CHARLESTON, S.C. (Mar. 31)
The Charleston County Council will act Apr. 11 on a re-zoning request from the Kiawah Beach Co., a subsidiary seeking to develop the 10-mile oceanic island for the Kuwaiti Investment Co. which is owned by the government and royal family of Kuwait, The battle over re-zoning to permit the development has made the island off the South Carolina coast the focus of public reaction to Arab influence from expanding Arab Investments in this country. The County Council set the April hearing date after holding a meeting last Tuesday to hear arguments on the re-zoning decision.
The 3000-member Charleston Jewish community, in cooperation with conservation groups, protested last Tuesday and earlier this month. against the development of the Island by Kuwait which bought the barrier strip last year for $17.4 million. Frank Brumley, general manager of the Kiawah Beach Co., said at last Tuesday’s hearing that the firm would go ahead with or without the zoning change but that such a change would make possible a planned development rather than a piecemeal approach.
Jewish organizations sponsored a rally outside the County Council meeting hall, in advance of the public hearing, protesting the Arab ties to the project. One of the 1600 American companies on the Arab blacklist has headquarters here.
Kenneth Goodman, manager of a local radio station, told the hearing that Arab pressure applied to companies doing business with the development firm “can be totally destructive to our American way of life.” Declaring that the Council would not allow a polluting industry to move into the island, Goodman said, “How can you allow a polluter of hate and discrimination to move into our community?” Rabbi Charles Sherman, speaking for the Charleston Jewish Welfare Fund, said American blood was shed “so that no country could take by force what the Arabs would take with oil money.”
Brumley replied that his company had pledged non-discrimination and was now doing business with Jewish-owned enterprises. He said he did not know what the company would do if the Arab owners selected firms not to do business with but he insisted his company would not parties bate in any illegal secondary boycott.