Hey LK ONE, what do you think of this article where the ADL is pushing for this deal to be frozen? Is that influence or what? You tell me know if this is not interest centric.
ADL to U.S.: Freeze seaport contract with UAE due to Israel boycott
By Shlomo Shamir, Haaretz Correspondent, and The Associated Press
The Anti-Defamation League is demanding the American administration prevent a Dubai-owned corporation from operating seaports in the United States until the United Arab Emirates issues an official statement indicating it has abandoned the boycott of Israel.
"Dubai continues to be an active partner in the economic boycott of Israel," ADL Director Abraham Foxman told Haaretz on Tuesday.
"This fact alone is reason enough to suspend or even cancel the implementation of the contract [for the operation of the seaports]," Foxman said.
In a letter addressed to Treasury Secretary John Snow, Foxman wrote:
"According to the Department of Commerce, as recently as 2005, the government of Dubai was alleged to be asking U.S. companies to certify that goods shipped to Dubai were 'neither of Israeli origin nor do they contain Israeli materials, nor are being exported from Israel.'
"For decades, the United States has been a leader in the fight against the economic boycott of Israel... Dubai, an adherent to this boycott, should not benefit from America's open trade policy.
"There are many complex issues involved in this deal and many serious debates are going on around the country regarding port security and process. Aside from these considerations, if Dubai continues its anti-Israel activity, it must be grounds for the cancellation of the deal."
U.S. President George Bush said Tuesday he remains supportive of a UAE-based company's takeover of some U.S. port operations, even though a new, more intensive investigation of the deal's potential security risks has yet to begin.
Bush is the final arbiter of that second review. Yet, he said after an Oval Office meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi that "my position hasn't changed" on support for transferring control of management of some major U.S. port facilities from a British company to Dubai-owned DP World.
The administration's approval of the deal has caused an uproar from Republicans and Democrats in Congress that it could open the country to terrorist dangers. Lawmakers criticized the deal anew Tuesday, despite Republican leaders' hopes that the furor had diminished.
Foxman said that "even if solutions are found for the other problems, the administration and Congress must demand Dubai formally renounce its participation in the boycott of Israel in order to be worthy of a contract with the American government."
Foxman noted that, when the U.S. was negotiating trade relations it Bahrain, it had demanded the Gulf nation abandon its participation in the boycott of Israel.
Hoping to quell the bipartisan rebellion and prevent a potentially embarrassing clash over legislation, the Bush administration agreed Sunday to DP World's request for a 45-day investigation of deal's potential security risks, a second review that was not done before the administration's January 17 approval.
The investigation will result in a report submitted to the president, who will have 15 days to decide whether to approve it.
Bush suggested there was no reason to think the second investigation would produce any different outcome than the first.
"I look forward to a good, consistent review," he said as he and Berlusconi alternated in taking questions from reporters in the Oval Office.
He urged Congress to "please, look at the facts."
"What kind of signal does it send throughout the world if its okay for a British company to mange the ports but not a company that has been secured - that has been cleared for security purposes from the Arab world?" he said. After his remarks on port security, Bush told the translator not to translate his answer into Italian, unlike his other responses.
On Capitol Hill, where lawmakers returned after a weeklong break, Republicans joined Democrats in criticizing the deal, claiming that the government's initial approval of it was flawed.
They offered as proof Monday's disclosure that the U.S. Coast Guard had raised concerns weeks ago that, because of U.S. intelligence gaps, it could not determine whether the UAE company, DP World, might support terrorist operations.
Bush administration officials say those concerns were addressed and resolved.
But House Homeland Security Committee chairman Peter King, R-N.Y., called the Coast Guard assessment "just another example of many unanswered questions."
Countering that at a Senate appropriations hearing, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff called the Coast Guard documents "an early report" that ultimately concluded that DP World's acquisition of P&O "in and of itself, does not pose a significant threat to U.S. assets in U.S. ports."
Pressed by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Chertoff said he saw the Coast Guard memo "about a week ago," but disagreed that it represented a warning. "I don't see it as a flashing light," Chertoff said.
Elsewhere in Washington, former president Bill Clinton told reporters at a meeting of the nation's governors that the process by which a multi-agency panel approved the deal was "too secretive, too low-level."
"The second thing and the larger problem is that everybody in America knows we don't do enough on port security," Clinton said.
In an interview with The Associated Press, King said he was concerned by Bush administration comments that the 45-day delay would merely be an opportunity to educate Congress.
"It is for them to conduct an investigation that they never conducted in the first place," King said. "There's concerns among Republicans that I've spoken to that the administration has not taken the investigation seriously. They want to have a real investigation - a very intense investigation."
King said he planned to introduce legislation Tuesday that could give Congress an opportunity to block the deal if lawmakers are dissatisfied with the results of an investigation but he suggested he's unlikely to push for an immediate vote. "It has to be a weapon held in reserve to assure there is a real investigation," King said.
A bipartisan group of senators have introduced the same measure in the Senate. Some Senate Republicans said the fresh investigation - brokered by congressional GOP leaders to quell the political outcry - wasn't sufficient.
Sen. John Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said during that panel's hearing on threats to national security that he found "flaws" in the Bush administration's earlier consideration of the ports deal.
But Warner, R-Va., expressed optimism the government will approve the transaction after a lengthier investigation and he praised the "high degree of mutual trust" between the United Arab Emirates and United States.
On Monday, Sen. Susan Collins, the chairwoman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, disclosed the Coast Guard document during a hearing and said she was "more convinced than ever that the process was truly flawed."
This the kind of shit Arabs see and draw conclusion from, you go ahead and defend this... My question to you now is there a push from this organization to make sure that the deal does not go through or this is just PR
Let me guess, a company or country must do business with Irael otherwise they must be excluded from doing business with the US... Why don't you come and shut down my operation too LK ONE? do you want my company name and address?????? Does that make me anti-semite? is that going to be your next line of outcry????