New Law Against Arab Boycott

Mayor Edward Koch signed into law Tuesday a law which, in effect, prohibits New York City from business dealings with companies that participate in the Arab boycott.

Legislation was introduced by Councilmen Herbert Berman, Leon Katz, Eugene Mastropieri and other members more than a year ago. It had the strong backing of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), the central coordinating body for 26 major Jewish organizations in the metropolitan area; the Jewish American Political Action Committee (JAPAC), a New York-based organization focusing on political education and political action; the American Jewish Congress; and the American Jewish Committee.

All four organizations provided testimony and technical assistance as the bill progressed through the legislative channels. A statement issued by the four organizations expressed satisfaction with the support of the Mayor and the City Council “in the passage of this landmark legislation. This law now puts all future city contractors on notice that the city will not, directly or indirectly, tolerate support for those who participate in the discriminatory practices of the Arab boycott. The moral implications of this bill are significant. They clearly show the city’s commitment to the principles of fair trade. We hope that this law will serve as a model for legislation in other cities and state legislatures across the country.”

The new law, which complements and strengthens federal legislation enacted into law last year, also received the support of many New York City businesses and corporations and had the backing of Council Majority Leader Thomas Cuite, Council President Carol Bellamy, Deputy Mayor Ronay Menschel and the Koch Administration.

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