NEW YORK (Jul. 11)
Charles J. Patterson, vice president for corporate relations of the Perini Corp., told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that his firm has “never violated” U.S. legislation against the Arab boycott of Israel. He was responding to reports published in Israel yesterday that the Framingham, Mass. company, a primary contractor for the construction of two U.S. financed air bases in the Negev was an active participant in the Arab boycott.
That allegation was contained in what was termed an internal memo of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith which the Jerusalem Post. published. The memo said the company was known to do business with Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and signed agreements with those countries that contained clauses enforcing the anti-Israel boycott.
Asked by the JTA for clarification, Patterson read the following statement; “The only project the Perini Corp. has ever had in the Arab world was the construction of a hospital in Kuwait. In connection with that project and in any other activities in which the corporation has been involved, we have never violated any U.S. anti-boycott laws or any regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Commerce in connection with such laws.”
EARLIER REPORT RECALLED
A spokesman for the ADL in New York confirmed to the JTA yesterday that the internal memo, dated June 11, 1979, existed and that the Perini Corp. has been under “study” by the ADL. He explained, however, that the contents of the memo were based on news items and magazine articles published in the U.S. between 1976-1978, including a story in the June 22, 1976 JTA Daily News Bulletin.
That story, which originated in Boston, said that bill to outlaw the Arab boycott in Massachusetts remained stalled in the State Senate because of the vigorous opposition of the Raytheon Corp. and the Perini Construction Co. According to the story, “Their representatives said at a meeting last week at the office of Senate President Kevin Harrington that while the firms do not favor the Arab boycott, they felt the bill, as written, could be injurious to their business and was an unconstitutional state usurpation of federal power that could be harmful to U.S. trade abroad.”
The Perini Corp. is the managing company of one of the two consortiums selected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last May 18 to build the Negev air bases that will replace those Israel gives up when it withdraws from Sinai. According to Patterson, the Corps of Engineers estimated the cost of the bases at $400 million each. He said that with various managerial and other related contracts the total cost would be about $1 billion.