Begin Rejects Urgings That Israel Make Concessions in View of Events in Afghanistan and Iran

Premier Menachem Begin rejected “voices in Europe and sometimes in America” urging Israel to make concessions because of events in Iran and Afghanistan and insisted that “because of the Islamic revolution and because of the growing force of the USSR, Israel must be stronger and more careful than ever.”

Begin made those remarks to Israel Bonds leaders from the United States and Canada who had just reaffirmed their pledge to raise $525 million in Bond sales this year “to help Israel meet the economic challenges of peace.” The Premier addressed the closing session of the 1980 Israel Bonds Prime Ministers Conference at the Knesset Sunday night. He told the participants that Israel would implement the autonomy plan for the Palestinians provided that it adhered strictly to the agreements reached at Comp David. “We say yes to the Camp David agreements,” he said.

DECLARATION OF FAITH AND SUPPORT

The Bonds leaders, who left Israel yesterday for a tour of Egypt, adopted a “Declaration of Faith and Support” which was read by Jane Stern of New York, chairperson of the Women’s Division of the Israel Bond Organization: “Mindful that the coming decade of the ’80s poses the greatest challenge yet, we therefore declare and resolve that our initial goal is to provide Israel with $525 million in investment funds in 1980, thus setting a new record of support for the State and exceeding the sums raised during the year of the Yom Kippur War.”

Sam Rothberg, general chairman of the Israel Bond Organization, told Begin, “We will help you build the Negev.” He observed that “in the 30 years of the Israel Bond Organization, we have met every crisis and challenge. We are now prepared to meet the urgent task of peace and intend to surpass the record of $515 in sales achieved during the Yom Kippur War.”

The Israel Bond Organization launched a new $1 billion economic development for peace loan issue late last year, earmarked primarily for infrastructure development in the Negev. Projected building costs in the areas of energy, water pipelines and roods were outlined to the Bond leaders during their five-day visit. They were told that the Negev needs 240 miles of new highways and secondary roads.

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