TORONTO (Sep. 13)
Delegates from the United States and Canada to the Fall international Israel Bond Organization Leadership Conference which opened here last night, were told that with Israel Bond aid in developing Israel’s economic infrastructure, industrial and agricultural exports for the first seven months of 1979 reached a record $2 billion over the same period the previous year. Overall exports to date have shown an increase of 13 percent over 1978.
At the same time, the 1000 delegates attending the conference at the Royal York Hotel, were informed that the escalating cost of Israel’s oil imports in 1979 would reach the “staggering amount” of $1.5 billion compared to $760 million in 1978, according to a report issued by Israel Finance Minister Simcha Ehrlich. Two major Israeli oil sources, Iran and the Alma oil fields in Sinai which are being returned to Egypt under the terms of the peace treaty, represented 80 percent of the nation’s oil supply.
Speaking at a reception last night at the Toronto City Hall, Sam Rothberg, general chairman of the Israel Bond Organization, told the delegates that the conference will launch a massive effort for the sale of a new $1 billion Economic Development for Peace Loan at the sessions which began today and will continue through Sunday. He stressed that the Peace Loan represents only a portion of larger sums needed for the industrialization of the Negev to which Sinai settlers will be redeployed under the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, and other parts of the country. Rothberg noted that a major undertaking at the conference would be to complete plans for a successful mobilization of American and Canadian synagogues to conduct High Holy Day appeals in behalf of the Peace Loan.