MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 13)
Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Dayan made a lightning trip to Miami Beach for a meeting with American and Canadian Jewish leaders which produced more than $6 million in Israel Bond sales. Speaking at a luncheon session attended by 400 key Israel Bond supporters, Dayan stressed his country’s pressing need for vast new sums of investment capital from Jews abroad. (See Page for separate story on Dayan in New York.)
The luncheon was the highlight of a series of events which will take place here this month to mobilize advance support for the 1972 international inaugural conference for Israel Bonds. The conference, set for Feb. 24-27 at the Fontainebleau Hotel, will launch the most comprehensive drive to raise investment capital through the sale of Israel Bonds since Israel was founded in 1948. The goal of the 1972 campaign is $460 million, almost double the record $251 million in Israel Bonds sold in 1971.
RELATIONS WITH U.S. BETTER THAN EVER
Asked if Israel could absorb the rising tide of Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union, Dayan said “We have been waiting for the Jews of Russia to come for a long time, a very long time. If all of them come we are not only ready, but capable of taking them. If need be, the Army will give up its barracks to the newcomers and sleep in tents. And if that is not enough, we will give them our tents and sleep outside.”
Dayan expressed optimism over his recent meetings in Washington with Secretary of State William P. Rogers and Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird. He said that he was happier than ever before about Israel’s relations with the US and pleased with the response of the American government to Israel’s request for military aid. “We don’t ask American soldiers to fight for us,” he observed, “but we do ask for the means to defend ourselves.”
Dayan said that US military aid would play a large part in Israel’s defense plans for many years to come. “We expect to produce more of our military hardware in the future,” he stated, “but I can foresee no circumstances in which our country will not continue to be dependent on yours for the sophisticated weaponry which we need.” Presiding at the luncheon meeting was Sam Rothberg, general chairman of the Israel Bond Organization, who also conducted the sale of Bonds.