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July 19, 1991 - Image 38

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-07-19

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The Self-Mutilation
Of Boycotters Of Israel

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very means keeps be-
ing utilized as a threat
to make Israel a target
for destruction. The econ-
omic boycott is among the
most repeated. It keeps be-
ing seen in all spheres of
business. Naturally, it is a
cause for concern; the extent
of damage inflicted has yet
to be proven.
Some of the threats that
have emerged recently are
enormous and create fear for
Israel. An example is an an-
ti-Israel campaign that has
been reported by the Jewish
Telegraphic Agency in this
dispatch from London:

One of Britain's most
powerful trade unions has
urged its 850,000 members
to boycott Israel because
of its "continued illegal
occupation of Palestinian
A motion calling for
"economic and cultural
sanctions against Israel"
got almost unanimous
approval from 2,000 dele-
gates attending the an-
nual conference in
Glasgow of the National
Association of Local
Government Officers,
whose members run the
country's local au-
The motion instructed
the union's leadership to
"launch a campaign" of
sanctions within the
membership and the
wider trade union move-
Apparently the threat of
unanimity in labor ranks on
the question is not as menac-
ing as this report sounds.
One Israeli view minimized
the anti-Israelism that comes
from Glasgow:
But Ami Gluska, labor
affairs attache at the
Israeli Embassy here, said
he is not worried. "In the
past year, there have been
moves in the opposite
direction among trade
unionists who have gain-
ed a greater understan-
ding of Israel because of
the Gulf war," he said.
Gluska said the National
Association of Local
Government Officers
move was "obnoxious"
and charged that hard-left
activists have taken con-
trol of the union's foreign
He believed they were
out of touch with the rank

and file. The attache said
the embassy has received
dozens of calls from union
members who expressed
unhappiness with the
Peter Grunberger, di-
rector of the Labor
Friends of Israel, said the
NALGO move was consis-
tent with the hostile line it
has taken since 1987,
when it severed links with
Histadrut, the Israeli
trade union federation.
Nevertheless, it is logical
to challenge the boycott pro-
pagators to prove whether
there has been even an iota
of success in efforts to harm
Israel by such methods. The
United States position has
often been questioned on the
matter. At hearings con-

The motion
instructed the
union's leadership
to "launch a
campaign" of
sanctions within
the membership
and the trade
union movement.

ducted by the Senate Ap-
propriations, Commerce,
Justice and State Subcom-
mittee, Secretary of State
James Baker was challenged
about boycott threats. His
reply was that " the U.S. is
totally opposed" to the
boycott and said he would
look into it.
While the U.S. position is
well-known and is one that
will hopefully be pursued to
prevent damage to Israel's
economic endeavors, there is
unusual interest in the Arab
blacklist of U. S. companies
obtained by the Near East
Report of AIPAC. Here are a
few victims of the threaten-
ed Arab boycott: N.Y.
Yankees, Aetna Life and
Casualty, American Express,
AT&T, Levi-Strauss, Bell
Telephone Labs, Dupont,
Mattel, Paramount Pictures,
Helene Curtis and Helena
These are symbolic of the
hate aims promulgated
against Israel. We have yet
to hear any of them scream-
ing with fear over the anti-
Israel threats.
It is, therefore, reasonable
to believe that boycotts are
self-destructive for the
Arabs and the adherents to
the stupidities of the
Arab states and Israel

should collaborate in econ-
omic cooperativeness. That's
the way to benefit everybody
in the Middle East. That's
the way for Arabs to aban-
don the nonsense of boycotts,
which result in self-
mutilation. ❑

In Israel
Arab Fellow-Citizens
While responsibilities
mount for the erasure of an-
ti-Jewish prejudices, promi-
nent in such efforts is the
striving for Arab-Jewish co-
operation and good
This is not an easy task. It
has become all too easy to
make anti-Israelism the
means of spreading hatred
against Jews everywhere. It
is sad to experience injection
of such prejudices even in
the seriousness of strength-
ening black-Jewish friend-
ships. It is vital that Israel's
democratization of Arab-
Jewish relations should be
firmly established.
An analysis of existing
conditions has been
prepared by an active
defense group, Facts and
Logic About the Middle East,
which is gaining recognition
as FLAME. Its purpose is
"research and publication of
the facts regarding devel-
opments in the Middle East
and exposing false pro-
paganda that might harm
the interests of the United
States and its allies in that
area of the world."
FLAME reveals the con-
temptuous manner by which
the Jews in Arab countries
were treated.
Contrary to propaganda
and to what many believe,
the Arabs in Israel are
full-fledged citizens, enjoy
every civil right, and have
the same status in law as
Jewish Israelis. In sum-
mary, they enjoy the
highest standards of liv-
ing and liberty of any
Arabs in the Middle East.
It is instructive and sober-
ing to compare the condi-
tion of approximately
700,000 Arabs in Israel
with that of the pitiful
remnants of Jewry in
Arab countries ... there
are now 700,00 Arabs‘in
Israel, as against 150,000
in 1948 a more than
four-fold increase. These
figures alone would seem
to prove that things can't
be all that bad for Arabs
in Israel.
The basic facts and

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