Ben-gurion Appeals to U.S. Jews to Increase Their Investments in Israel
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Ben-gurion Appeals to U.S. Jews to Increase Their Investments in Israel

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American Jews were asked today by Israel Premier David Ben-Gurion to increase their investments in Israel in order to enable the country to absorb additional hundreds of thousands of immigrants. He expressed hope that the new immigration would include Jews from Eastern Europe.

Mr. Ben-Gurion made his appeal in a message to the national planning conference of the Israel Bond Organization which concluded its three-day session here today. His message was read at the concluding session by Dr. Joseph J, Schwartz, executive vice-president of the organization. In response to the message, the 600 Jewish community leaders from all parts of the United States who attended the conference agreed on efforts to intensify the drive for the sale of $75,000,000 in Israel bonds in this country and in Canada.

The Israel Premier stressed in his message that the partnership between Israel and American Jewry “which was given a new form 10 years ago at the founding of the Israel bond campaign must be continued and strengthened into the future, for the task that lies ahead is great.” He listed the following main objectives requiring bond financing: Immigration of additional hundreds of thousands, including Eastern European Jews; completion of Jordan River irrigation project to irrigate the Negev; establishment of new Negev industrial plants and agricultural settlements; preparations for use of atomic energy, and expansion of the educational system.


Dr. Schwartz told the conference that a total of $450,832,500 in Israel bonds was sold as of September 15, at the end of 10 years of the issuance of the first bonds. He reported that Israel bonds are now sold in 29 nations and 1,300,000 persons have subscribed.

Commenting on the need for expansion of the bond effort, Israel Finance Minister Levi Eshkol told the delegates that Israel had fallen behind in its schedule of irrigation and industrial growth. He asked new assistance in accelerating Israel’s rate of economic development. “With your loans through Israel bonds we must prepare Israel to sustain a population of 3,000,000 by 1970 and even 4,000,000 not long after that.” he stated.

Reporting that Israel has embarked on a drive to win the markets of Europe. Africa and Asia to strengthen her economic stability, the Israeli Finance Minister said: “Only through exporting can we reach our goal of economic independence.” He called for expansion of the bond investment program to provide greater industrial output for export. He predicted that Israeli exports, less than $46,000,000 in 1950, would reach $340,000,000 this year.

Israel Ambassador Avraham Harman told delegates that in less than 10 years “the Israel Bond Organization has flowered into a potent and dynamic vehicle of constructive effort for the State of Israel. It has established a pattern of cooperative endeavor which has enhanced the dignity of the people of Israel and enabled them to demonstrate their capacity to achieve economic self-reliance,” Mr. Harman said that without the bend drive, Israel could not have attained the point of progress in which it is “a model for other young and new nations.”


Abraham Feinberg, president of the Israel Bond Organization, addressing the concluding session today, questioned whether American Jews could regard the seating of the United Arab Republic on the United Nations Security Council “without a sense of outrage.” He asked if President Nasser was to he rewarded for disobeying UN resolutions by proclaiming hostility, blockading the Suez, threatening neighbors, and most recently assassinating the Premier of Jordan.

While Nasser exported hate and murder, said Mr. Feinberg, Israel extended “friendship, know-how and understanding” to Afro-Asian states. He pointed out that ties were established by Israel with a number of Afro-Asian nations despite Nasser’s attempts to isolate Israel through a “system of boycott and blockade.” He said that “in helping Israel build trade and technical cooperation with Afro-Asian states, we are not only advancing Israel’s economic growth, but also enabling Israel to perform a great service to the cause of world democracy.”

Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, chairman of the board of governors of the Israel Bond Organization, said Israel faced many problems but demonstrated a political maturity far above “the chaos that now exists in the Congo or the strife and disorders which have attended the birth of other new states in Asia and Africa.”

Dr. Silver speculated on “how many more bombings and killings of Arabs by Arabs will have to take place before a new statesmanship will arise in the Arab world which will finally turn the page of futile intransigeance and will open a new chapter of friendly cooperation with Israel which will prove to be a boon to every state and people in the Near East.”

Austin J. Tobin, executive director of the Port of New York Authority, who visited Israel last spring for the World Bank, told an earlier session of the conference that Arab hostility has made of Israel “a virtual island whose survival depends upon the freedom to sail the seas and upon the ports which make these seas accessible. He said that the World Bank’s $27,500,000 loan for the building of Israel’s new port of Ashdod–a loan to which his Israeli port survey contributed–was urgent “because of the very real expectation that Israel’s trade will double within the next ten years.”

Other speakers at the conference included Aryeh Manor, Economic Minister of the Israel Embassy here; Semuel Rothberg, national chairman of Israel Bond Trustees; Michael Stavitsky, of Newark, and Julian B. Venezky, national chairman of Israel bond regions. Mr. Stavitsky estimated that more than $8,500,000 worth of Israel bonds will be sold during the High Holiday drive.

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