CHICAGO (Sep. 20)
The three-day National Economic Conference for Israel, attended by 800 delegates from all parts of the country, concluded here today with a decision to raise $45,000,000 for Israel within the next hundred days through the sale of Israel bonds and to assure the attainment of the goal of $75,000,000 for 1959 by the end of the year.
Dr, Joseph J, Schwartz, vice president of the Israel Bond Organization, outlined plans for the new intensified effort to sell Israel bonds for the remainder of 1959. He said that it is anticipated that appeals in synagogues during the High Holy Days will result in the sale of approximately $10,000,000 in bonds this year. Last year, the sum of $8,000,000 was raised through the synagogue effort.
At an earlier session,Dr.Schwartz announced that a total of $400,209,300 in cash sales had been attained since the inception of the Israel bond drive in May 1951. “American financial support through Israel bonds has played a major role in Israel’s entire program of economic development and immigrant absorption,”he said, adding that “Israel bonds have brought the economy of Israel to the threshold of prosperity.”
Israel Premier David Ben Gurion, in a cabled message to the conference, termed the second decade of Israel’s existence “the decade of consolidation. ” During this decade, he said, Israel must continue to irrigate and populate the Negev, to strengthen its frontiers and to increase its industrial and agricultural capacity. He stressed that the country must expand its water network supplying new settlements and factories, and must make barren areas fruitful.
ESHKOL OUTLINES $1,000,000,000 PLAN FOR ISRAEL’S INDUSTRIALIZATION
Addressing the conference last night, Israel’s Finance Minister Levi Eshkol outlined Israel’s five-year plan for wider industrialization of the country. He said that $1,000,000,000 from Israel bonds and government and private investments would be needed to finance this plan.
The five-year program visualizes an average increase of ten percent per year in industrial output as well as an increase of between 80,000 and 90,000 workers in the industrial. labor force. It is planned to increase exports of goods and services from $240,000,000 in 1958 to $570,000,000 at the end of five years. “A great part of the $1,000,000,000 required,” Mr. Eshkol said, “will come from private sources as it does even now. The remainder has to be provided by the Israel Government and to a great extent from the funds raised through the sale of Israel bonds.
Stressing Israel’s eagerness to encourage private investment, Mr. Eshkol said: “We have just adopted amendments to our Foreign Investment Law which make it one of the most liberal in the world. But in order to attract private enterprise, we must be able to provide public financing as well. Israel bond income must spark this process.”
GOLDA MEIR APPEALS TO U. N. TO END EGYPT’S BLOCKADE OF SUEZ CANAL
Israel Foreign Minister Golda Meir, addressing the conference, called upon the United Nations to end Egypt’s blockade of the Suez Canal to Israeli vessels and cargoes. She said that “nothing less will do for Israel” than assuring the Jewish State “the same rights and privileges in the Suez Canal that all other states and peoples have.”
Mrs. Meir declared that the United Nations “can operate only through moral force which it can exert. That moral force can only be effective if the UN defends the right of all nations large or small, “She characterized the action of Egypt in preventing passage of Israeli ships and cargoes through the Canal as a “clear violation of international law and resolutions of the UN.”
“Representatives of peoples of the world sitting in the UN must never allow themselves to be placed in a position where they must choose between justice and expediency. Within the UN there can be no choice,” she declared.
Dr. Y. Foerde, chairman of Bank Leumi Le-Israel, outlined a program for investment in Israel’s industry during the next five years, to assure achievement of economic stability by 1965.Israel bonds. Dr.Foerder said, are an indispensable source of investment capital for this purpose.
Ira Guildan, national campaign chairman of the Israel Bond Organization, said this year may very well set the record in sale of Israel bonds. “American Jewry is becoming increasingly aware, ” he said, of the key importance of Israel bonds as instruments to provide Israel with resources she requires for economic development. Israel has demonstrated the capability of utilizing the funds which we supply her for most constructive purposes. As a result men and women have been encouraged to invest in Israel bonds at a higher record than ever before.”
The conference today outlined plans for a new campaign program on a regional basis to help achieve the increased goals for the Israel bond drive. To head this effort, Julian B. Venezky, of Peoria, was named national chairman for regions of the Israel bond drive. Lawrence G. Laskey of Boston, chairman of the national executive committee of the Israel Bond Organization, outlined the immediate objectives of the drive.
Samuel Rothberg, of Peoria, national chairman for Trustees of the Israel bond drive, who presided at the closing session, said the conference was “a victory conference, not only in terms of the historic attainment of the $400,000,000 mark in bond sales, but in the widespread acceptance of the investment possibilities in Israel and its great potential for economic expansion.”