NEW YORK (Sep. 17)
The sale of a new issue of $500 million in State of Israel Bonds to help open up “a new era of economic development and progress for Israel” was launched today at the closing session of a three-day National Mobilization Conference for Economic Development.
Louis H. Boyar of Los Angeles, chairman of the board of governors of the Israel Bond Organization, declared that the new bond issue — the Fourth Development Issue — would provide the resources for the recovery of Israel’s economy from the dislocations of the recent hostilities and for the expansion of industrial development to improve her balance of trade.
The new issue was originally to have been floated at the end of 1968, but the date had to be advanced because of the sharp increase in the sale of Israel Bonds following the summer war crisis in Israel, exhausting the third issue. More than 500 Jewish leaders from the United States and Canada voted unanimously to adopt a minimum quota of $78,743,400 in sales of the new issue between now and the end of 1967. The balance of the new issue is to be sold in 1968 and thereafter.
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol of Israel called for widespread support of the new Israel Bond issue, declaring that “Israel Bond funds are more critical today than ever, if we are to make our victory meaningful.” In a cable to the conference, Mr. Eshkol declared that “the new reality confronting us obliges us to maintain basic tasks of consolidation and development, for we have shown that our strength comes more from social and economic progress than from mere quantities of ‘hardware’.” He said that “a new Bond issue at this time is the most concrete proof that your support and participation during the recent crisis were based on enduring foundations and will continue during the challenges ahead.”
NINE MONTH BOND SALES EXCEED $170 MILLION, DR. SCHWARTZ DISCLOSES
Earlier, Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, vice-president of the Israel Bond Organization, announced that proceeds from the sale of Israel Bonds from Jan. I through Sept. 12 had reached the record figure of $171,256,600 — the largest amount realized in any year since the bond drive was established 16 years ago.
Dr. Schwartz said that of the total sale, $151,617,750 was sold in the United States, as compared with $41,795,500 during the same period in 1966; $4,848,800 was sold in Canada, as compared with $2,791,950; and $14,790,050 in other countries of the free world, as compared with $5,559,100. The worldwide total for the period from January 1 through September 12 last year was $50,146,550, he noted.
SEES WAR AS ‘MOST SIGNIFICANT’ MILESTONE TO ISRAEL’S INDEPENDENCE
Mr. Sapir described Israel’s brilliant victory in the Six-Day War as “one of the finest chapters in the long history of our people” and acknowledged gratefully that “the assistance of our state received from world Jewry in that crucial period surpassed everything that had been done during the previous 19 years, exceeding even our most optimistic estimates.”
The background of the victory, he declared, “has been the steady growth of the people of Israel as a nation, with its own spirit and values, and of an economic framework strong enough to permit their full development and maturity. The war, in a sense, will prove to be one of the most significant stages in our country’s progress towards true independence. It has proved that we are no longer a child among the nations, but a force to be reckoned with; that we are capable of making and implementing momentous decisions. It has given the people of Israel confidence in themselves and in their future.”
The Finance Minister warned that although Israel has won the war, “so far there have been no signs forthcoming that we can relax our vigilance; security continues to be a crushing burden.” He stressed that the policy of “mitun” — economic and fiscal restraint — which Israel introduced at the end of 1964. would have to continue, “if we are to achieve an industrial state based on advanced agriculture and modern technology made possible by our three chief resources — skilled manpower, scientific know-how and our geopolitical position.”
Abraham Feinberg, president of the bond organization, told the conference that “Israel has at last won its independence of fear, its independence of invasion, its independence of enemies intent on its annihilation.” He stressed the role of Israel bonds in developing the economic structure of Israel and pointed out that “everything that we do now to reinforce her economy will be a vital factor in the ultimate attainment of peace. In the life of Israel, no less than in the life of any other young nation, the sinews of economic development have been and must continue to be of decisive importance. In helping Israel solve the increased economic problems of the coming year, we welcome the opportunity of standing alongside of Israel as she goes forward on the road to a brighter and greater future.”
Samuel Rothberg, national campaign chairman, defined the purposes of the conference as mobilization for the post-war recovery of Israel’s economy, mobilization for the reconstruction of plants and homes destroyed in the fighting, mobilization for the resumption of Israel’s long-range economic development program, mobilization of American and Canadian Jewry for a new level of participation in the solution of the many economic problems which Israel faces in the wake of the recent war. He stressed the importance of continuing aid to Israel’s economic development, as a basis for her capacity to cope with emergencies such as the one which occurred three months ago.