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ADL Report Warns About America’s Growing Dependence on Arab Oil

February 14, 1990
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

America’s growing dependence on imported Arab oil could erode U.S. support for Israel in the 1990s, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith warned in a report issued here Sunday.

The report, titled “America’s Oil Situation: Still Getting Worse,” was released by Burton Levinson, ADL’s national chairman, on the final day of the organization’s National Executive Committee meeting here.

It points out that U.S. oil production hit a 25-year low last year, while U.S. dependence on imported oil increased almost 9 percent.

But U.S. dependence on oil from members of OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, went up 18 percent, and dependence on oil from the dominant Arab members of OPEC increased 20 percent, ADL reported.

“Every American citizen who cares about the future of his country and its economic well-being, and every citizen who believes that U.S. Middle East policy should be conducted free from foreign pressures should be concerned,” said Levinson.

The report recalled that in the 1970s, Washington was the target of blackmail by the Arab members of OPEC, “and that oil dependence spawned U.S. vulnerability to petrodollar diplomacy.”

Now, instead of the overtly hostile policies of the 1970s, the Arab oil producers, especially Saudi Arabia, “appear to be ‘killing us with kindness,’ in an apparent effort to preserve the long-term market for their oil,” the report said.

It cited as an example the Saudi offer to help the United States fill its Strategic Petroleum Reserve by leasing it oil.

ADL pointed out that the reserve was established after the Arab oil boycott of 1973 and was resolutely opposed by the Arab oil producers.

“The Saudi record of the last 15 or 17 years makes it clear that they have sabotaged American peacemaking efforts in the Middle East, that they sought to undercut and undermine the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and that their actions belie the mythology of the desert kingdom as being ‘moderate,’ ‘pro-Western’ and ‘pro-American,’ ” the report said.

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