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ADL Charges Administration with Being ‘soft’ on Boycott Problem

June 2, 1975
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith charged here this weekend that key Ford Administration agencies have approached the problem of the Arab boycott “in an uncoordinated manner resulting in contradictory policies, buck-passing and confusion.” The ADL said at its three-day National Executive Committee meeting that the agencies had “an overall soft philosophy” on the problem.

Seymour Graubard, ADL chairman, charged that “a parade of high administration officials” had testified before Congress against proposals for anti-boycott and regulatory foreign investment laws.” Graubard said that the reaction from some federal departments on the problem was “disturbingly negative” and characterized by rationalization and even protestation that the documented wrongs are unavoidable or “do not exist at all.”

However, he said, some other government agencies have moved affirmatively to support President Ford’s “excellent policy statement” on the issue. He said his comments were based on the findings of an ADL survey on the results of the ADL’s disclosures in February and March that government departments and private industry were violating U.S. policy and regulations to do business with the Arabs.


The ADL report listed a number of “corrective proposals which are much needed” but which “have been received by executive departments with lukewarmth if not open hostility.” They included a ban on secondary boycotts; a ban against business contracts involving religious discrimination; a mandatory prohibition against domestic exporters taking actions, including furnishing information or signing agreements, which have the effect of supporting boycotts or other restrictive trade practices imposed by a foreign country against another country friendly to the U.S.; a rule suspending foreign aid or military sales to any nation guilty of religious or racial discriminatory business practices; government controls over the acquisition of substantial equity securities of major American firms by foreign investors who have tried to force American businessmen to engage in secondary boycotts; and governmental control over the acquisition of material interest in strategic industries, resources, or mass media by foreign investors.

Graubard said the shipping and banking industries continue to be major boycott participants.


The ADL said that to date, only three of the charges it made nearly four months ago have been successfully resolved.

The ADL said the Overseas Private Investment Corp., a governmental body cited by the ADL for having asked an American business firm to withdraw the name of its Jewish vice president from a list of proposed participants in an OPIV mission to the Middle East and North Africa, had apologized for the incident.

Two private firms, the Ashland Chemical Co., Ashland, Ky, and Pacific Pump Corp, Huntington Park, Calif., announced they are now prepared to do business with Israel, the report said.

The ADL said it was now “up to President Ford to see to it that Executive agencies follow his publicly announced declaration of policy.”

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