WASHINGTON (Sep. 23)
The first national economic conference for Israel today ended its four-day gathering with a call for total mobilization of American-Jewry in behalf of the $500,000,000 State of Israel Independence bond issue. The conference acted after a cabled message was read from Premier David Ben Gurion stressing the “paramount importance” of the bond issue “in this period of greatest immigration and economic expansion.”
The Israeli Premier said that “economic growth is the key to our capacity to continue to absorb mass immigration; self-support is the backbone of our existence as a free and creative nation.” He promised that there would be no slackening of immigration and in reference to receipt of the first $50,000,000 of the bond drive proceeds he said, “the first fruits of this great loan can already be seen in the increasing tempo of industrial expansion, in the exploration of our natural resources, in increased building activity and in the increase of the areas brought under cultivation to help feed a population which already numbers 1,500,000 and is increasing rapidly and unceasingly.”
He declared that “if you will stand by our side in this great undertaking, you will have cause for rejoicing in seeing the State of Israel emerge as a free and sustaining member of the democratic world.”
CONFERENCE ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY FOR BOND SUCCESS
The major resolution adopted by the 1,000 business and communal leaders participating in the conference gave the Israelis “the fullest assurance that we shall stand by them in the fulfillment of the economic tasks that are indispensable to their secure future.” In voting total mobilization of the American Jewish community, the resolutions stated that “American Jews who made a historic contribution to the emergence of Israel as a vigorous new democracy, now proudly assume the added responsibility of assuring the success of the $500,000,000 Israel bond issue with the rewarding knowledge that, in the midst of current problems, Israel stands on the threshold of economic independence. We recognize that the settlement of additional hundreds of thousands of newcomers in the next few years depends on the effective consolidation of Israel’s achievements through the productive investments made by the sale of State of Israel bonds.”
Measures to implement the mobilization call, adopted in resolutions, called for: 1. Creation by each community of a mechanism to embrace all supporters of the bond drive into “a coordinated permanent unit devoted to the single purpose” of continuous sale of Israel bonds; 2. Placement by every instrumentality of the community, including welfare funds, federations and community councils, of their facilities at the disposal of the bond issue in the fullest measure of co-operation, and 3. Utilization of every effort by national organizations “to achieve the earliest possible enlistment of 100 percent of their membership, locally and nationally as purchasers and holders” of Israel bonds, and enlistment of their leadership in the drive.
The conference also adopted a resolution welcoming the decision of Congress to include Israel as a beneficiary of the Mutual Security Program as “a new and concrete expression of the Cordial relations between Israel and our own country which-will promote the peace and security of the Middle East.” The resolution urged Congress to “give effect to this program by approving the full authorization for Israel and the Near East in the Appropriation Act.”
Rep. Emanuel Celler, addressing the conference today, said that “it is this bond issue which will ultimately release Israel from the status of being looked upon as a philanthropic venture.”
Leon Keysariring, chairman of President Truman’s Council of Economic Advisers, told the conference today that “from the viewpoint of the economist who has tried to look at the affairs in the history of nations, and in terms of 2,000 years of history and of the achievements already written in Israel since statehood three years ago, there can be no obligation of any kind which can be brought with more surety than the bonds of Israel.”
Julian B. Venezky, chairman of the executive committee of the bond drive, announced that 33 national Jewish organizations were actively participating in the national conference. “The wide participation of the national Jewish organizations is a reflection of the great mass interest and support which the Israel bond drive has already elicited in every corner of this country and in every walk of American Jewish life,” he said.
VICE PRESIDENT BARKLEY BUYS BOND AS GIFT FOR WIFE
A feature of the session today was the announcement by Vice President Alben W. Barkley that he had purchased a $1,000 bond as a present for his wife, who celebrated her birthday today. He declared that “no greater calamity could befall America than the collapse of Israel” and asserted that Israel bonds are “more than a good investment” since they have “social, moral and spiritual values as well.”
Addressing the conference last night, Vice President called for the fullest economic support of Israel not only as a contribution to the defense of democracy but also for the “spiritual well-being and regeneration of mankind.” He characterized the Israel bond issue as an “investment-in the future of the ideals which we Americans regard as indispensable” and said “Israel is a sister democracy ready to stand by us as a staunch and devoted ally.”
The Vice President said that “In the midst of war and strife and the danger of tyranny, we free men can point with pride to the young nation of Israel as one of the hopeful signs for the future of mankind.” The Israel bond issue, he added, gave an opportunity not only to shape the destiny of a new democracy but also to exert “a profound influence on the future of civilization.”
INVESTMENTS WILL CLEAR WAY FOR PEACE
Successful completion of the Israel bond drive will clear the way for peace and trade between Arabs and Jews, James G. McDonald, former American Ambassador to Israel, told the conference. Investment in the basic economy of Israel, he said, “will so strengthen it that even Arab extremists will have to abandon their present policy of non-recognition and non-intercourse as a means of destroying the new state. Once the unpalatable fact of Israel’s permanency is borne in upon the Arab capitals, the next vital step, the establishment of normal trade and political relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors become possible, indeed inevitable,” he declared.
He said that no step can be taken in the direction of permanent Arab-Israel peace “until Israel becomes so strong that the continuance of the Arab boycott will be seen by all to be a futile and defeatist gesture.” Mr. McDonald scored Egypt’s refusal to abide by the vote of the United Nations Security Council on its illegal blockade of the Suez Canal.
Sen. Herbert H. Lehman said that to preserve peace Americans must be “global minded” and that the Israel bond issue was an integral part of the American approach toward safeguarding civilization. “I believe that all of us have a right to the fullest confidence in the people of Israel and in their ideals which no force and no hardship can deflect from its steady march to success.” he said.
Henry Morgenthau, Jr., chairman of the board of governors of the bond drive, paid tribute to President Truman and to Congress for extending aid to Israel. He said the great interest which American leaders have shown in the Israel bond issue “demonstrates the importance which they attach to Israel’s economic progress in the past and her potential in the future.”
Israel bonds are being purchased by large numbers of people who have not previously participated in aid to Israel in any form, Rudolf G. Sonneborn, president of American Financial and Development Corporation for Israel, reported. He said many Americans of limited means, who have not been able to offer philanthropic aid to Israel, find themselves able to purchase bonds as an investment.