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Israel Entering Period of Full Employment, Labor Minister Tells Hadassah

February 20, 1968
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Delegates to the mid-winter conference of Hadassah here heard an urgent appeal today for large scale aliyah (immigration) especially from Western countries. Aryeh L. Pincus, chairman of the Jewish Agency, told the group representing the world’s largest single Zionist organization that Israel, for its part, would introduce major reforms in customs, taxation, housing and employment to make the prospect of aliyah more attractive to Jews in Western countries. Without aliyah, he warned, “bitter divisions” would develop between Israel and the diaspora.

The conference was also addressed today by Labor Minister Yigal Alon who outlined Israel’s economic goals and reported a substantial drop in unemployment. He revealed that the number of jobless has declined from 50,000 in March, 1967 to 20,000 in January, 1968. “We are entering a period of full employment,” he said, “and this means that there will be many jobs available to enable 5,000 Israelis now living abroad to return home.”

The Labor Minister said Israel’s economic targets were an improved balance of trade, self-reliance in the production of armaments and an improved living standard for all despite the heavy burdens of national security.

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