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House Group to Probe Ford’s Response to Arab Discrimination Against American Jewish Employes

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Rep. Jack Brooks (D.Tex.), chairman of the House Government Operations Committee, today announced hearings for July 27, by the Government Information and Individual Rights Subcommittee headed by Rep. Bella S. Abzug (D.-L NY) on the Ford Administration’s response to discrimination by Arab countries against Jewish employes of the federal government and its contractors. Representatives of the State Department and the Civil Service Commission are expected to testify at the hearing. Representatives of Jewish organizations are also expected to testify.

Ford issued a directive Nov. 20, 1975 to all federal departments and agencies, in response to a series of hearings on this subject held by the Abzug subcommittee in April 1975. At that time, Administration witnesses indicated that Executive branch agencies and their contractors had declined to assign Jewish workers to Arab nations or had failed to seek reversal of Arab refusals to issue visas to Jewish employes of the federal government. The hearings also dealt with discrimination against women. Blacks and other minorities by host countries.

“Mr. Ford’s directive,” said Ms. Abzug today, “apparently does no more than restate the inadequate policy that we were told existed back in April, namely that the agencies don’t discriminate as a matter of policy and that if a host country refuses a visa on the basis of race, color religion, sex or age, all the State Department will do is to ‘take appropriate action through diplomatic channels.”

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