in our country.


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