TEL AVIV (Oct. 27)
Warnings that lack of funds imperil Israel’s acceptance and absorption of immigrants were voiced this week-end by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the Jewish Agency, and Israel Finance Minister Levi Eshkol.
Dr. Goldmann declared just before his departure for a series of meetings in various parts of Europe during the next few months that both the Agency and the Israel Government have been “living from hand to mouth” and “living beyond their means.” Both the Agency and the government, he asserted, must find ways out of their difficulties and noted that the Agency had already curtailed its settlement budget in favor of health and education expenditures. He complained that the Agency-government immigration coordination board. was not functioning properly and indicated the Jewish Agency might have to appeal to the Knesset for relief unless the situation there changes.
$900,000,000 IN NINE YEARS TOO LITTLE FOR ISRAEL NEEDS, ESHKOL SAYS
Mr. Eshkol, in an address to the 100-member United Jewish Appeal study mission which is touring Israel, said that the $900 million which world Jewry had given or loaned Israel during the nine years of the state’s existence was “by far short of the funds required to absorb the 900,000 immigrants which Israel has received during these years. ” He indicated that huge sums are still needed now to provide adequate housing for the 200,000 Israelis still living in “tin-hut towns,” and for the absorption of the expected influx of new immigrants which will number about 50,000 annually.
He warned that the task of settling newcomers on the land will, by itself, call for an expenditure of 400,000 Israeli pounds. Israel expects during its second decade to increase its population to 3,000,000, raising the needs for still greater economic growth.
He called on the members of the study mission to “spare no effort to increase UJA’s philanthropic work in Israel. ” Thus far, the Finance Minister said, 150,000 new immigrants have been settled on the land and more than 400 new farm settlements have been established. However, he continued, in addition to the inadequate housing for many of the immigrants, many others are under-employed. About 40,000 bread-winners, whose families total about 200,000, must be given greater economic opportunities, he said.
Prime Minister David Ben Gurion received today two volumes of the memoirs of former President Harry S. Truman especially inscribed for the Israeli statesman by Mr. Truman. The presentation was made by Benjamin Sosland, of Kansas City, who is here as a member of the United Jewish Appeal study mission.