Jewish College Students Picket French Office, Demand Boycott of Products, Services
Menu JTA Search

Jewish College Students Picket French Office, Demand Boycott of Products, Services

Download PDF for this date

An organization of Jewish college students demanded a boycott of all French products and services today as a thousand of them picketed French offices here and paraded through other parts of the city with placards denouncing Gen. de Gaulle’s embargo on arms and spare parts shipments to Israel. Several American Jewish organizations, while not demanding a boycott of France, condemned the embargo and urged the French Government to rescind it. (Students also picketed the French Embassy in Israel).

The student pickets came from Columbia University, New York University, City College, Queens College, Brooklyn College, Yeshiva University and Stern College. They were organized by the Ad Hoc Committee of American Youth for Peace and Justice in the Middle East. The committee was set up by members of national Jewish youth organizations. The students marched in front of the mid-town Manhattan building that houses offices of the French Tourist Office, the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, France’s major steamship line, and the French Bookshop. They also picketed the Renault automobile plant in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. and marched through the predominantly Jewish garment district and diamond trading centers in Manhattan. Their placards urged people to go to Israel instead of France, to travel on El A1, Israel’s airline, instead of Air France, and accused the French Government of aiding the Arab wish to destroy Israel.

Rabbi Arthur J. Lelyveld, American Jewish Congress president, assailed the French embargo in a statement and urged the French people to demand that their Government reverse its Middle East policy. He said, “American Jews who travel to France, purchase French goods and use French services can take encouragement from the French people’s strong opposition to the peculiar definition of neutrality which President de Gaulle has sought to impose on the Middle East.” The Jewish War Veterans of the United States denounced the embargo as a “hostile, one-sided act” and urged France to reconsider it.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund