Menu JTA Search

Dulzin: Only a Unity Government Can Deal with the Economic Problems

Leon Dulzin, chairman of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization Executives, said here last night only a unity government could be strong enough “to deal with the stringent economic problems” in Israel.

Speaking at the Saydie Bronfman Center here as a guest of the Canadian Zionist Federation and of the Harvey Golden Institute, Dulzin asserted that the solution of Israel’s economic impasse required a reduction of “the present $22 billion national budget by $1.5 billion at least.”

The other major problem a new government must tackle quickly is Israel’s fragmented election system. He predicted that “in two years we will have new elections.”

Dulzin said Israel must also “reduce our military budget and our standard of living which went up by 20 percent during the last four years. We cannot afford it.”

Referring to predictions than an austerity regime would bring unemployment, Dulzin said “we must be very careful about unemployment because we will have to absorb some 20,000 new immigrants this year and therefore full employment is mandatory.”

“So is encouraging new investments and expanding our exports,” he added. He insisted that Israel’s economy is basically healthy and that the individual Israeli had not been crushed by inflation because wages are indexed.

He said he did not think withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon was a “major problem” and added that peace with the Arabs would come “when the Arabs will decide to negotiate with Israel.”

Dulzin expressed the hope that the free trade zone, now in final stages of United States-Israel negotiations, would make possible an expansion of Israeli exports to the U.S. market up to $10 billion in a few years. He said achievement of that goal would solve all the financial and economic problems of Israel.

NEXT STORY