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March 28, 1975 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-03-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

V VV. Via 11,10

The Arab Oil Boycott



In the aftermath of the
1973 Yom Kippur War, the
Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries
(OPEC) limited oil they
shipped to Western nations
as "punishment" for West-
ern support of Israel.
Most analysts believe that
if Israel had not existed,
OPEC would have invented
her, or another excuse, to
achieve a price rise from $2
per barrel to $10.50 per bar-
rel in less than two years. •
Leonard Mosley, writing
111 New York Magazine Feb.
17, said "the Western world
at that time fell for the big-
gest and most expensive
bluff in history — and no
one was more surprised
when it succeeded than the
Arabs who made the play."
Mosley argues that the
Western nations had the
oil reserves to defeat the
embargo, and at no time
did oil supplies drop more
than 10 percent below nor-
mal because of increased
production in Iran and
other non-Arab countries.
The Los Angeles Times

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also lists several reasons
why the Arabs could not
push another oil embargo,
as they have threatened:
"More than 30 billion bar-
rels of new oil discoveries
have been made in non-
OPEC countries during the
last year. These include at
least 14 billion in Mexico, 10
billion in the North Sea and
four billion or more in
Southern Hemisphere coun-
tries."
So why did the Arabs
push the oil boycott? Partly
for the reason stated, as re-
venge against the support-
ers of Israel. But more im-
portantly, the Arabs were
seeking money, and they
struck it rich because of the
disunity of the Western na-
tions.
During the last year, in
the United States alone, the
Arabs have purchased:

• a $250 million share of
Pan American Airlines;
• six Boeing jetliners from
financially troubled TWA;
• an island off the coast of
Charleston, South Caro-
lina;
• controlling interest in
the $1 billion Bank of the
Commonwealth here in De-
troit;
• several smaller banks in
California;
• and , billions of dollars
worth of U.S. arma-
ments.
According to the Interna-
tional Monetary Fund,
Saudi Arabia is now the
third richest country in the
world, behind the U.S. and
West Germany. In addition

to a recent purchase of more
than $700 million in arms
from the U.S., the Saudis
are buying more than $800
million in French arms.
There have been several
proposals on how to avoid a
new Arab boycott. One de-
fense analyst, using a pseu-
donym, wrote a 12-page bat-
tle plan in the March issue
of Harper's Magazine de-
scribing how the U.S. could
invade the oil fields of the
Middle East.
But, the more reasonable
writers believe that U.S.
policies and pressures
within OPEC will prevent a
recurrence of the oil boy-
cott.
The Near East Report
recently said that conser-
vation measures in the
U.S. and other countries is
building an oil surplus
which could result in a
price cut and a-break-up of
the oil cartel. But the
Near East Report also
called on the U.S. govern-
ment to-act against the
major oil companies who
are at times working in
collaboration with OPEC. •
"Project Independence is
now critically undermined
by the negotiations which
are being conducted by the
four Aramco oil companies
— Exxon, Texaco, Standard
Oil of California and Mobil
— as a result of Saudi Ara-
bia's decision to acquire a
100 percent interest in its
oil-producing facilities.
"The danger is clear — al-
though almost totally ig-
nored by the press. If major
oil companies are allowed

preferred access to Saudi
Arabian oil and if a similar
deal is negotiated between
Gulf Oil and British Petro-
leum with Kuwait and other
Persian Golf states, these
companies will have an in-
centive to concentrate their
search for new oil in the
Middle Eastern Arab states,
neglecting the discovery of
oil in other areas of the
world."
The profits of U.S. oil
companies have skyrocketed
since the- oil embargo, and
congressional investigations
into both the oil companies
and .gas and electric utilities
are beginning to uncover
profit-taking. schemes. The
tax-saving U.S. oil depletion
allowance is also facing a
congressional overhaul.
In addition, one New
York newspaper charges
that any changes in U.S.
energy policy must run the
gauntlet of industry-con-
trolled Federal advisory
committees. Oil companies
have representatives on
132 of those committees,
and Sen. Ernest F. Holl-
ings (D-S.C.) charges that
"the energy crisis has be-
come an economic boom to
major oil."
He charged that policies
established by the U.S. De-
partment of Interior invari-
ably are controlled by the oil
companies, and many for-
mer members of the Nixon
Administration, including
Spiro Agnew, former Secre-
tary of State William Rog-
ers, John Connally, and
Richard Kleindeinst are

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Glatzer's 'Language of Faith'

In "Language of Faith"
(Schocken Books) Prof. Na-
hum Glatzer of Boston Uni-
versity has included the
most expressive Jewish
prayers.

WI Ve • • wir •

Annotations that direct
the reader to the sources
add valuably to an apprecia-
tion of the important pray-
ers.
All occasions in Jewish
worship are covered in the
selections which are in-
cluded sectionally under the
titles: Creation, Presence of
God, My Times Are in Thy
Hands, . De Profundis,
Thanksgiving, Cycle of Life,
Israel's Suffering Servant,
Zion, Sabbath, Days of Awe
and Peace.
Of unusual interest, indi-
cating the vastness of the
sources resorted to in the
gathering of these prayers,
is "Passover Bergen-Belsen,
1944":.

Our Father in heaven,
behold it is evident and
known' to thee that it is our
desire to do thy will and to
celebrate the festival of Pas-
sover by eating matza and
by observing the prohibition
qt. leavened food.
But our heart is pained
that the enslavement pre-
vents us and we are in dan-
ger of our lives. Behold, we
are prepared and ready to
fulfill thy commandment:
"And ye shall live by them
and not die by them".
We pray to thee that thou
mayest keep us alive and
preserve us and redeem us

now representing Arab in-
terests.
But more importantly,
the higher prices of oil, and
the resultant attempts at
world energy conservation,
coupled with pressures
within-OPEC, may force the
breakup of the cartel and
lower oil prices for the con-
sumer.
There- are many political
differences within the
OPEC nations. Four are
considered wealthy, while
the others are poorer. Iran
and Iraq have feuded for
many years, and only in re-
cent weeks have apparently
patched up their feud involv-
ing the Kurdish revolt
against Iraq.
Iraq is also pro-Soviet,
while Iran and Saudi Ara-
bia are anti-Communist.
Libya's unpredictable Col.
Moammar Khadafy is in a
political class by himself.
Other divisive problems
among the OPEC nations
include who must bear the
brunt of production cut-
backs in order to lower the
world's growing surplus of
oil.
So far the cartel has man-
aged to stick together. Ac-
cording to the New York
Times, State Department
officials were very surprised
that King Faisal of Saudi
Arabia cut Saudi oil produc-
tion by a third in February
to take the pressure from
the other cartel countries, in

.

keeping the supply low and
the prices high. The Saudi
production drop allows the
others to continue produc-
tion.
The analysts say this is
also a reminder of Faisal's
use of oil as a political
weapon against Israel-.
So it seems that growing
world oil supplies and possi-
ble conflicts within the
OPEC nations may forestall
any attempt at a new Arab
oil boycott. And as Len Mos-
ley writes, the Arabs have
too much to lose in oil rev-
enue, power production and
water supplies to think
about a closing of their oil
fields again.
—A. H.

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a perfect heart. Amen.

.). c
:

The explanatory note,
pointing to the importance
of this prayer, states:
The Jewish prisoners at
the German concentration
camp at Bergen-Belsen did
not have matza for the ob-
servance of Passover in
1944. Under the circumst-
ances the sages at the camp
permitted the eating of leav-
ened bread for which occa-
sion this benediction was
composed.

The text was published
in Yediot Bet Lohamey

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