NEW YORK (Oct. 28)
Judge Louis E. Levinthal, former advisor on Jewish affairs to the U.S. command in Europe, told a press conference here today that if the people of Israel are provided with sufficient investment capital, they will develop an economy in the Jewish state within two decades that will equal, if not surpass, any economy existing in the region between France and India. The news parley was arranged by the Palestine Economic Corporation of which Judge Levinthal is a director.
Judge Levinthal, who just returned from a visit to Israel, estimated that if 100,000 Jews were admitted annually to Israel for the next ten years, the country will need $2,000,000,000 of investments and loans during this first decade of expansion. Approximately half of this $2,000,000,000 might be covered by long-term public loans for self-liquidating public works, housing, industrial and agricultural enterprises, which would provide large-scale employment, Judge Levinthal stated.
Of the remaining $1,000,000,000, he declared, about 40 percent should come from contributions, as for example, from the United Jewish Appeal, while the remaining 60 percent should be derived from private or semi-private investment. “To my mind,” Judge Levinthal asserted, “the American Jew cannot find any better instrumentality to participate in such private investment than the Palestine Economic Corporation. It combines all of the following virtues–it is a non-political, well established, profit-making, socially-minded American investment company in Jewish Palestine.
“The Palestine Economic Corporation’s subsidiaries,” he reported, have been instrumental in financing hundreds of agricultural cooperatives and extending mortgage credits for 1,200 homes for workers in the lower-income brackets. Through water companies it supplies billions of gallons of precious water to areas that only recently were parched and fallow. It organized the Palestine Potash Company, Lt., which extracts minerals from the Dead Sea. P.E.C. developed the Haifa Bay, which was a malarial swamp a few years ago. Through careful planning, it is today one of the most up-to-date and progressive suburbs in Israel. But it is not enough. Since the industries of Palestine must be mechanized, they are now undercapitalized.