JERUSALEM (Jan. 26)
The possibility that 250,000 Jews may come to Israel from Rumania and other East European countries in the next three years means that $750,000,000 will be needed to finance their immigration, Finance Minister Levi Eshkol declared today at a press conference.
Reporting on his visit to the United States, the Finance Minister lauded the leadership of the United Jewish Appeal. He said that the UJA officials, originally committed to a 1959 campaign based on the expectation of 40,000 immigrants, readily accepted the heavier financial load created by a boost in the immigration estimates to nearly 100,000 immigrants in 1959.
He added that Israel bond campaign leaders also raised their goals, indicating plans to sell $75,000,000 in Israel Bonds compared with sales of less than $50,000,000 in 1958. Many Israelis would be needed to explain the situation in communities across the United States, he stated.
Mr. Eshkol assured the people of Israel that if the drought continues they could depend on the United States to help them see it through. He pointed out that Jordan had already requested and received such aid.
Of his negotiations with French Finance Minister Antoine Pinay, Mr. Eshkol was hopeful. He noted that the first French loan to Israel had decreased in value as a result of the recent devaluation of the French franc and that therefore the French Government had agreed to add 20 percent to the loan figure, to make up the difference to Israel. “Serious negotiations” are under way to finance the construction of a larger oil pipeline from Elath to Beersheba.