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.
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 an official statement.
Meanwhile, the UAE, like many Arab countries in the Middle East, do not have diplomatic ties with Israel.
The UAE's 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 speak with me all the time about changing the world. 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; an Israeli or a 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.