TORONTO (Aug. 27)
The B’nai B’rith Board of Governors, at its mid-year meeting here urged the United States today to resist pressures to alter its policy toward Israel because of the threatened shortage of Middle East oil. A resolution adopted by the Board said: “The U.S. and the entire West can ill afford to rely on volatile and unstable governments” for its energy sources.
Speaking on the subject, Philip M. Klutznick, former president of B’nai B’rith and a former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, said that Saudi Arabia’s unwillingness to increase oil production to meet the rising demands of the Western markets is an “economic decision” unrelated to the Arab-Israeli political conflict.
According to Klutznick, the Saudians are finding it difficult to invest their huge oil income profitably, and with the weakened U.S. dollar “King Faisal believes his oil reserves are worth more in the ground than delivered to the purchaser.” Klutznick said that although militant Arab states such as Egypt, Libya and Iraq “are pressing Faisal to use the oil crisis as a political bargaining weapon” in the Middle East dispute, “the shortage would exist even if Israel did not.”
(A report from Cairo today said President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and King Faisal have discussed the use of Arab oil as a means of pressuring the. U.S. and Israel. The report said such a plan was discussed in advance of the non-aligned nations summit meeting in Algiers next month with a number of Arab countries including Algeria, Syria and Iraq and with the Palestinian guerrillas.
(At the non-aligned summit, non-Arab-countries would be assured of a continued flow of oil to them, but the restriction of oil production and cutting off huge reserves from the U.S. and European countries supporting Israel is intended to affect their economies with the aim of making them change their pro-Israeli policies, the Cairo report said.)