Dozens of Syrian academics, doctors and journalists gathered in a central square in Damascus Wednesday to call for a boycott of US goods in support of the intifada in the Palestinian territories.
The group of professionals burned empty US cigarette cartons at Arnusse Square in the shopping district where the boycott call was read out. The list of US products imported by Syria includes diapers, detergent, soap, batteries, refrigerators and films.
"The boycott of products from the United States, Israel's protector, is a show of support for the Palestinians," said Dr. Sahar Said, a member of a national committee for the boycott of American merchandise and the reactivation of the Arab boycott of Israel. Said said the committee called for "authorities to break all ties with American cultural products in order to protect the people," suggesting Syrians buy French and other European products.
Members of the Syrian Communist Party also spoke at the gathering while their supporters handed out copies of Nidal al-Shaav, the party's newspaper. Recently, Syrian newspapers have called for the renewal of the Arab boycott against Israel and for new meetings of the Israel Boycott Office (OIB) which is based in Damascus, but has not met since 1993.
The Arab League founded the OIB in 1951. Every six months, the OIB published a black list of Israeli companies and international firms, which did business with Israel. The list included Coca Cola and Ford.
Muslim clerics in Egypt and the Gulf countries have also called for a boycott of US products to show solidarity with the Palestinians. — (AFP, Damascus)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )