WASHINGTON (Jun. 9)
Chairman Hubert H. Humphrey of a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern problems yesterday called Senate attention to new Arab barriers against U.S. trade with Israel and suggested diplomatic action against the boycott.
Sen. Humphrey, a Minnesota Democrat, told the Senate the United States “ought to make it crystal clear to the Arab states that we do not respect their boycott, and that under no circumstances will the Government of the United States knuckle down to the kind of blacklisting which goes on with respect to American firms which may wish to do business with a friendly nation.”
He expressed hope that “those who direct our foreign policy would give their attention to trying to inculcate a sense of reality in the minds of the Arab leaders.” The Senator quoted the Arab League announcement last week from Cairo of a unified boycott system and its tightened squeeze on Israel. He termed this “a course which can lead only to further trouble.” The Arab move, he said, was “not a contribution to peace.” Nor was it a recognition “of the urgent need of the area, namely, the exchange of goods and services.”
Sen. Humphrey familiarized the Senate with the manner in which the Arab anti-Israel boycott works against American and other firms desiring to trade with Israel. He said he hoped U.S. diplomats would make it clear to the Arabs “that we will not contribute to such an operation, designed to strangle a friendly state, namely, the State of Israel.”
The Senator hoped that the State Department would inform the Arabs that their action “is about as close to hostilities as it is possible to come without shooting a gun.” He expressed the hope that “it will be made clear” that the U.S. “deplores and rejects” the Arab boycott action and that “we will do everything we possibly can to avoid it.”