NEW YORK (Sep. 27)
Three major American Jewish organizations have denounced the Mobil Oil Corp. for an advertisement opposing the proposals in Congress for combatting the Arab boycott. In separate statements, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the American Jewish Congress and the Zionist Organization of America accused Mobil of trying to frighten the American public.
The Mobil advertisement, which appeared in 100 daily newspapers across the country, said that “legislation now being considered by the U.S. Congress…in effect would either penalize American companies or prohibit them from doing business with and/or in Arab countries.”
Alvin Gray, of Cleveland, co-chairman of the AJ Congress national governing council, called this “scare tactics” in an address last week to the annual meeting of the AJ Congress. He said the bills in Congress “bar American companies from complying with demands by Arab countries that they boycott Israel and boycott other companies that deal with Israel.”
“This is considerably different from prohibiting American companies from doing business with the Arab states,” Gray said. “Indeed, the simplest answer to the Mobil advertisement is that many American companies continue to deal with the Arabs while defying their boycott demands.”
WHAT MOBIL REALLY FEARS
The ADL, in a newspaper advertisement today accused Mobil of “pitting Americans against Americans to achieve Arab goals” and of “pitting American companies against the best interests of the American people.”
Rejecting the claim by Mobil that opposition to the boycott could reduce the United States “to a second-rate power,” the ADL advertisement charged that “What Mobil really fears is this: that if Mobil stands up with the United States against the boycott, something might happen to Mobil’s profits from Arab oil.”
The ADL said this “makes it pretty apparent that profit is more important to Mobil than American principles are. No American company’s bankbook should become more important than its own conscience. Or its own country.”
Dr. Joseph Sternstein, president of the ZOA, in a letter to Mobil president W.P. Tavoulareas, accused Mobil of engaging in “fear propaganda” by stating that the legislation would deprive the U.S. of the ability to import Arab oil and sell goods to the Arabs. “The propaganda is not supported by reason” and this is proven by “the fact that the Arabs are trading with opponents of the boycott elsewhere,” Sternstein said.
He noted that the Mobil advertisement ignored the “indisputable fact that the Arabs are boycotting American firms which employ Jewish personnel or have Jewish directors.” He said Mobil ignored the threat of the boycott to the unity of the American people “composed of so many ethnic and religious groups. Religious and ethnic divisiveness is bound to shake the very foundation of American life with dire consequences to the country’s existence.”
There will be no Bulletins dated Oct. 4 and 5 due to the Yom Kippur holiday.