MIAMI BEACH (Mar. 2)
The 1969 Israel Bond campaign was under way today with an unprecedented initial Bond sale totaling $61,124,000. More than 2,500 delegates from the United States and Canada who participated in the international inaugural conferences of the Bond Organization on endorsed adoption of a quota of $200 million for the Bond drive throughout the free world. The Bonds will be sold in tribute to the late. Premier Levi Eshkol who died Wednesday. Mr. Eshkol was termed by Louis H. Boyar of Los Angeles, chairman of the Bond organization’s board of governors, as the “chief architect” of Israel’s economic program.
Mr. Boyar said that the decision to raise $200 million as a “worldwide tribute” to Mr. Eshkol was made after the organization received numerous inquiries from persons across the country who wanted to buy Bonds in his memory.
The record-breaking $61,124,000 result of the initial Israel Bond sale was announced by Samuel Rothberg, national campaign chairman, who characterized it as “a lasting tribute to Levi Eshkol” and as a “demonstration of our solidarity with the people of Israel in their struggle for a just peace.” An air of solemnity hung over the inaugural dinner which was converted into the first nationwide memorial tribute to the late Premier by Jewish communal leaders from all sections of the country. The sorrow of American Jewry was expressed by Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, vice president of the Bond Organization, who said. “This is a solemn and dark day in the life of the Jewish people. Israel has lost its Prime Minister. The Jewish people has lost a great leader. We have lost a dear friend who inspired and guided us in our efforts to promote the building of Israel.”
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Itzhak Rabin, paid a warm personal tribute to Mr. Eshkol. Gen. Rabin recalled his close association with the Israeli Premier in the three-and-a-half years during which Mr. Eshkol also headed the Ministry of Defense and Gen, Rabin was his Chief of Staff. The envoy declared that Israel was now engaged in three struggles for survival: the political struggle for peace; the military struggle for physical survival; and the struggle for national consolidation through development. Deploring the failure of the Arab states to enter into direct negotiations with Israel, he said he was pessimistic about prospects for an early settlement, but emphasized that Israel was confident that it has the means to maintain its defensive position.
Gen. Rabin placed great stress on the role of development and consolidation of the economic and social structure of Israel as the most decisive factor in its capacity to survive. He emphasized the “crucial importance” of the Bond campaign in giving Israel the economic strength to convince the Arab states “to give up any hope of destroying Israel and to make them realize that they have many benefits to gain from true cooperation in the Middle East.”
The 1969 drive will be conducted under the leadership of Abraham Feinberg, president; Dr. Schwartz; Mr. Rothberg; Mr. Boyar; Ira Guilden, national chairman; Jack D. Weiler, secretary-treasurer; Lawrence G. Laskey, chairman of the executive committee; Morris W. Berinstein. national chairman of trustees; Mrs. Jan Peerce, chairman of the National Women’s Division, and Julian Venezky, national chairman for regions. Since the first campaign in 1951. Bond receipts have been used for expansion of the economy. Until the parley began, $1.3 billion in bonds had been sold.