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Israel Presents Seven-year Plan to World Jewish Leaders

October 27, 1953
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A wide range of military, political and economic problems were brought today to the attention of the approximately 150 Jewish leaders from various countries abroad who assembled here for a five-day conference to map plans for increased economic aid to Israel. A 300-page plan calling for the development and expansion of Israel’s agriculture, industry, communications and housing over the next seven years was presented to the conference today. A visualizes the population of Israel reaching 2,000,000 Jews by 1960 and proposes reducing the foreign exchange gap by increasing exports and decreasing imports.

Today’s session was presided over by Premier David Ben Gurion, who last night outlined Israel’s problems to the conferees in general terms in a speech delivered at a dinner arranged in honor of the guests. At today’s session a high-ranking army officer reviewed for the Jewish leaders–more than 100 of whom are from the United States–the structure and tasks of Israel’s army. Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett reported at great length on the political situation and dealt especially with the problem of concluding peace with the Arab countries.

Last night, Mr. Ben Gurion reviewed the historic partnership between world Jewry and the Jewish community of Israel, pointing out that this partnership had enabled the infant state to expel six invading Arab armies against whom no nation in the world had demanded the imposition of sanctions for aggression and who then and since have broken United Nations decisions and agreements with impunity.

Commenting on the transfer of Israel’s capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Premier pointed out that when the Jews took over the city it was a shell battered “by Moslem soldiers and British officers who consider this the holiest city in the world.” It is “unimaginable” and “sheer nonsense” that Israel’s capital should not be in Jerusalem, he added.

Mr. Ben Gurion also told his listeners that “there are world forces which cannot be reconciled with Jewish independence and with national equality for the Jewish people. ” He continued: “The world does not accept us as we are, as equals to equals. Things which are natural and elementary with other peoples are not linked or not understood among Jews.”


Reviewing the task of bringing in and absorbing the immigrants to Israel, the Premier detailed the difficulties facing the state throughout its short life, but stressed that while the Israelis knew the dangers of mass immigration, “we also knew our responsibility to our people and to history. We knew in what danger Yemen, Iraqi, Lebanese and Egyptian Jews were. ” He added that efforts must still be made to bring the Jews out of Libya and Morocco and out of the East European countries to Israel.

Turning to the future tasks of the Jewish State, he maintained that “we must use all our energy and science” to “enrich and develop this country which the Arabs did not cultivate because they did not consider it theirs, and to convert it to a country flowing with milk and honey. For this we must have power and water, ” he stressed, “for this goal we drained the Huleh swamp and began the Jordan works, but (UN truce chief) General Bennike says it will give the Jews a military advantage.

“We are not looking for any military advantage, ” the Premier cried. “We look for peace, we want peace, we love peace, which is one of the basic elements of the restored Israel.”

In conclusion, Mr. Ben Gurion said “we are small, we are poor but, “he promised, “with the assistance of the Jewish nation we will upbuild Israel and make it a state where every Jew will be able to live as a man, as a Jew.”

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