NEW YORK (Oct. 22)
Rep. Morris K. Udall (D.Ariz.) last night accused President Ford of “looking the other way” with regard to American firms that have complied with the Arab boycott against firms doing business with Israel. The legislator, a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination, also charged that the Administration is engaged in “double think and double talk” at “the expense of Israel and our nation’s principles” by providing Jordan and Saudi Arabia with highly sophisticated weaponry which may be used against Israel.
Udall Issued these charges in his address at the annual dinner of the American Friends of the Hebrew University. The dinner honored the 50th anniversary of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Dr. Howard A. Rusk, chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and director of the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University Medical Center, and Dr. Walter A. L. Thompson, chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Medical Center who has assisted in the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers in Israel since the Yom Kippur War, received the Torch of Learning Award from the American Friends.
Referring to the Arab boycott, Udall said that “nearly a year ago President Ford told us that discrimination against institutions or individuals on religious or ethnic grounds is ‘totally contrary to the American tradition and repugnant to American principles. It has no place in the free practice of commerce as it has flourished in this country….’ His words were strong and seemed unequivocal, but he has taken absolutely no action to put a stop to it.”
CITES ADMINISTRATIVE OPPOSITION
Udall noted that under the Export Administration Act, all U.S. firms receiving requests for compliance with the Arab boycott are required to report this fact to the Department of Commerce. “But when Subcommittee chairman John Moss requested copies of all filed reports, Secretary of Commerce (Rogers) Morton refused to comply,” Udall said.
The importance of securing these reports “can hardly be questioned.” the lawmaker said. “The catalogue of blacklisted companies–including CBS, NBC, Ford Motor Company, Coca-Cola, and nearly 2000 others–is breathtaking in its sweep. Clearly Congress must have these American reports in order to learn which companies have been requested to comply with the boycott, what their responses were, and how far the boycott has spread before appropriate legislative action can be taken.”
Udall said that further hearings are being held this week in an attempt to break the impasse. “I believe Congress will act, but I find it almost incomprehensible that we should be facing administrative opposition on an issue of such profound importance to one of our most cherished constitutional protections, the freedom of religion,” he declared.
DOUBLE TALK REGARDING ISRAEL
Focussing on the Middle East situation, Udall called upon Ford and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger not to back away from American commitments to Israel. “Many of our interests in the Middle East,” Udall said, “converge with those of Israel, the only functioning democracy in that troubled area. Regretfully we are now witnessing the double think and double talk by our current Administration at the expense of Israel and our nation’s principles.”
However, Udall stated, “the Ford Administration is clear in its firm economic as well as military commitments to Egypt. We are providing Saudi Arabia and Jordan with highly sophisticated weaponry which may be used against Israel.” Udall called this arms build-up one of the most dangerous developments in the Middle East.