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Mr. Sapir Fearful That Continued Peace Might Induce Unemployment

Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir is seriously concerned over the economic repercussions that would ensue if the present 90-day cease-fire is continued indefinitely and Israel is forced to revert to a peace-time economy. Mr. Sapir stated his fears bluntly in a radio address Friday night. He said that unless adequate planning is carried out, a continuation of the cease-fire would slow down the economy and result in a certain amount of unemployment. He said that persons employed in jobs related to national security would have to be diverted to non-defense employment and it is not certain whether there will be enough such jobs to absorb them all. He has instructed his staff to draw up plans for such a contingency. One source said here today that the situation in Israel parallels that in the United States where many politicians fear rising unemployment if the Vietnam war were to end. The U.S. economy is already feeling the pinch of reduced defense spending. The source noted that in the U.S. no politician has had the courage of Mr. Sapir to come right out and say that peace could be a menace to prosperity.