JERUSALEM (Aug. 25)
Israel has spent one billion dollars in its ten years of existence to build and equip its armed services. Finance Minister Levi Eshkol tonight told the opening session of the first international Israel Bond conference ever held in Jerusalem. Three hundred and fifty delegates from the United States, Canada and Latin America are attending. (Premier Ben Gurion was scheduled to address the conference later tonight.)
Mr. Eshkol said that in the absence of such sources of funds as the bond organization, Israel would not have been able to push her economic development at its present pace because of the tremendous needs of the defense establishment. “Israel bonds,” he said, “enabled us to press forward with development while we used our own resources for our security.”
After reviewing development progress year by year, the Finance Minister said that the crucial problems faced by Israel in the past would be overshadowed by even graver problems in the near future. He noted that the Egyptian-dominated Arab alliance is increasing in strength while arms pour into the neighboring Arab states in an unabated flow.
Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, executive vice president of the Israel Bond Organization, reported that in its seven years of existence the bond drive had netted Israel $347,640,000–one-third of the total Israel budget for development purposes during that period. Ira Guilden, New York Jewish leader who presided over the opening session, reported that $24,000,000 worth of bonds had already been sold this year toward a goal of $75,000,000.