JERUSALEM (May. 7)
Israel may voice strong disagreement on the views of the State Department with regard to the Arab boycott, against Israel expressediin Washington by Brooks Hays, Assistant Secretary of State, it was indicated here today. In the absence here of an official text, there was no comment on the subject from Israel’s Foreign Ministry, However, political circles expressed sharpest criticism of Mr. Hays’ statement made last week.
Israelis found it surprising that an American official has said that the Arab boycott is not as serious as it has been represented, while scores of American ships and companies have been blacklisted by the Arabs. They also said “it is simply not true, ” as Mr. Hays contends, that the blacklisting was directed only against ships carrying war materiel, pointing out that Arab ports have confiscated much food, machinery and building materials shipped to Israel.
It was pointed out here also that American companies have received from Arab sources questionnaires asking about Jewish ownership, Jewish management and even Jewish workers in such firms. “Mr, Hays must know that Saudi Arabia does not permit American Jewish airmen at the Dharan Air Base, ” Israelis argued.
Mr. Hays’ mention of a stipulation by Israel that ships bringing surpluses to Israel must not enter Arab ports was denounced as “bordering on the malicious. ” Such clauses, it was pointed out, were inserted recently to protect American commodities since, in several recent instances, ships carrying surplus American foods to Israel have had the cargoes confiscated in Beirut or Alexandria, to prevent these foods from reaching Israel.