Volume 52 (2018)

Volume 52 (2018) / Issue 4

Bashar H. Malkawi, Joel Slawotsky, 'The League of Arab States Trade Boycott of Israel a Passé: Time for Renewed Debate' (2018) 52 Journal of World Trade, Issue 4, pp. 643–662


The Arab League should evaluate whether the motivation of national security is a reasonable excuse to restrict free trade with Israel in 2018 and furthermore – assuming arguendo a good faith bona fide threat exists – whether the boycott even constitutes an effective tool to advance national security. Israel and Arab countries have their legal arguments that they can use to justify the Arab League boycott or to invalidate it. The use of the national security exception in international economic law must be evaluated on the bottom-line question of effectiveness. The boycott has proven ineffective and is now increasingly counter-productive due to transformative regional and global developments. Free trade and efficient markets combined with the ability of talented individuals to work without discrimination and restriction are the hallmarks of vibrant economies and stability – true national security. While the establishment of the boycott–over seventy years ago – may at one time have served a perceived national security goal, there is no longer such a need. Continuing the boycott undermines the WTO’s commitment to free trade and prosperity which ultimately harms all parties and their national security and harms the greater global interest in international stability for all parties.

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ISSN: 1011-6702
ID: TRAD2018028