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U.S. Banks Aid Arab Boycott Against Firms Trading with Israel

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The American Jewish Congress today called upon U.S. Secretary of Commerce Luther H. Hodges to “help American bankers to establish principles that would halt their aid to the Arab boycott against American firms trading with Israel. The appeal was made in a telegram to Mr. Hodges by Dr. Joachim Prinz, president of the Congress, after the latter exhibited photostatic copies of letters of credit from U. S. banks, covering shipments of American goods to Jordan and Syria.

Dr. Prinz showed copies of the letters of credit at a meeting of the AJC’s governing council, the organizational policy-making body. The letters of credit had been issued by the Bank of America, Chase Manhattan Bank and the Chemical Bank New York Trust Company on behalf of correspondent banks in Jordan and Syria. In each of the documents, Dr. Prinz said, there were the following stipulations:

“Hone of the goods could be shipped in vessels flying the Israel flag, owned by Israeli nationals or touching Israeli ports; none of the goods could contain raw or manufactured material from Israel; none of the goods could consist of German reparations to Israel.”

These boycott requirements, Dr. Prinz informed Mr. Hodges, constitute “the newest elaboration in the unremitting effort to involve American industry in the Arab League’s economic war against Israel. By this device, American banking institutions are being forced to serve as conduits for the expression of Arab political hatred and economic pressure.”

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