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November 30, 1990 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-11-30

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


Takeover Of MCA By Japanese
Raises Arab Boycott Questions


Special to The Jewish News




he takeover of the
Hollywood entertain-
ment conglomerate
MCA by a Japanese com-
pany has raised questions
about Japanese compliance
with the Arab-led boycott of
Israel, and the extent to
which compliance may
decline with Japan's grow-
ing role in American busi-
A leading Jewish organ-
ization has charged that
Matsushita Electric In-
dustrial Company, which
acquired MCA last week in a
deal valued at over $6
billion, "is a slavish
adherent of the Arab-led
economic boycott of Israel."
The World Jewish Con-
gress said Matsushita has
refused to open stores or
production facilities in Israel
because of its adherence to
the boycott, meaning that
Panasonic products, for ex-
ample, are only available in
Israel through third-party
"While products manufac-
tured by Matsushita are sold
in Israel, we are concerned

by the absence of a direct
business relationship with
the Jewish state," said the
Anti-Defamation League of
B'nai B'rith in a statement
Although the anti-boycott
laws of the United States
make it virtually impossible
for Matsushita to halt sale of
MCA films to Israel, Jewish
organizations see this
takeover as an opportunity
to educate people about the
Specifically, they see the
need to pressure Japanese
companies into breaking the
primary boycott, that of an
Arab ban on sales to Israel,
and secondarily, the boycott
of companies that sell to
Matsushita is just one of
almost a dozen Japanese
companies that follow the
economic boycott of Israel,
along with Toshiba, Casio,
Toyota, Nissan, Mazda,
Hitachi and Nippon Steel,
according to organizations
monitoring compliance.
"The two countries that
are most open in following
the precepts of the Arab
boycott are Japan and South
Korea," said Rabbi Abra-
ham Cooper, associate dean

at the Wiesenthal Center in
Los Angeles.
"The Japanese attitude
about the boycott unfor-
tunately has been, by and
large, not only zealous
adherence to the primary
boycott but also the secon-
dary," he said.
But Rabbi Cooper and
others monitoring boycott
compliance said the increas-
ing number of Japanese
companies operating sub-
sidiaries here may bode well
for the loosening of the
boycott of Israel, given both
the anti-boycott laws of the
United States and the need
to make a profit.
Over the past few years,
Japanese exports to Israel
have almost doubled, from
$174 million in 1984 to $318
million in 1989; and imports
have quadrupled from $181
million in 1984 to $758 mill-
ion last year, according to
figures supplied by the
Japanese consulate.
"As a government, we
don't encourage or
discourage trade with Israel,
and if a company doesn't
want to we can't force
them," said Japanese Vice
Consul Yoichi Mikami in
New York.

Artwork from Newsday by Bob Newman. Copyright° 1990. Newsday. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate.

"But the reality is that
Japanese companies are
starting to do business with
Israel," added Mr. Mikami.
In the United States, com-
pliance with the boycott was
effectively banned in 1977,
with passage of the federal
Export-Import Act, which
prohibits companies from
both upholding the boycott
and giving Arab officials in-

formation about a company's
dealings with Israel.

Japan has no natural re-
serves of oil and hence is
totally dependent on the
Arab countries and the Arab
demand for a boycott of
Israel, leaving the Japanese
government in the ambigu-
ous position of doing nothing
to stop compliance.


Foreign Students
Seek Guest Homes
Buffalo, N.Y. — The Inter-
national Fellowship, Inc., is
searching for host families
for Jewish exchange
students 15 to 18 years old.
The students, who will ar-
rive in December or January
to stay for three to six mon-
ths, come with their own
spending money and are
covered by health and acci-
dent insurance. Host
families are required only to
provide the students with
room, board and laundry.
Students seeking guest
homes are:
• Iona, a 16-year old from
Colombia, who likes football,
tennis and basketball. He
speaks Hebrew and some
• Georgia, a 17-year-old
from Brazil. She hopes to be
a dentist and speaks English
• Marcello, 17, of Brazil.
He is interested in compu-
ters and has studied English
for five years.
• Claudia, a 17-year-old
from Brazil. She speaks a

fair amount of English and
is interested in dance and
• Ricardo, 16, of Brazil,
speaks some English. He
loves movies and theater
and would like to learn how
to play baseball.
• Deborah, a 15-year-old
from Brazil. She has been
studying English for two
years, likes sports, reading
and drawing.
• Guilherme, 16, from
Brazil, speaks English well
and knows some French. He
hopes to be an electronic en-
gineer and likes swimming
and movies.
For information, contact
Sandy McCusker at the
International Fellowship,
Inc., 210 Franklin Bldg.,
Suite 304, Buffalo, N.Y.
14202, or call (716) 853-6712.

Firm Backs Off
From Boycott
London (JTA) — An inter-
national subsidiary of Na-
tional Power, Britain's big-
gest state-owned electric
company, has backed off

from compliance with the
Arab League boycott of
The subsidiary, British
Electricity International, an
overseas consulting firm,
came under strong pressure
from the Parliament and
government circles before it
disowned a decision by a top
executive to reject a request
for technical assistance from
the state-owned Israel Elec-
tric Corp.
A national power spokes-
man confirmed that the
company is prepared to do
business with Israel and
issued a statement denying
that it supports the boycott.

Weed Love To See
This Discovery
Rehovot, Israel — The
amount of herbicide needed
to prevent the growth of
weeds may be dramatically
reduced in the near future
thanks to a new weed-
fighting strategy developed
by professors Jonathan
Gressel, Yoseph Shaaltiel
and Abraham Warshawsky

resistance in weeds by at
least 15 years.
In addition to saving
farmers' money, the new
herbicide mixture also
should reduce the risk of en-
vironmental damage caused
by the widespread use of
chemicals in the soil.

Avraham Warshawsky (left) and
Jonathan Gressel:
Weed fighters.

at the Weizmann Institute of
The approach involves the
simultaneous application of
an ordinary herbicide along
with a special chemical
agent designed to knock out
a weed's normal defenses
against herbicides.
In greenhouse experi-
ments with the new mixture,
the scientists found that
weed growth can be
prevented using only one
quarter to half as much her-
bicide as is ordinarily need-
ed. Moreover, this strategy
is likely to delay the ap-
pearance of herbicide

Mexico To Fight
U.N. Resolution
Mexico City — Mexican
President Carlos Salinas de
Bortari told representatives
of the Anti-Defamation
League that his country is
ready to vote to rescind the
United Nations resolution
equating Zionism with
Speaking earlier this mon-
th at a meeting with ADL
leaders, Mr. Salinas said he
intends to make sure the
U.N. resolution is rejected,
and cited "the very impor-
tant contribution that the
State of Israel has made to
the rest of the world."

Compiled by
Elizabeth Applebaum



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