Calling Israel’s economic situation its “most difficult problem,” Masha Lubelsky, secretary-general of Na’amat, termed the government’s policy of devaluation and cutting subsidies on basic commodities “a shock treatment that Israel cannot afford.”
Addressing 600 delegates at the opening last night of the 28th biennial convention of Pioneer Women/ Na’amat at the Hyatt Regency, Mrs. Lubelsky, a leader in Israel’s Labor Party, called for “a new economic policy that would consider the needs of lower income people and ensure equal opportunities based on the idea of social justice.”
She characterized the economic policies of the Likud government as “a national disaster.” She charged that the government “wasted important foreign currency, especially American dollars, for the import of cars, color TVs and video cassette recorders,” and said such policies “destroyed the basis of our own industry.”
Mrs. Lubelsky asserted that “our natural resources are human beings,” and said Israel should again put “a strong emphasis on being a productive and creative society. For our economy to recover, we must mobilize our efforts to develop science and sophisticated industry.” She said the present government “should resign, call for early elections and let the people decide for themselves.”
Mrs. Lubelsky noted that many Jews in the diaspora “expect us in Israel to make a show of unity and agreement in the face of the danger that surrounds us. But we must never adopt attitudes of agreement and unity that are artificial and superficial.” On this basis, she declared. Labor Party leader Shimon Peres could not compromise the party’s principles and join a government “that was a failure in Lebanon and brought Israel’s economy to a catastrophe.”
The biennial conference, which ends Wednesday, will also feature the presentation of the organization’s Golda Meir Human Relations Award to Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.