NEW YORK (Jan. 15)
A record goal of $115,000,000 for the 1967 campaign for the sale of Israel bonds was adopted here today at the concluding session of the three-day National Planning Conference of the Israel Bond Organization held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The conference was attended by 350 Jewish leaders from the United States and Canada.
The conference took this action after Finance Minister of Israel Pinchas Sapir, who came to the United States to emphasize his country’s reliance on Israel bonds to meet its development needs, urged greater effort to meet a 29 percent increase in Israel’s Development Budget for the coming year. The $115,000,000 target represents a corresponding increase over the $91,000,000 which was sold during the worldwide campaign for Israel bonds last year.
Stressing Israel’s greater need for economic assistance to speed the readjustment of its economy, Mr. Sapir said: “We hope that American Jewry will give us the tools to readjust our economy so that we may produce more goods for export and resume our rapid strides toward economic independence.”
The Finance Minister predicted that Israel’s new economic policy of shifting its manpower into export-oriented industry would succeed in restoring its economy to “stability and productive strength.” He said that the new emphasis on production for export would bring Israel’s exports for 1967 to a total of $1,000,000,000, as compared with $880,000,000 in 1966. Mr. Sapir stressed the fact that the Israel bond drive had been “the backbone of our development program.”
Asserting that the Government of Israel has applied “vitally necessary restraints” on the economy in order to morrow the gap in its balance of payments, Mr. Sapir said: “Our objectives, both immediate and long-range, are to place greater emphasis on industrial production and exports; to pump more investments into development areas; to reduce production costs and to create more productive jobs.”
Israel is seeking to achieve these objectives, he declared, through more intensive efforts to attract investments from abroad and by using the budget as an instrument for development. “The success of our economic policies which we have adopted,” the Israel Finance Minister said “will enable us to cross the last frontier to reach the high ground of economic stability and productive strength.” He predicted that Israel’s annual trade deficit would be reduced to the $200,000,000 level in 1971.
U.S. SECRETARY OF INTERIOR SAYS ARABS SHOULD EMULATE ISRAEL
U.S. Secretary of Interior Stewart L. Udall, addressing the conference, said peace and stability in the troubled Middle East could be greatly advanced if Israel’s neighbors would follow its “wonderful example” of land reclamation and development. He compared the vast natural wealth of America with the meager resources of Israel, which was “not blessed by abundant fresh water, or by forests, or by a temperate climate.”
In an impressive way, he said, Israel had to create the three fundamentals of life which he listed as Land, Air and Water and to which he referred by the mnemonic, LAW. He described how, in order to survive, Israel had to convert the sand into soil and “make the desert blossom,” how she had to preserve, “not poison” her air, how she had to find water, calling upon her archeologists to rediscover ancient springs, how she constructed a pipeline to bring water from the Jordan River to the Negev, and how she turned to the Red Sea and established facilities to extract the salt from sea water.
Mr. Udall called this achievement “very remarkable,” adding that it was a “tribute to the people and the leaders of Israel” that they succeeded in “creating a living and life-supporting environment, even in a hostile climate.” He lauded the Israel Bond Organization for its role in financing the developing program in Israel.
$90,894,150 IN ISRAEL BONDS SOLD IN 1966, DR. SCHWARTZ REPORTS
Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, vice-president of the Israel Bond Organization, reported that $90,894,150 in Israel bonds were sold in 1966 to aid Israel’s economic development. Of this, more than $76,000,000 came from the United States and $5,700,000 from Canada. He stressed that the proceeds from Israel bond sales were of crucial importance at the present time to enable Israel to cope with a recent increase in unemployment and to stimulate the expansion of industrial production for export as the means of improving its balance of trade.
In his report, Dr. Schwartz also disclosed that in 1966 the State of Israel paid out a total of more than $65,000,000 in the redemption of matured Israel bonds, the bulk of it to American investors. He emphasized the importance of continuing the sale of Israel bonds at the highest possible level.
Israel’s Ambassador to Washington, Avraham Harman, told the conference that American and Canadian Jewry have been a great and invaluable asset in the establishment and development of Israel, and expressed the hope that in the coming year they will enlarge their financial support for its economic recovery through the 1967 Israel bond campaign. Abraham Feinberg, president of the Israel Bond Organization, expressed confidence that the sale of Israel bonds during 1967 would keep pace with Israel’s needs, and would reach a level which would help the country arrive at a quick solution of its current economic problems. Louis H. Boyar of Los Angeles, chairman of the Board of Governors of Israel Bonds, expressed confidence in Israel’s economic future, and indicated some of the major advances which Israel has recorded with the aid of Israel bonds.
At the conclusion of the session, Samuel Rothberg, national campaign chairman, outlined the terms of the Third Development Issue of Israel bonds, which will be on sale throughout 1967. There are two types of bonds, he said: Fifteen-Year Coupon Bonds, paying 4 percent interest per year, which are available in denominations from $500 to $100,000; Twelve-Year Savings Bonds, maturing at 160 percent of the issue amount, which are offered in denominations from $100 to $10,000. Principal and interest on both types of Israel bonds are payable in United States dollars.