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3 Major U.S. Firms, 2 Banks Deny Participating in the Arab Boycott

The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith today revealed that three American corporations and two banks named last month by the Arab Boycott Committee as having submitted proof of compliance with anti Israel boycott rules “were being used as innocent pawns in an Arab propaganda effort to counter the new U.S. anti-boycott law.”

According to Burton M. Joseph, ADL’s national chairman, all five firms–General Electric, General Motors, Westinghouse, Barclays Bank and Bank of America–have informed ADL that they do not discriminate and that they maintain business relationships with both Israel and the Arab world.

The responses came in answer to the ADL’s request for “what documentation, if any” had been submitted to the Arab boycott office in exchange for not being blacklisted. It had been announced at the Arab Boycott Committee conference in Alexandria, Egypt, that Barclays was removed from the blacklist and GE, GM, Westinghouse and Bank of America would not be put on because, following warnings, they had given proof of not having business ties with Israel.

Joseph said “the Arabs have often used the blacklist as a propaganda tool. Although we gave little credence to their latest announcement, ADL queried those named to see if there was any truth to the Arab Boycott Committee claims, and we were not surprised when the five firms disavowed the boycott office assertions.”

Joseph said that ADL will continue to check Arab Boycott Committee claims and will also monitor compliance by American firms with the new U.S. anti-boycott law, which carries criminal penalties for complying with, furthering, or supporting a foreign boycott. The low is based, in part, on a Statement of Principles, developed last March by the ADL and the Business Roundtable, which includes General Electric, General Motors and Westinghouse among the 170 corporations it represents.

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