JERUSALEM (Jun. 18)
Jewish communities in the U.S. could help Israeli action against the Arab boycott by supplying advance information on pressures and other actions by those who operate the Arab boycott, Avraham Agmon, the recently-appointed government advisor on the fight against the Arab boycott said yesterday.
Speaking before the Jewish Agency Assembly here, Agmon, formerly the director general of the Finance Ministry, said plans were now being draw up for legal action in the U.S. Any legally accepted evidence could thus make this action successful, he said. “This is not only the struggle of the State of Israel,” but of the entire Jewish people, because the boycott is aimed at the Jews throughout the world,” Agmon said. Mideast issues, Fisher asserts.
Of Sen. Percy’s recent pro-Palestinian statements, Fisher says: “I can’t understand him, Nobody can understand him. Perhaps he has Presidential ambitions and is currying favor with big business…”
The Jewish Agency Assembly this year is taking place under the shadow of steeply declining aliya figures from the Soviet Union. Fisher sighs resignedly–as if to say: I told you so. He had warned, he now recalls, against forcing the Soviets into an intolerable situation. “Nixon and Kissinger kept saying all along: Let’s not rub their faces in it….” Fisher was inclined to agree with them. He advocated striking a deal with the Soviets–beneficial to all concerned and with all concerned able to live with it honorably. In the light of hindsight, he blames Sen. Henry M. (Scoop) Jackson’s (D.Wash.) Presidential ambitions primarily for the impolitic “overkill,” The last straw for the Soviets had been the niggardly $300 million trade credits voted by Congress as part of the most favored nation clause. “The result is that they have little incentive to let the Jews leave,” Fisher points out.
The Jewish pressure groups were also partly to blame for the overkill. Fisher says sadly. The Soviet Jewry campaign developed a momentum of its own which in the end overreached itself. Everyone acted out of the very best motives. Jackson “has always been a good friend of the Jews,” Fisher stresses. But the overall result has been to weaken rather than strengthen the leverage wherewith it was hoped to influence the Soviets towards a more liberal emigration policy.