Herzog Condemns’ Jewish Failure’ to Counter-attack Arab Boycott

Haim Herzog, the noted military analyst, a former chief of intelligence and the new Ambassador to the United Nations, issued a searing attack against what he termed “the Jewish failure” to counter-attack the Arab boycott. The salvo was fired against both the Israeli government and the Jewish leadership in the diaspora.

Herzog, in an article published in the influential daily, “Haaretz,” called upon the Israeli government to establish a central government body which would deal with the boycott, and as a first step urged the convening of a world Jewish economic conference in Jerusalem which would organize the battle against the boycott.

He noted that in the summer of 1973, prior to the Yom Kippur War, he had suggested the formation of an international Jewish organization which would take the offensive against the boycott in areas where Jews are economically influential. He noted that this was reported widely in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and the general news media but that nothing came of this in the way of concrete notions. Only after the war, Herzog noted, did Jews from all over the world express their willingness to join in this campaign. However, he said, the favorable reaction was not implemented in any practical way.

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Herzog stated that some Israeli governmental agencies and private organizations, as well as some world Jewish organizations sloughed over the problem, and instead merely set up committees to study the problem–which meant, in effect, postponing rather than dealing with the issue–or else issued platitudinous statements, which also had the net result of postponing any viable, coordinated, world-wide actions.

“Jewish reaction, insofar as it exists, is local and not global,” Herzog stated. “The relative success of the local reactions only proves what could have been done had world Jewry and other sympathizers been coordinated properly.” Herzog said.

In a stinging critique of the Israeli government, Herzog stated that “in all its years it did not evaluate the importance of this subject and did not establish an appropriate body to counter-attack and to provide the Jewish world with guidance and leadership.” This absence of leadership, he contended, was all the more alarming because Jews want to help, but they do not because there is nobody to organize them.

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