JERUSALEM (Oct. 25)
Approximately 150 prominent Jewish leaders from various countries–more than 100 of them from the United States–gathered here today to map plans for Israel’s economic development at a five-day conference which circles close to Premier David Ben Gurion termed “the most important economic event in the last three years.”
The conference was called by the Israel Premier before U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles announced in Washington that the State Department is withholding American financial aid to Israel. In the light of this announcement, this conference assumes even greater importance than originally contemplated.
The conferees were presented today to Israel President Itzhak Ben Zvi and were the guests of the government during the day at other functions. In the evening they were honored at a gala dinner at which Premier Ben Gurion delivered the keynote address, presenting a progress report on Israel’s economic achievements and out-lining Israel’s economic needs in order to achieve economic independence. (At the time the Bulletin went to press, no details of his speech had been received).
Tomorrow, the delegates will be addressed by high-ranking officers of Israel’s armed forces who will outline the security problems faced by Israel. Tomorrow’s session will be opened with greetings by Berl Locker, co-chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, and will be addressed by Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett and by other members of the Cabinet.