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CANDLELIGHTING AT 4:49 P.M.
VOL. XC, NO. 13
Boycotting The Boycott
Something has come between us and our Levi's: The Arab boycott of
Israel. The cover story in the current issue of Multinational Monitor,
published by the Ralph Nader organization, accuses Levi Strauss Geneva
of circumventing the Arab boycott by funneling jeans through an
intermediary into Lebanon and Dubai.
Relying on internal Levi Strauss documents, the article further
charges that Levi officials tried to get their firm off the boycott list by
visiting boycott offices in Arab capitals.
If true, these actions would violate a 1979 federal law. Levi Strauss
officials have denounced the charges as false.
The truth of the news story will have to be determined by
appropriate federal authorities. But its publication underscores the fact
that major U.S. companies have consistently tried to appease the Arab
world by cutting their ties with Israel. To date, the Commerce
Department has cited 34 U.S. firms for not doing business with Israel
because of the Arab boycott. These include such giants as Xerox, Chase
Manhattan and DuPont.
The Arab world's economic war against Israel began with the Jewish
State's .1948 War of Independence. It has continued for 38 years. That, of
course, is the prerogative of those Arab states; They are technically in a
state of war with Israel. But it is not the prerogative of American firms
to violate federal law, even at the risk of losing substantial Arab revenue.
Where Is Our Democracy?
n reading Dr. Milton
Steinhardt's article on
"single issue politics" in the
Oct. 31 Jewish News, I was both
gladdened and saddened by his
comments: gladdened by his embrac-
ing of Israel to his heart, but sad-
dened that his conclusions are so
similar to those of the far-right fun-
True, he realizes that the survi-
val of Israel does depend on a free,
democratic Jewish community in the
Diaspora. Should our civil and reli-
gious rights be threatened, nay, even
taken from us, our ability to help
and support Israel on her path to
greater democratic fulfillment and
security would be crippled.
While one accepts even the sup-
port rendered Israel by the Falwells,
the Robertsons, and the whole range
of fundamentalists, we need to rec-
ognize their objectives in bringing
religion into the school system, their
anti-civil actions including opposi-
tion to women's equality, to women's
sacred right to the privacy of their
own bodies, the fundamentalists' re-
jection of scientific interpretations as
regards our universe, and their con-
tinual emphasis that America is and
should be a Christian country. They
do not at all provide the democratic,
moral ethics which would lessen
crime, ignorance, or racism.
Dr. Steinhardt points to the low
crime rate during the big Depres-
sion. He has ignored the complexity
of our present world, the wars in
Korea and Vietnam, the Holocaust,
and the spread and increase of reli-
gious fanaticism in Iran, Iraq, Syria,
etc., which has produced terrorism,
Duva Tate is a local reader of The
Wolf Blitzer's revealing report on the Pollard affair one year later
(see Page 26) details how the hapless Jonathan Pollard came to be used
as a spy by the Israelis. Motivated by his love for Israel, the young man
initially passed along secret U.S information he felt would be valuable.
The Israeli he worked for insisted that Pollard be paid and gradually
Pollard was caught up in an ever-tightening net of intrigue and illegal
activity until his arrest by the FBI last Nov. 21. Now he and his wife
await sentencing and face heavy legal fees in the hundreds of thousands
Pollard's actions were wrong and he was well aware of the risks he
was taking. But he was clearly the fall guy," wooed and then left out in
the cold for his efforts.
Israel says that Pollard's contact was running a rogue, unauthorized
Israeli spy ring, but according to Blitzer, "Pollard had no reason to
suspect that his involvement was unauthorized by the highest echelon of
Israeli government since he dealt with several very senior officials."
Pollard was also shown a false passport with his photo and led to believe
that he would be welcome to live in Israel someday. But since his arrest
he has been abandoned by the Israelis, who, at the very least, encouraged
him in his spying. Surely he deserves some support from the government
he sought to help, whether it be in financial aid or the knoWledge that
after serving his prison term he could begin a new life in Israel.
suppression of liberties and
In America, we are now witness-
ing the rise of neo-facism in Oregon,
Idaho, and in "Aryan" camps in
Alabama resulting in increased ra-
cism, anti-Semitism, and violent ac-
Politically, we have only begun
to view the drastic diminution of at-
tention to education, crime solving,
increased poverty, unemployent,
high divorce rates, and child moles-
Should our civil and
religious rights be
threatened or taken from
us, our ability to help and
support Israel would be
tation. At the same time, we see a
greater emphasis on nuclear destruc-
tion and pseudo-patriotism.
And we Jews, are we not
likewise threatened by the anti-
social acts of the ultra-Orthodox in
Israel, all in the name of religion?
Are not the aspects of their insis-
tence that their religious beliefs —
and only their's — are the only true
beliefs the same as the fundamen-
talists? And does not their extreme
ideas lead to a destruction of an
enlightened, democratic society
which is Israel's aim?
Are we not in the same boat?
Dr. Steinhardt offers the same
stereotyped arguments of the far
right (Oy vey!): compulsory religion
in the schools would do away with
"abortion on demand," "teenage pre-
gnancies as a way of life," and teen-
age crime — only cured by more fed-
For shame! This is judgement
without reason, without evaluation
of the economic and social imbal-