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Ajcongress Calls for Probe of Arab Boycott Extension

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– The American Jewish Congress has called for a federal investigation or Arab plans to expand the economic boycott of Israel. The expanded economic boycott was proclaimed in Taif, Saudi Arabia, at the conclusion last Thursday or a three-day summit conference of leaders of 37 Islamic nations and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Donald Regan, Howard Squadron, president of the AJCongress, pointed out that the Treasury Department is required by the Internal Revenue Code to maintain a list of nations that participate in the boycott. He urged that any countries that join the boycott as a result of the Taif declaration be added to the U.S. list. He said the Treasury should take “appropriate action to insure that U.S. firms and businessmen comply with the anti-boycott law.”

The most recent quarterly Treasury Department report on the boycott lists 14 Arab countries that participate in the boycott. The reported terms of the action taken in Taif could more than double the size of the boycott, which seeks to punish firms that do business with Israel, Squadron noted. Under the declaration, such non-Arab nations as Turkey, Pakistan and Indonesia would be expected to join the boycott.

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