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June 24, 1977 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1977-06-24

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

1$ Friday', Jane 24, 1977

President Carter Signs Anti-Arab Boycott Law
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WASHINGTON (JTA)—
President Carter Wednes-
day signed into law the
anti-Arab boycott law and
hailed the consultations
among Americans that suc-
--cessfully led to itas a
"model" to end divisive-
ness in the Middle East.
The bill had been over-

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whelmingly adopted by the
House and Senate.
Organizations represented
at the White House included
Bnai Brith Anti-Defamation
League, the American Jew-
ish Committee and the
American Jewish Congress
which negotiated with the
Business Roundtable on the
legislation. Also represent-
ed were the American-Is-
rael Public Affairs com-
mittee, the National Jewish
Community Relations Advi-
sory Council and the Union
of American Hebrew Con-
gregations.
A' fact sheet on the new
law issued by the While
House said that"the legisla-
tion will prohibit most
forms of compliance with
unsanctioned foreign boy-
cotts without unnecessarily
jeopardizing U.S. political
and commercial interests in
the Middle East."
It also pointed out that
"U.S. persons receiving boy-
cott-related requests" are
required to report them to
the Secretary of Com-
merce, and that such re-
ports will continue to be re-
quired to be made publicly
available except for certain

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business confidential infor-
mation."
The legislation, which
will be enforced by the De-
partment of Commerce,
pre-empts foreign • boycott
laws enacted by state legis-
latures. A half dozen states
had enacted laws in ad-
vance of the present federal
law.
Meanwhile. General
Motors Corp., Westinghouse
Electric Co. and General
Electric Co. were among 47
firms cleared of suspicion
of doing business with Is-
rael by the Arab League's
boycott organization. A GM
spokesman said the com-
pany is not changing its
dealings with Israel.
The report came from a
communique issued at the
end of the league's 12-day
conference in Egypt during
which five American com-
panies and seven from
Asia. Africa and Europe
were added to the blacklist
while 10 companies were
taken off the list.
The league also declared
it would suspend shipments
of raw materials from 20
Arab countries to com-
panies placed on its black-
list.
Commission chief Mo-
hammed Mahgoub said the
embargo was the commis-
sion's response to anti-boy-
cott legislation passed by
the U.S. Congress June 10.
The proposed law was sign-
ed Wednesday. It imposes
stiff penalties on American
companies that refuse to do
business with firms black-
listed by the Arabs, or that
use the boycott to discrimi-
nate against other U.S.
firms on the basis of race,
religion, color, sex or na-
tional origin.
It would, however, permit
U.S. firms and citizens oper-
ating in a foreign country
that is boycotting Israel to
comply with local laws and
customs in certain circum-
stances.
According to the New
York Times. the following
United States companies
have been blacklisted: Hon-
eywell Inc., of Minneapolis,

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an international company
with $2.76 billion in sales -
last year and 84.000 employ-
ees; Garlock Inc.. of Roch-
ester, N.Y., a subdivision of
Colt Industries which
makes gaskets and oil seals
and employs about 5.000 per-
sons nationwide and the Tro-
par Trophy Co. of New Jer-
sey, with 80 employees and
$4 million in sales last year.
Also listed was Goodman
and Sons Inc., but it could
not be determined whether
the league referred to A.
Goodman and Sons, makers
of noodles in the New York
City area, or to H. Good-
man and Sons of Kearney,
N.J., makers of hair cur-
lers and combs. The fifth
company was said to be the
Delmont Corp. and its Brit-
ish branch, the Delmont In-
ternational Corp.
Officers of Honeywell and
Garlock said that their corn-
panies did some business
with Israel and in the
Middle East but that they
had no major projects or
plants there.
Sam La Conte, the gener-
al manager of Tropar, said
that being put on the list
was a "mystery and revela-
tion" to him. He said that
the company, which makes
trophies. plaques and gift
awards, did not have any
orders from Israel or other
Middle Eastern countries.
He said that the company .
did not have any top offi-
cers- of Jewish descent, for-
merly a reason for being
put on the boycott list.
What was equally puz-
zling to some observers
was that while the new corn-
panies with only _small
amount of busine-s-swith Is-
rael -were being put on the
list others—GM, West-
inghouse and General Elec-
tric—which do a significant
amount of business with Is;
rael, have been "cleared."
Mahgoub said that GM,
Westinghouse and GE had
been "cleared" after sub-
mitting proof that they had
no business ties with Israel.
GM and Westinghouse have
said that they do have deal-
ings with Israel, as well as
Arab nations.
"So long as they not have
plants in Israel that use Is-
raeli labor and thus help
the economy, it is fine,"
Mahgoub explained. "If
they • want to trade, that
does not affect us."
The organization black-
lists companies which it ac-
cuses of helping the Israeli
war effort by investing in
development projects. A
firm is removed from the
blacklist if it proves it
closed down operations in
Israel and has started one
in an Arab country instead.
In a related development,
the Arab boycott confer-
ence on June 9 banned the
Masons because some of
them reportedly plan to
hold a conference in Israel
this year.
Masons here said they
know of no specific Masonic
conference but Masonic
groups generally visit Is-
rael on tours. Majgoub said
the Masons have refused to
hold their conference out-

side of Israel.
"This movement
(Masons) worked for Israel
and sponsors the Zionist
movement under the cover
of an international social
movement." he said. claim-
ing that the conference
would draw thousands of
visitors to Israel and help
its economy.
Masons in the U.S. noted
the peculiar linkage be-
tween the anti-Masonic ban
coming from the Arab meet-
ing in "Alexandria, Egypt.
and the fact that Alexan-
dria, Va., is the site of the
National Masonic Shrine to
George Washington, a lead-'
ing Mason in his day.
The Masonic fraternity,_
which originated in Britain
and has lodges in many na-
tions. has numerous Jews
in its membership. Jews
have been long active par-
ticularly in the Shriners, a -
charitable organization that
is part of the fraternity.
In New York, the Ameri-
can Jewish Congress said
thdt there was not "one
shred of evidence' to sup-
port a recent claim by an
official of the Port Author-
ity of New York and New
Jersey that the Port of New
York suffered a loss of ex-
port cargoes because of
New York State's anti-boy-
cott law that went into ef-
fect early in 1976.
Naomi Levine. executive
director of the AJCongress,
accused Clifford B. O'Hara,
the Port Authority's direc-
tor of port commerce of pre-
senting a "grossly in-
accurate and distorted pic-
ture."
O'Hara said at the semi-
annual meeting of the
North Atlantic Ports Associ-
ation in Newport. R.I.. last
week that the Port of. New
York lost roughly 300.000
tons of export cargo since
1976. largely because of the
legislation aimed at counter-
ing the effects of the Arab
boycott of Israel on Ameri-
can business.
He said the port had little
chance of regaining_the lost
business despite the new
federal anti-boycott law, to
be signed by President Car-
ter. which would equalize
competition for Arab busi-
ness.
But Levine said that
O'Hara's claim was "with-
out foundation" and sugges-
ted that "blaming the anti-
boycott law has the unfortu-
nate result of diverting pub-
lic attention from the real
and serious problems fac-
ing the Port of New York."
She cited Census Bureau
figures made available to
the AJCongress by the Port
Authority's Planning and
Development Department
which showed that export
tonnage from New York to
Arab countries actually in-
creased after the anti-boy-
cott law went into effect.
Levine said that in 1976.
ocean-going export cargoes
to Arab states, except Leba-
non. from the Port of New
York totalled 274,634 long
tons compared to 253.763
long tons in 1975. She noted
a marked increase of air
cargoes to Arab states.

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