WASHINGTON (Sep. 21)
Senator Kenneth B. Keating, New York Republican, took the Senate floor today to denounce the failure of the State Department to take action on behalf of a New York City firm boycotted by Arab States because it was accused of trading with Israel.
The New Yorker, revealing correspondence in which the State Department said it disapproved the Arab boycott but linked it to the “underlying Arab-Israel conflict of which the Arab boycott is an undesirable growth,” asserted that the Department’s attitude was “absolutely incomprehensible.” He said that Arab-Israel differences notwithstanding, it was “the responsibility of the State Department to protect the interests of American business abroad.”
The Senator said the Department’s “ostrich-like policy” toward the Arab boycott was “at variance with our policies throughout the world.” He said the United States stood firmly against Red Chinese and East German pressures but refused “to fulfill its duties” against the Arab boycott.
Senator Keating did not publish the name of the New York firm, to spare it further Arab reprisals. The company received a letter in July from the Arab League inquiring into the Israel trade question. Senator Keating pursued the matter with the State Department.
The Department informed Senator Keating that since the U.S. Government did not recognize the Arab boycott, “the Department considers that it would be a step in derogation of our policy were we to register official protests or otherwise intercede…”