NEW YORK (Jan. 24)
A record-breaking total of $91,392,800 in State of Israel Bonds was sold during 1965 in the United States, Canada, and other countries, it was reported today by Dr. Joseph J. Schwarts, vice-president of the Israel Bond Organization. He emphasized that this represents the largest sum ever sold in one year in the entire history of the drive, which began in 1951. The 1965 total, he pointed out, constitutes an increase of 7 percent over the previous year, when Israel Bond proceeds reached $85, 380, 350.
Dr. Schwartz presented his report on the results of the 1965 drive at the opening session of a two-day conference of regional representatives and national executives of the Israel Bond Organization, who gathered at the Roosevelt Hotel here to plan extended economic development aid for Israel this year. “The outstanding results achieved in 1965,” Dr. Schwartz said,” reflect mounting confidence in the continued growth of Israel as a vital center of democratic development.”
Of the total of $91,392, 800 in Israel bonds sold during 1965, Dr. Schwartz reported that $76, 655,500 was sold in the United States; $5,460,750 in Canada; $4,162,750 in Latin America and $5,113, 800 in western Europe. More than 200, 000 individuals subscribed to Israel bonds last year and bank purchases amounted to more than $12, 000, 000, he said. He also announced that during 1965 the sum of $41, 800, 000 was paid out by the State of Israel in the redemption of matured Israel bonds. Another $8, 998, 265 went to investors in interest payments on Israel bonds last year.
Speakers at the conference, in addition to Dr. Schwartz, included Samuel Rothberg, national campaign chairman of the Israel Bond Organization; and Nahum Shamir, Israel’s Economic Minister to the United States. Announcing a worldwide quota of $105, 000, 000 for the 1966 Israel Bond drive, Mr. Rothberg said: “Israel faces growing requirements for economic development to provide for a large influx of immigrants and to enhance its competitive position on world markets. Israel bond funds are indispensable for the fulfillment of these goals.”
ISRAEL’S ECONOMIC MINISTER TO U. S. DESCRIBES COUNTRY’S PROGRESS
Mr. Shamir, addressing the conference, observed that the outstanding economic event in Israel during 1965 was the opening of the port of Ashdod, on the Mediterranean south of Tel Aviv. The new port, constructed with the aid of Israel bond proceeds and other funds, may well rival Haifa Harbor in the next decade, he said.
“The opening of Ashdod, which is expected to handle some 1, 000, 000 tons of shipping during its first year of operation, is particularly important because of Israel’s concentration on the development of the Negev,” Mr. Shamir said. “The same purpose is served by the new railroad link between Beersheba and Dimona, which was completed late last year. We expect to bring the railroad further south to Eilat, the southernmost point in Israel, in the near future.
“The industrialization of the country, which is vital to our future, moved forward significantly during 1965 with the aid of Israel bonds. Industries were established in a number of the new development areas as well as in the urban centers, and industrial employment rose to 220, 000, its highest level in our history. With the National Water Project moving into full operation, new sections of the country have been brought under irrigation, especially in the Negev, and Israel has reached the point where it now provides 85 percent of its own food requirements.”
Outlining some of Israel’s plans for economic development with the aid of Israel bonds, Mr. Shamir predicted an increase in industrial production of 50 to 60 percent by 1970, as compared with the 1965 figure of nearly $2,100, 000,000. Exports, he said, are expected to reach $1, 000, 000, 000 by that time, as compared with $750, 000, 000 for 1965. He stressed the need of spreading industrial plants into outlying development areas to provide for an annual population increase of 100, 000, half of it consisting of new immigrants. Israel’s population today is 2,580, 000.
Israel is turning to the expansion of industries which depend less on costly raw materials and more on specialized skills, Mr. Shamir declared. Prominent among these would be the optical industry, the electronic industry and the chemicals industry, he said.