U.S. Department of Commerce Charged with Facilitating Arab Boycott

Rep. James Roosevelt, California Democrat, charged in a House speech today that the U.S. Executive Department is appeasing the Arab boycott by “advertising at public expense Arab calls for commercial bids which will only be accepted from U.S. business firms which are not ‘Jewish owned’ or do not ‘employ a percentage of Jewish personnel.’”

Rep. Roosevelt said: “A boycott against an American business concern on the ground that it is owned or operated by persons of any particular race, religion, or ethnic origin, is contrary to American principles and traditions, and should definitely not be countenanced by governmental assistance.”

He described how the U.S. Department of Commerce is currently distributing official government releases facilitating discriminatory Arab boycott requirements. He charged that “not only have government agencies acquiesced passively to the boycott, they have served actively, in many instances, as its instruments.”

“I cannot understand why we continue to publicize these discriminatory calls for bids,” Rep. Roosevelt said. “This is not only recognizing discriminatory procedures, it is condoning them with support and assistance. This is intolerable.” In addition to a protest speech on the House floor, Rep. Roosevelt protested by letter to Secretary of State Dean Rusk and to Secretary of Commerce Luther M. Hodges.

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