Clinton Pledges Strong Effort to End Boycott of Firms Dealing with Israel

In a letter to a New York congressman, President Clinton has pledged his administration’s “unrelenting efforts” to try to end the Arab boycott of companies doing business with Israel.

Clinton wrote July 27 to Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the head of a congressional anti-boycott task force, in response to a June 7 letter from Schumer and almost 100 other members of Congress.

“I will continue to take every opportunity to ensure all countries understand that ending the boycott of firms doing business with Israel is a high priority of my administration,” the president wrote.

Clinton has been supportive of anti-boycott efforts by Jewish groups and others.

At the recent meeting of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations, the United States led a successful effort resulting in a joint statement urging an end to the boycott.

The statement was received with mixed reactions by Jewish groups, who were pleased that the statement was released but concerned that it lacked specificity.

In his letter, Clinton praised the government of Kuwait for announcing publicly that it will no longer enforce the so-called secondary and tertiary boycotts of companies doing business with Israel.

But some boycott-watchers have expressed concerns recently that Kuwait does not intend to abide by its public announcement.

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