U.S. Government: American Muslim Boycotts of U.S. Companies Operating in Israeli Settlements Are Legal

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American Muslim boycotts of companies doing business in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories do not violate U.S. law, an official at the U.S. Department of Commerce told iviews.com, an online news magazine, on Oct. 14. That statement came following an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) news release earlier in the week that claimed American Muslim boycotts of companies like Burger King were "under scrutiny" by the Commerce Department, and "could be in violation of anti-boycott regulations."

In a written statement Dexter Price, director of the Office of Anti-Boycott Compliance at the Commerce Department's Bureau of Export Administration, explained: "The anti-boycott regulations enforced by the Commerce Department apply to boycotts imposed by foreign countries against Israel and other countries friendly to the United States. If a U.S. company shuts down its operations in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories solely in response to a boycott call or pressure by American Muslims or any other group of U.S.-based consumers, the Commerce anti-boycott regulations would not apply."

Price also said that the anti-boycott laws do not apply if "the company is not called upon to shut down its operations in the entire State of Israel, only in settlements in the disputed territories." He added that his statement was general, and referred to the application of the Commerce Department anti-boycott regulations, not a particular case, example or incident.

In August, Burger King Corporation canceled its contract with its franchise in a Jewish settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank after American Muslims called for a global boycott of the fast-food giant. …


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