NEW YORK (Oct. 18)
The National Conference on Soviet Jewry has denounced an Arab group’s latest threats as “ill-advised, illegal and unwarranted.”
Following a Damascus meeting today, the boycott group, the Arab Bureau for the Boycott of Israel, which is part of the Arab League, announced that it would blacklist airlines and shipping companies carrying Jewish immigrants to Israel.
NCSJ Chairwoman Shoshana Cardin urged “all carriers, and the nations they represent, to resist this attack, which has no validity in international law, and to make it clear to the Arab Bureau, the perpetrator of this attempt at pressure and intimidation, that their tactics will not be effective.”
Simcha Dinitz, chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, which oversees immigration, noted from Jerusalem, “We’ve heard these threats in the past from time to time. This is nothing new.
“The threats are not justified, and they have no economic power. We are confident that they won’t have an effect on the exodus of Soviet Jews on the return to their homeland, and no effect on the cooperation that Israel has with companies and governments abroad.”
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, chairman of the Greater New York Coalition for Soviet Jewry, characterized the Arab Bureau threat as “outright blackmail.
“It is clear that Israel’s enemies are attempting to exploit the tensions in the Middle East, and are also trying to take advantage of the economic straits in which many companies find themselves,” he said in a statement.
The Arab Bureau, since its founding in 1951, has attempted to force companies to end their relationships with Israel, in an effort to isolate the Jewish state.
But it has not been effective. One notable example is that some Arab Gulf states have ignored the bureau’s decree banning products made by the Coca-Cola Company.