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Israel Corporation Board Decides to Continue Activities in Israel

The board of directors of the Israel Corporation has decided to continue and even expand its activities in Israel. An official communique released after the meeting Thursday night quoted the board’s chairman. Baron Edmond de Rothschild as saying “the company is financially strong. We shall make up for the losses. There is an important job to be done and we plan to see that it is done.”

The board’s chairman was referring to the potential loss of $8.5 million of the corporation’s money deposited with financial concerns directed by Geneva-based Jewish banker Tibor Rosenbaum. The communique made no specific reference to Rosenbaum, and circles close to the corporation told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the board has not discussed any plan to help Rosenbaum’s bank, the International Credit Bank, or his other financial concerns.

These sources said that none of the participants even raised such a possibility. The board’s chairman, these sources said, is “strongly opposed” to any possible dealing with Rosenbaum and feels that the only course open to the corporation is “straightforward legal routine.” According to these corporation sources, the board’s decision not to help Rosenbaum definitely ends any hopes to refloat his erstwhile financial interests.

UNITY OF PURPOSE URGED

The Israel Corporation has been under strong attack in Israeli political and economic circles for losing money by transferring funds to Rosenbaum and for placing monies abroad instead of investing all available funds in Israel’s economy as is its stated aim.

At Thursday night’s meeting Baron de Rothschild made it clear, however, that he intends to head the board and help develop the corporation’s activities in Israel. Rothschild also called on the board’s members to show “unity of purpose” and reassert the company’s aims. He said that a new director general to replace Michael Tsur will soon be reappointed and is due to name soon a selection committee. He expects to announce the name of the new director general at the next board meeting, next month in Israel. Tsur is the Corporation’s former managing director who was fired by the board Sept. 27.

The board’s decisions will not conclude the Rosenbaum scandal. The bank is still in moratorium and its 12,000 depositors are not receiving their money back. Corporation sources said that its own investigation into these facts will be completed “in a few days” and indicated that the report will probably be made public.

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