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Jacob Stein Urges Economic Retaliation Against Oil Embargoes

Economic retaliation against Arab oil embargoes was urged by Jacob Stein, president of United Synagogue of America. The proposal came in his president’s report to the biennial convention of the United Synagogue at the Concord Hotel here which opened Monday. Stein, who is also chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, called on President Nixon to reply to Arab embargoes and cutbacks with “an immediate embargo on food, automobiles, aircraft, and manufactured goods, and a ban on tourism.” Continuing, he said, ‘America must never yield to the blackmail of Arab oil,” or to “the wishes of feudal oil sheikhs in the Persian Gulf.” He criticized the submissive attitudes of some European governments in the face of Arab embargo threats, pointing out that European security “depends on a strong, viable Israel blocking the Soviet march to take over the energy-producing states” of the Middle East.

Tracing some of the factors in the Arab invasion of Israel on Yom Kippur, Stein ascribed some of the blame to the Soviet Union. “The Soviets consider themselves free, under detente,” he said, “to encourage their client states to war,” adding that the USSR persists in Russia’s “age-long ambition to dominate the Middle East, to secure warm-water ports for her navy.” The Soviet Union he said is the ideological adversary, the military competitor, the economic rival of the United States, “and American interests are best served by our being wary and suspicious.” Stein also denounced the harassment of Jews in the USSR while praising Nixon and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger for their efforts on behalf of Soviet Jewry.

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