Arab nations ended a ban on nine foreign companies Thursday, including the American firms Ford Motor Co. and Colgate-Palmolive Co. They added 28 new companies, including five from the United States, to a blacklist of those firms that do business with Israel.
The Arab Boycott of Israel organization, meeting in its 53rd conference, also erased the names of 13 other foreign companies from the blacklist, but delayed for six months the date they can operate in the member nations, Chairman Nurallah Nurallah of Syria announced.
Durametallic Corp. of the United States was among the companies that must wait the six months before it can operate in the 21 Arab countries.
The lifting of the ban on Ford ended 18 years of Arab boycotts of the company that began when the firm set up an assembly plant in Israel in 1967. The plant later closed because it lost money.
The five newly barred U.S. companies, as announced by the Arab Boycott Office, are the GAF Corp., Mr. Tire Inc., Armstrong Machine Works, Zamilco International Inc. and Emerald Trading Corp.
"We have lifted the ban against Ford and all others because they have complied with all boycott rules and provided written and certified evidence to that (affect)," Nurallah told reporters.
The Arab boycott group, formed in 1950 by the Arab League, also lifted a ban on films starring Egyptian-born actor Omar Sharif. He was blacklisted at Jordan's request for his role in "Lawrence of Arabia," which the Amman government contended was unfavorable to the Hashemite dynasty.
Boycott officials said the Arab nations introduced a code of conduct in 1952 that calls for blacklisting foreign companies whose ties with Israel are believed to strengthen the Jewish state's economy or its military.
A company is added to the blacklist if the Arab nations believe it has broken the code. Names are removed when companies provide documented evidence of their innocence or show that they no longer are engaged in practices the Arabs find objectionable.