PARIS (Jan. 30)
Four hundred United States, Canadian and European Israel Bond leaders pledged to provide Israel with maximum economic development funds to help build a vast new infrastructure in the 4600-square-mile Negev region, the nation’s new frontier, after the peace treaty with Egypt takes full effect in 1982. Billions of dollars are needed for new energy facilities, water pipelines, roods, communication systems, sewage and industrial complexes.
Meeting for two days here as part of the 1980 Prime Minister’s conference of the State of Israel Bonds, the Jewish leaders adopted a “declaration of solidarity,” committing themselves to support a new $1 billion Economic Development for Peace Loan Issue.
Declaring that only a strong, economically secure and confident Israel can help assure the coming of peace,” the delegates pledged them-selves “to continue to aid Israel through Israel Bonds.” The statement was adopted yesterday at a concluding dinner in the presence of Baron Alain de Rothschild, president of the Consistoire Central Israelite; Claude Kelman, chairman of the European Executive Committee, State of Israel Bonds, and Sam Rothberg of Peoria, Illinois, general chairman, State of Israel Bonds.
Rothberg expressed the concern of many delegates when he declared that the upheaval in Iran and developments in Afghanistan have created a very disturbing situation in the Middle East, requiring Israel’s defense expenditures to remain at the highest level despite the peace treaty with Egypt and the ongoing autonomy talks.
In addition to meetings with European Bond leaders, the U.S. and Canadian representatives met with members of the French Jewish community, participated in services at the Rothschild Synagogue and conducted ceremonies at the Memorial of the Martyrs, honoring the memory of the Holocaust victims. The contributions of Theodor Herzl to the Zionist dream and the impact of the Dreyfus trial were recalled at the Ecole Militaire, where delegates conducted a brief ceremony.
The members of the 1980 Prime Minister’s conference left tonight for Jerusalem where they will meet with Premier Menachem Begin, Finance Minister Yigal Hurwitz, Defense Minister Ezer Weizman and others during five days of discussion and viewing economic development projects in Israel.