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May 30, 1975 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-05-30

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


20 Friday, May 30, 1975

Ford Urged to Invoke Federal Law to Fight Arab Boycott

American Jewish Congress,
in a 29-page legal memoran-
dum, called on President
Ford to invoke existing fed-
eral law against Arab boy-
cott pressures "now being
directed at American com-
panies and American citi-

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At a news conference,
Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg,
president of the AJCon-
gress, listed nine federal
statutes that he said "al-
ready make illegal many
aspects of the Arab boycott
as it is operating in the
United States today.
The . legal memorandum
urged the President take
these actions:

• Under the Export
Administration Act, the
President was urged to bar
exports from the U.S.
purveyed by any American
company subject to an
agreement not to trade


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to the U.S.

• Under the same act, the
President was urged to di-
rect the secretary of com-
merce (a) to require Ameri-
can exporters to give notice
as to whether they intend to
comply with any Arab boy-
cott requests and (b) to end
the confidential status of re-
ports on boycott compliance
by American exporters.
• Under the Federal
Trade Commission Act
(Section 73), the President
was urged to direct the sec-
retary of the treasury to im-
pose a penalty or additional
duty on any article — in-
cluding oil and oil products
— imported into the U.S.
under any agreement or
condition implementing the
Arab boycott.
• Under the same Act
(Section 77), the President
was urged to deny U.S. ship-
ping and clearance privi-
leges to vessels of any coun-
try at war with Israel that
denies facilities of com-
merce to American ships or
American citizens.

• Under the Shipping
Act, the President was
urged to require the Fed-
eral Maritime Commission


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to prohibit American ves-
sels from refusing to carry
Israeli cargoes or to stop
at Israeli ports.

• Under the Bank Se-
crecy Act, the President was
urged to direct the secretary
of the treasury to require
and make public reports of
the flow into the U.S. of
Arab petrodollars.
• Under the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, the
President was urged to re-
quest the Securities and
Exchange Commission to
monitor efforts by Arab
investors to obtain control
of or substantial interests in
any publicly-held American
• Under the Federal De-
posit Insurance Act, the
President was urged to di-
rect the controller of the
currency (a) to prohibit
banks from verifying letters
of credit which contain
provisions enforcing the
Arab boycott and (b) to bar
banks from complying with
discriminatory restrictions
as a condition for obtaining
deposits or investments.

• Under the Foreign
Investment Study Act, the
President was urged to
direct the secretaries of
the treasury and com-
merce to study and report
on the effect of the Arab
boycott on American busi-
ness and employment

• Under the Sherman
Anti-Trust Act, the Presi-
dent was urged to direct the
attorney general to enforce
more vigorously the law's
prohibitions against restric-
tive trade practices.
• Under the Federal
Trade Commission Act, the
President was urged to re-
quest the Federal Trade
Commission to invoke
against the Arab boycott
those provisions of the law
prohibiting unfair competi-
In making public the me-
morandum to the President,
Rabbi Hertzberg declared:
"It is American policy to
oppose boycotts by foreign
countries against other
countries friendly to the
United States or against
American citizens and corn-
panies because of the beliefs
they hold, the causes they
assist or the persons with
whom they deal.
"It is American policy to

encourage American ex-
porters to refuse to cooper-
ate with boycotts by a'hy
foreign country against
another country friendly
to the United States or
against those Americans
who choose to support
such a country or trade
with it."

Rabbi Hertzberg de-
scribed the Arab boycott as
"increasingly oppressive —
both as it distorts tradi-
tional American business
practices and as it abridges
the rights and freedoms
guaranteed by American
AJCongress memo-
randum noted that the re-
fusal of Arab governments
to trade with Israel was not
a matter directly affecting
U.S. commerce and was not
subject to American law.

