Israel Plans to Build a Nuclear Power Station, Minister Reveals
Menu JTA Search

Israel Plans to Build a Nuclear Power Station, Minister Reveals

Download PDF for this date

Israel will build its first nuclear power station within the next five years, Levi Eshkol, Israel’s Minister of Finance today told the International Israel Bond Conference being held here. Some 350 delegates from the United States, Canada, and Latin America cheered his announcement.

The Finance Minister, who was outlining the principal targets of Israel’s forthcoming; five year plan–still in the drafting stage–reported that this year for the first time Israel’s economic production covered not only domestic needs but also the cost of amortization of production facilities. Thus, he underlined, every dollar of aid from abroad went into the development program. He again stressed the urgent need for private foreign investment in Israeli enterprises.

By 1964, when the five year plan is completed, Mr. Eshkol continued, Israel’s export revenues will be up to $400,000,000 a year, double the current figure. He said that half of the hoped-for additional $200 million dollars In such earnings would be used for the purchase of raw materials for industrial exports, and the remainder would be net income to reduce the annual foreign trade deficit.


Dr. Walter Eytan, director-general of the Foreign Ministry, told the delegates that Israel needs arms more today than ever before because of the unabated threat of Nasserism. He expressed the opinion that the march of Cairo’s dictator requires more than the General Assembly resolution to halt it. Nasserism, Dr. Eytan insisted, differs from Arab nationalism in that it is nationalism running wild and fueled by the ambitions of a single man with a lust for power.

He warned against the “illusion” that the United Nations could or would defend Israel against aggression. The country’s security depends on Its readiness and abilities to defend itself, he said, and particularly on the Knowledge of other countries that it is prepared to defend its sovereignty “In the fullest sense.”

Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, who was scheduled to be the last speaker at the opening session last night, surprised the delegates by not delivering the speech which he bad drafted during the afternoon. Standing up and surveying the perspiring delegates–each fighting the suffocating heat by frantically fanning himself with newspapers–the Prime Minister greeted the delegates briefly In Hebrew, Spanish and English. He said this was no time to prolong their “suffering” with a long speech and promised to talk to them at closed session on foreign policy and security issues.

David Horowitz, Governor of the Israel State Bank, reported on Israel’s production and exports in a survey of ten years of statehood. The delegates received a 25-page report prepared by the Ministry of Finance showing how Ismel Bond funds during the past seven years were invested through Israel development budgets. A total of $395 million were invested in the budgets by August 15, according to the report. Bonds provided about 30 Percent of the total capital resources available for Israel’s development budgets.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund