ADL Leader Urges British Jews to Fight for Anti-boycott Legislation

Anglo-Jewish groups involved in the fight against the Arab boycott were told today that if they did not succeed in the campaign to introduce anti-boycott legislation, like that enacted in the United States, their community would be “overwhelmed” by the power of the Arab oil weapon.

Burton M. Joseph, national chairman of the American Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, told a private luncheon of communal leaders that the aim of the Arab boycott was to set Jews apart in the business communities of the west, as happened in Germany in the 1930s. They should therefore “get out in front and fight,” as had American Jewry in the struggle for the anti-boycott legislation passed through Congress in 1976.

American Jewry, he said, had been “frightened beyond belief when we saw how U.S. banks and businesses were lining up to sign contracts with restrictive clauses.”

WILL PRESENT VIEWS IN HOUSE OF LORDS

Tomorrow, Joseph will be the first witness to speak in support of draft anti-boycott legislation before a House of Lords committee. He emphasized today that legislation was not a matter of supporting Jews against Arabs but of backing the principles and values on which British society–like America’s–was founded. If the fight for the legislation was not successful this time, it would be very much harder in the future, he added.

Lord Fisher of Camden, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, welcoming Joseph, stressed that the struggle against racism, discrimination and anti-Semitism were indivisible and thanked him for the help which the Board’s defense committee had received from the ADL.

Lewis Goodman, chairman of the Anglo-Israel Chamber of Commerce, who will testify at the House of Lords’ committee next week, said it was appropriate, in view of American Jewry’s success in combatting the boycott, that the committee’s first witness should be the ADL’s chairman.

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