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Members of Congress Welcome Navy’s Withdrawal of ‘haifa Clause’

February 23, 1960
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Friends of Israel today expressed hope here that the Navy action, in striking the anti-Israel “Haifa clause” from shipping contracts–which has been criticized as abetting the Arab boycott–indicated a firmer United States Government, stand against Arab boycott and blockade practices.

Members of Congress made known that while they welcomed the Navy’s abandonment of the discriminatory clause, they would continue seeking a policy under which the Government would refuse to collaborate in any way with anti-Israel and anti-Jewish discrimination practiced by the Arab League.

(The announcement by the United States Navy that it had dropped a contract clause which in effect had abetted the Arab League boycott of Israel for nearly two years was received with satisfaction by Israel officials in Jerusalem. Hope was expressed here that this action would be followed up by practical steps to ensure avoidance of any discrimination against either ships or companies dealing with Israel.)

Department of Agriculture sources explained that a different situation pertains to another shipping issue affecting vessels trading with Israel. The United States pays ocean transportation costs to transport surplus commodities to foreign nations. But the recipient nations are entitled to make the actual shipping contracts. Therefore, the United Arab Republic, receiving U.S. surplus commodities, could refuse to approve a contract with any ship on the Arab blacklist. The UAR would have final say.

Department of Agriculture officials held that such chartering is removed from their direct control. Surplus commodities are virtual gifts, as is the ocean transportation expense, but the transactions are technically considered “sales” to be paid in local currency of the foreign nation. When paid, the United States finds ways of spending the local currency in the foreign nation for the benefit of its development and other projects.

(In New York, the American Jewish Congress urged that the Agriculture Department follow the example of the Navy and end practices aiding the Arab boycott against trade with Israel.

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