MIAMI BEACH (Feb. 29)
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol called on the Israel Bond Organization today to “provide a greater response to Israel’s needs” this year than it ever has in the past. Mr. Eshkol’s appeal was contained in a cabled message of greetings to the International Inaugural Conference for Israel Bonds which opened here today. The event, attended by some 3,000 Jewish leaders from all over the United States and Canada, will be addressed Saturday night by Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Maj. General Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s new Ambassador to the United States and former Chief of Staff of Israel’s armed forces.
Mr. Eshkol declared in his message that 1968 may prove the year of greatest challenge to Israel’s existence since the nation won its independence 20 years ago. “In this year of destiny, we shall be relying even more than in the past on the response to the Israel Bond campaign of our brothers and good friends abroad to safeguard what we have already attained and provide the means to surge ahead with hope and confidence,” he said.
Louis H. Boyar, chairman of the board of governors of the Bond organization, warned that with Israel’s own resources concentrated on defense. Its economic development was in danger of being stalled unless large scale resources were made available through bond sales. “In previous years, Israel depended on the bond program to supply one-third of its development budget,” Mr. Boyar said. “This year we are expected to provide the major share of its current budget of $289 million.”
Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, vice president of the Israel Bond Organization, said that bond sales have helped transform Israel from a relatively undeveloped country to a “rapidly advancing industrial economy.”