Leon Dulzin, acting chairman of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency, described the magnitude of Israel’s financial needs at a press conference at Jewish Agency headquarters here today. He said the “current financial needs cannot be overstated.” Dulzin reported that Israel’s national budget for the fiscal year beginning next month was $8,4 billion, compared to about $5 billion last year, of which $3.5 billion is needed for security, more than double last year’s defense budget.
Those figures underline the need for philanthropic funds for the absorption of immigrants and help for some recently arrived olim, Dulzin said. He noted that 54 percent of Israel’s gross national product goes back to the national treasury. “In essence every taxpayer has to give 54 ? of every dollar earned for taxes of one sort or another to the Israel government.” Dulzin said. “Perhaps ten percent additional goes into social security and local taxes,” he added.
Dulzin said that campaign quotas for the current year total $1,250 billion through March, 1975, of which the United States is being asked to contribute $750 million. He said pre-campaign testing indicated that this amount will be raised. Dulzin also noted that he has just returned from opening the fund-raising campaign in Canada which raised $72 million for Israel last year and is confident it can raise as much or more this year.
LATIN AMERICAN DEVELOPMENTS BEAR WATCHING
Replying to a question by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on the situation of Jews in Latin America, Dulzin said, “We have to keep a watchful eye” on developments there. He observed that anti-Zionism has become synonymous with anti-Semitism because of the large organized Arab community in Latin America. He said that Arab pressures were reflected at the United Nations on some South American countries that had been traditionally pro-Israel.
In response to another question by the JTA, Dulzin said he detected no alienation on the part of American Jews as a result of the political troubles in Israel following the Yom Kippur War. He expressed the view that the world Jewish community was more united than ever before and urged that this unity be maintained and strengthened.
Dulzin said that Israel’s virtual isolation from world support during the Yom Kippur War indicated the need for more and better public relations “to explain and reiterate again and again the concept that we are not conquerors of Palestine, that we are not strangers to the land. Our Palestine tradition goes back to antiquity and procedures that of the Arabs,” Dulzin declared. “We have not taken land away from the Palestinians or Arabs. Jews are in Israel by right.” He said, however, that this aspect had been ignored in Zionist propaganda efforts and now “must become one of the major aspects of the presentation of our story to the non-Jews.”
Dulzin said it was a “major responsibility” of all Jews, particularly Zionists “to see to it that all of our children are raised with an adequate Jewish education and an adequate Jewish education must include Zionist content,” he claimed.
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.