Harrimam Advocates Crash Program to Free the U.S. from Threat of Arab Oil Blackmail
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Harrimam Advocates Crash Program to Free the U.S. from Threat of Arab Oil Blackmail

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W. Averell Harriman advocated a “crash program,” of the kind that created the atom bomb and put Americans on the moon, to overcome the energy shortage and free United States foreign policy from the threat of Arab “blackmail.”

He spoke Thursday to 200 volunteer workers for the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York in the UJA headquarters who were ending a summer series of weekly telephone solicitation sessions. The gatherings have raised $2 million for humanitarian programs aiding Jews from the Soviet Union and other immigrants resettled in Israel, America and other havens, as well as needy and endangered Jews in 25 countries throughout the world.

“It’s appalling to me,” Harriman declared, “to see these oil companies advertising that we’ve got to butter up the Arabs because we want to drive our automobiles here. We can’t let ourselves get in that position. The United States of America cannot permit itself to be held up by the Arabs.”

The former diplomat. Cabinet member and Governor of New York warned: “We can’t let the Arabs come to a point where they can blackmail us, but that is coming close to happening because of this sudden shortage of energy. Why this was allowed to happen without any notice of danger, I don’t know. But we must have a crash program in this country to increase production of oil and in other ways increase our energy.” He cited as examples the Manhattan Project which resulted in the atom bomb during World War II and the space program of the 1960s.


Harriman, who for a quarter of a century was one of the principal American negotiators with the Soviet Union and other Communist powers, also commented on the increased harassment of Jews and dissident intellectuals in the Soviet Union that has followed Soviet party secretary Leonid Brezhnev’s visit to the U.S. last June.

He decried the policy of “discrimination based on the quality of a man’s education” under which the Soviet authorities have withheld exit permits from a number of Jews wishing to emigrate to Israel. He said the U.S. must make it plain that it “will never come to an understanding of real detente with the Soviet Union until they do accept human rights, which are so vital to our life.”

The 1973 New York UJA drive has raised a total of $65,647,000 since it began Feb. 1, according to Herbert Tenzer, chairman of the campaign with William Levitt. He noted that this is $1,948,000 more than at the corresponding point in 1972 and represents a 19.8 percent increase over last year in individual giving.

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