At the same time, the re-
port said, "overt employ-
ment discrimination against
American citizens because
of their religion clearly vio-
lates American laws, among
them Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 and nu-
merous state and city laws
against discrimination in

In Washington, mean-
while, the department of
commerce charged five U.S.
exporters with failure to
report that they had been
asked to participate in the
Arab boycott, a violation of
the Export Administration
Act of 1969. The department
refused, however, to disclose
the identities of the compa-
"These prohibitions nies until their cases are
against employment dis- settled. A department
crimination also cover spokesman noted that it
employment of U.S. citi- was not illegal for a U.S.
zens not only in the U.S. 'firm to participate in the
but anywhere in the boycott.
world," the study said.
In Montreal, the General
The AJCongress warned Board of the Canadian
that it might bring suit Council of Churches has rec-
against the U.S. Depart- ommended to its member
ment of Commerce under churches that they follow
the Freedom of Information the example of Protestant
Act unless the department and Catholic churches in
makes public the names of The Netherlands which re-
American firms complying fuse to issue baptismal cer-
with the Arab boycott of tificates to persons who are
required to furnish proof
The Department of Com- that they are not Jewish in
merce considers this infor- order to obtain tourist or
mation "confidential" but business visas for Arab
its disclosure could facili- countries.
tate public pressure on corn-
Rev. T.E. Floyd Honey,
plying companies, AJCon- general secretary of the
gress Executive Director Canadian Council of
Naomi Levine said at a Churches, sent the Can-
press conference here.
dian Jewish Congress a

The AJCongress also
said that it expects new
legislation aimed against
the Arab boycott to be in-
troduced by a bi-partisan
group of Senators before
the end of this month.

The proposed measures
would make it illegal for an
American company to re-
fuse to deal with any coun-
try with which the U.S. has
diplomatic relations be-
cause of the foreign policy
of a third country; and
would prohibit discrimina-
tion by any company on
grounds of race, religion
and sex in any of its com-
mercial operations.

copy of its directive. The
recommendation -was
made following the receipt
of reports that the Dutch
Council of Churches and
the Dutch Roman Catholic
Bishops were refusing to
issue the baptismal docu-
ments that would, in ef-
fect, abet travel restric-
tions against Jews in the
Middle East.

The position of the
churches in Holland was
brought to the attention of
the Canadian Council of
Churches by Rabbi Gunther
Plaut who suggested that
similar action be taken in

Peres Sees War of Attrition

Defense Minister Shimon
Peres said Monday that the
new Arab strategy is aimed
at a piecemeal draining of
Israel's military strength in
a series of mini-wars along
the borders rather than a
full scale final assault and
that they were conducting it
on the basis of massive arms
acquisitions from both the
West and the Soviet Union.
Addressing the annual
convention of the Israel
Journalists Association in
Tel Aviv, Peres observed
that the Arab countries are
undergoing important mili-
tary, political and economic
changes which demanded an
Israeli reassessment of the
general Middle East situa-
He also contended that,
"There is a gap between
what the Soviet power in the
Middle East is believed to be
and its real power."

He said that while the
administered territories
may not serve as a deter-
rent to a new war, their
loss could lead to a situa-
tion in which Israel will
have no deterrents what-
soever and will be a tempt-
ing target for the Arabs.

A Palestinian state with
borders some 10 miles from
Israel's coast would be a
daily threat, he said.
He predicted that Israel
would be able to maintain a
reasonable balance of mili-
tary•pol,ver in the Middle
East in the future although
the numerical odds during
the coming decade will
probably remain steady at
three to one in the Arabs'
"The Arabs have reached
the conclusion that it would
be best for them to exploit
their one indisputable ad-
vantage — their numerical
superiority — by increasing
the number of countries in-
volved directly against Is-
rael, by mobilizing large
numbers of soldiers and ac-
cumulating vast quantities
of arms in the hope that
their quantitative superior-
ity would eventually over-
come Israel's qualitative
edge," Peres said.
In that connection, Peres
said, the Syrians are trying
to form a new coalition to
include Lebanon, Iraq, Jor-
dan and the PLO which
could concentrate 14 divi-

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