Menu JTA Search

Herzog Urges Economic Counter-offensive Against Arab Pressure

General Haim Herzog, Israel’s semi-official war commentator and a former military intelligence chief, called on world Jewry to mount a counter-offensive against Arab economic pressure. He proposed the establishment of a world body of Jewish leadership to direct such an effort. While praising world Jewry’s financial efforts for Israel, he complained that its economic and purchasing potential were not being used in an all-out war against the Arab oil boycott and other economic pressure. He blamed Jewish leadership for this–both in Israel and in the diaspora. Herzog, who is identified with the ex-Rafi wing of the Labor Party, stated in a Jerusalem Post article:

“….world Jewish leadership, including Israeli leadership, but particularly American Jewish leadership, had proved hesitant and weak and failed to rise to the occasion…world Jewish leadership has come to Israel in order to demonstrate its financial support. The question is…why the leaders of world Jewry have not set up a body to counter the economic war being waged against us. One can only put this down to the fact that they are always looking over their shoulders to see what the Israeli leadership will suggest, when in fact they themselves should have taken the lead.”

As an example of what could be achieved, Herzog recommended that world Jewry sympathize with Holland “in practical terms,” such as switching tourism from elsewhere in Europe to Holland, patronizing KLM and transferring industrial orders wherever possible to Dutch companies.

Herzog continued: “Japan, and after Japan the rest of Asia is under threat from the Arab world. Reports say the Jewish reaction in the U.S. has been low-keyed. The time has come to break away from such diplomatic niceties which are doubtless being dictated to American Jewish leadership by timid Israeli officials. The threat of a Jewish counter-boycott, in America and throughout the world, of Japanese products and airlines, should have been voiced in terms no less clear and unmistakable than the Arab threats. The forging of a weapon of this kind is in many respects no less important than the strengthening of the Israel defense forces.”

(In the U.S., leading Jewish organizations such as the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Zionist Organization of America and the Labor Zionist Alliance have begun nation-wide educational campaigns to counter Arab oil embargo propaganda and have urged counter-embargoes against the Arab oil-producing states.)

NEXT STORY