JERUSALEM (Feb. 28)
The Ministerial Immigration Committee, facing the prospect of rising unemployment, convened here today to consider measures to keep young people from leaving the country, especially discharged army veterans.
Absorption Minister Yaacov Tzur, chairman of the Committee, observed that there was a basic conflict between unemployment and efforts to encourage immigration. But emigration, too, poses a serious problem. The panel was informed by the Central Bureau of Statistics today that about 350,000 Israelis have emigrated since the State was founded more than 36 years ago. There is widespread fear that emigration will increase this year because of Israel’s economic crisis.
The ministers agree that measures must be taken to create job opportunities for young people just out of the army and to diminish the attraction of seeking jobs overseas. A special committee of the directors general of several ministries was formed to cope with the problem.
Tzur said that, in addition, the government would implement, at least in part, a law passed by the last Knesset, shortly before the July, 1984 elections, granting generous material benefits to discharged service personnel. The law has not been implemented up to now for budgetary reasons.
“At this stage we shall at least try to materialize the article (in the law) which promises education benefits to discharged soldiers,” Tzur said. He said various opportunities would be offered soldiers even before they complete their military service.