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Mobil Oil Corp. Says No to Zoa’s Suggestion for a Public Debate

Dr. Joseph P. Sternstein, president of the Zionist Organization of American, has challenged M.P. Tavoulareas president of the Mobil Oil Corporation, to a face-to-face public forum before Oct. 21 in New York or Washington to deal with the statements advanced in public ads by the oil firm regarding the Arab boycott. The ZOA leader, in a cable to Tavoulareas, said he accepted the Mobil call for “thorough public hearings.”

However, in a statement issued by Mobil, the firm said “it is not its intention to inject itself into a debate over the issue of economic boycotts. The sole purpose of its statements has been to try to bring attention of the American public its interpretation of a particular piece of legislation and to present its analysis of the consequences that would ensue if the legislation were enacted.”

The oil firm proposed that Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal (D.NY) and Sternstein “join with Mobil in selecting a prominent law firm to review the conflicting interpretations of the socalled anti-boycott legislation HR 15377 to determine whose interpretation is correct.”

The ZOA, along with other major Jewish organizations, including the American Jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, termed the Mobil ad, which appeared last month in numerous newspapers across the country as an attempt to frighten the American public.

In a related move, the Central Conference of American Rabbis expressed its “disgust” at what it termed Mobil’s “outrageous outpouring of lies, distortions and crass appeals for Arab business over national morality.” The Reform organization said it is urging “all with whom we are in contact to join us by tearing up our Mobil credit cards” and returning them to the firm’s office in New York.

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