MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (Mar. 5)
Israel’s new $300, 000, 000 bond issue, which is to provide financial resources needed for the absorption of the new immigrants from Rumania and other East European countries, was launched here today at the opening session of the four-day national inaugural conference of the Israel Bond Organization. More than 1, 600 delegates from all parts of the United States and Canada are attending the conference.
“Israel will be in a position to sustain a population substantially in excess of 4, 000, 000, in view of the important discovery made this week in the United States of a new process for desalting sea water,” Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, vice president of the Israel Bond Organization, told the delegates. “Announcement of the far-reaching break-through in the desalting of sea water is of tremendous importance to Israel, whose limited supply of fresh water has been a serious obstacle to the reclamation of large stretches of desert land,” he said.
Presenting a report of Israel’s economic problems and progress to the opening session at the Fontainebleau Hotel, Dr. Schwartz stated: “The cost of removing the salt from sea water of less than $1, 00 per thousand gallons may be low in our own country which possesses so many rivers, lakes and other natural resources of fresh water. It may still be economically practical in Israel which would have to make much more extensive use of this process.
“The application of this new process in the Negev, which is almost completely without water at present, would revolutionize the entire future of Israel and greatly increase her capacity to sustain population twice or three times her present population of 2, 000, 000,” Dr. Schwartz declared. “Since 1952, Israel, like the United States, has been carrying on research in the development of an economical desalting process. A great deal of Israel bond money has gone into exploration of new sources of fresh water. Additional investment of Israel bond resources in the immediate future would enable Israel to utilize the new desalting processes and reach enormous benefits of greater cultivation and more intense settlement on the land.”
DR. SCHWARTZ STRESSES ISRAEL’S TASK OF SETTLING RUMANIAN JEWS
Referring to the task facing Israel of absorbing tens of thousands of immigrants of Eastern Europe this year, Dr. Schwartz said that the paramount need was resources to maintain and expand the economic development of the country which presently has a population of about 2, 100, 000. He reported that during the past eight years more than $342, 000, 000 in Israel bond funds have been allocated for the development of industry, agriculture and the exploitation of natural resources.
“Within the past eight years Israel has achieved self-sufficiency in agriculture,” the Israel bond leader said. “From here on she must expand her industrial production and reclaim the desert region of the Negev and begin a massive pioneering effort to bring that vast unpopulated area under cultivation and settlement. It is this program of expanded development which makes the new Second Development Bond Issue for $300, 000, 000 the central scaffolding of Israel’s economic future,” Dr. Schwartz declared.
“During the current fiscal year–April 1, 1958 to March 31, 1959–allocations from Israel bond funds amount to $47, 000, 000,” he continued. “They were distributed as follows: $15, 680, 000 for agriculture and irrigation; $20, 720, 000 for industry and mineral exploitation; $5, 200, 000 for transportation and communication; $3, 700, 000 for housing, and $1, 700, 000 for other projects. As the result of these Israel bond allocations,” Dr. Schwartz said, “Israel has moved rapidly in the direction of self-sufficiency in most food products.”