WASHINGTON (Mar. 9)
A large bipartisan bloc of Congressmen have asked U.S. Attorney General Edward H, Levi to investigate “Arab-inspired discrimination against Jews” by some federal agencies and private American business concerns.
The request was contained in a letter signed by more than 120 members of the House, including the Democratic Majority Leader, Rep. Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. (D.Mass) and the Republican Minority Leader John J. Rhodes (R. Arizona). The letter, made public Friday, was prepared by Representatives Elizabeth Holtzman (D.NY) and Sidney Yates (D.III.).
“Federal agencies, in particular the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of State, have honored discriminatory demands by certain Arab countries” against Jews and “a number of private American business firms have honored similar demands with respect to those firms’ own personnel,” the letter said.
The reported practices, the Congressmen said, are “legally–and certain morally–intolerable.” Such discrimination, it said, may well violate U.S. anti-trust and civil rights statutes, as well as two Executive orders.
“Particularly dismaying,” the Congressmen said, is the involvement of government agencies in the alleged illegal discrimination. “This kind of official lawlessness is a fundamental threat to our basic concept of a government based on equal justice under the law.”
The Congressmen asked Levi for a full investigation of the allegations of official and private discrimination and to “take appropriate action in any instance in which you have reason to believe that United States citizens–whether in their private or official capacities–have violated the law.”