THE ECONOMIC WAR AGAINST THE JEWS by Walter Henry & Terence Prittie Nelson


Email this review


Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has been the target of economic sanctions by the Arab states through the boycott of firms dealing with Israel--a boycott which has extended, unofficially, to firms owned or controlled, or even simply represented, by Jews. For that reason, and because they cite pre-Israel examples of economic discrimination against Jews, the authors have not chosen the title ""The Economic War Against Israel."" Nelson and Prittie, though, cannot decide how effective or systematic the boycott has been. There are ample illustrations of companies--Ford and Hilton Hotels, for two--that are officially blacklisted but still able to deal with Arab nations, and the boycott may even have helped Israel, the authors believe, to create a diversified and ""modern"" economic system. They also take a rather naive, free-trade view of international economics, asserting, for example, that the OPEC oil price rise was solely aimed at upsetting Israel's economic relations and ignoring the context of artificially low energy prices, as well as the distinction between the price increase and the oil embargo, which clearly was aimed at Israel. Prittie and Nelson describe the mechanisms employed in the Arab boycott--ranging from veiled threats of sanctions to peremptory compliance by some firms--but their disregard for the conventions of sound scholarship casts reliability into doubt. They often cite newspaper articles and advertisements not from the originals but from secondary materials such as Anti-Defamation League press releases and reports--a hardly unbiased source besides. The boycott exists, certainly, but this cannot be considered definitive on either a factual or an interpretive level.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1977
Publisher: Random House