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Mondale Back Anti-boycott Bills

“The boycott by Arab nations of firms that do business with Israel is reprehensible.” Sen. Walter Mondale (D.Minn.) told an Israeli Bond drive dinner here last night. The Senator announced his strong support of two measures aimed at breaking the boycott in the United States.

Mondale noted that “the boycott has the destructive side-effect of poisoning relations among American firms, and striking at the principle of non-discrimination upon which our social and legal system is based.” The boycott affects not only companies that do business with Israel but also companies whose officers or major stockholders have been identified not only as pro-Israeli, but also of the Jewish faith, he said. Such-Minnesota firms as Reserve Mining Company and Scherr-Tumica of St. James are on the Arab blacklist as are such major national corporations as Coca-Cola. CBS, Ford Motor Company and Korvette.

“There are two ways of dealing with this danger and I strongly support both of them.” Mondale pointed out. “I am co-sponsoring Senator (Abraham) Ribicoff’s (D.Conn.) bill to deny U.S. tax advantages–including the foreign tax credit, deferral and Domestic International Sales Corporation benefits–on any foreign source income earned as a result of participation in the boycott. This would eliminate the tax benefits that have led many firms to choose economic self-interest over moral and legal principles of the United States.”

The second way of combatting this problem is dealt with in a bill offered by Sen. Adlai Stevenson (D.Ill.) that soon should be before the Senate for a vote, Mondale said. He said it would provide for mandatory reporting of all demands, and an accounting of whether a U.S. firm plans to comply, with full public disclosure of all such requests and plans. “In other words,” he said, “the bill is designed to make sure companies are forced to consider not only the desires of their OPEC clients, but also the reaction of the American people to such policies.”

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