Enlightened Kuwait boycots IRENA energy event over Israel

Sharks at a Kuwait market

In another “interesting’ move for the planet, Kuwait decided to boycott an international energy event in Abu Dhabi because Israelis would be there. This news comes hot on the trails of a Kuwaiti official banning gays from entering his country, and its fish markets serving up “extinct” and illegally caught sharks.

According to reports online, Kuwait officials decided to boycott the annual gathering of IRENA (Green Prophet is there!) with its headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

One of the conditions for the international energy body to be HQ’ed in Abu Dhabi was that it must allow any nation to participate in its annual meetings, even  those with which Abu Dhabi or the United Arab Emirates has no diplomatic ties.

But Kuwait took it upon itself to boycott Israel, a country which hands down has done more remarkable things for the clean tech world than all the other Middle East countries combined. (Read here about Israeli clean tech).

Israel’s Energy Minister Silvan Shalom flew into Abu Dhabi for the event at IRENA, The International Renewable Energy Agency. He’s not a favorite among green groups in Israel, but he still has a right to attend IRENA as an elected official from Israel.

“The decision not to participate in the IRENA meeting is in line with Kuwait’s commitment to boycott all forms of interaction with the Zionist regime,” a spokesperson for Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity and Water said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the UAE, like many Arab countries in the Middle East do not have diplomatic ties with Israel. Its Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammad Gargash said on Twitter that there will be no ties to Israel without a peace deal:

“The UAE has been able, through a delicate balance, to differentiate between Israel’s membership in IRENA and the normalization of bilateral ties which Israel has been seeking,” Mr. Gargash said on his Twitter page.

If we want to move ahead in this world ecologically, people, it’s time to start getting young, vibrant people in government in the Middle East – the people who we speak with us all the time at Green Prophet. We are talking about people who don’t care if you are a Sunni or a Sufi. A Christian, or a Jew. An Armenian or a Turk, Israeli or Lebanese. Petty actions by governments who do not speak for our planet is not the way to steer the future.

Don’t like the way Kuwait has acted at IRENA? Have your say and write IRENA directly here. And as for boycotting Kuwait for its backwards environmental and societal decisions, I say the opposite: head to Kuwait if you can and liberate like minded individuals like this gal (who exposed illegal weir traps using Google) so more youngsters can change society from the ground up.

Y’alla.

Above image of sharks being sold in Kuwait market

2 thoughts on “Enlightened Kuwait boycots IRENA energy event over Israel

  1. Talal

    Karin,

    Young, passionate and vibrant Arabs as leaders in governments and civil society, is a reality that is coming. Those Arabs, would surely not see the difference between Sunni or Sufi, a Christian, a Jew or a Muslim, but rather they would see the world from a different set of eyes. They would possess abilities to differentiate between Justice and injustice, between racism and pluralism, between apartheid and freedom.

    Then, we will ‘move ahead’.

    Reply

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