MIDDLE EAST: Troubled Waters

To Manhattan newspapers, it was only an item for the shipping page when the Seafarers International Union sent a straggle of pickets to an East River pier to prevent the unloading of an 8,193-ton Egyptian passenger-cargo ship named Cleopatra. The seafarers' grievance: Gamal Abdel Nasser's policy of blacklisting any ship that stops at an Israeli port has reduced employment opportunities for U.S. seamen. Longshoremen respected the picket line. The Cleopatra remained unloaded and unnoticed.

But the Arab world from Cairo to Damascus to Jidda broke into shrill cries of rage. Hurriedly calling delegates from many...

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