TEL AVIV (Oct. 31)
Development of an Israeli deterrent to the Egyptian missile threat is one of this country’s “urgent” challenges at this time, Prime Minister Ben-Gurion declared here last night. Such a deterrent is needed by Israel, he stated, to counter the missile danger posed by Egypt’s recent launching of rockets which, according to the boast of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, could reach an area “south of Beirut”-meaning Israeli territory.
Mr. Ben-Gurion, addressing a State dinner given to the 145-member United Jewish Appeal Study Mission, which has been touring the country for the last 10 days, listed as other problems urgently facing Israel the need to close the economic and social gap among Israel’s various communities; the settlement of the country’s unpopulated areas; and the preparation of absorption potentials as well as housing for increasing Jewish immigrants.
The Premier saw Israel’s Jewish population as increasing “ultimately” to 3, 500, 000, including Jews from Eastern Europe. In that context, the Israeli leader said, “one of Israel’s foremost tasks of the future is to prepare the country for the day when the gates will be open for the Jews of Russia.”
The UJA mission officially ended its visit here today, after adopting resolutions calling for a higher monetary goal for the UJA fund drive; urging all communities to devote larger sums to Israel; and calling upon individuals to increase their UJA contributions.
Mr. Ben-Gurion and another of the speakers, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, lauded UJA achievements, the Premier asserting his “confidence and hope that this creative partnership between Israel and world Jewry will grow steadily.” Dr. Goldmann said the UJA “phenomenon is essential for the Jews abroad.” “It gives them morally, he added, “even more than they give financially.”