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October 18, 1974 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-10-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Rabin Meets Israel Bank Executives
in Effort to Save Geneva Credit Bank

TEL AVIV (JTA)—IPremier
Yitzhak Rabin has intervened
personally in efforts to save
the International Credit Bank
of Geneva from collapse.
Rabin summoned to his Tel
Aviv office Monday the top
executives of Israel's three
largest banks—Ernest Yaffee
of Bank Leumi; Daniel Reca-
nati of the Israel Discount
Bank; and Jacob Levinson of
the Bank Hapoalim. He asked
them to consider heading a
consortium of the Swiss
bank's creditors to -keep the
institution alive.
The unprecedented move
was explained by the fact
that total collapse of the
Geneva bank owned by Swiss-
Jewish financier Tibor Ros-
enbaum would have serious
economic repercussions for
Israel. Large sums of Israeli
money and that of other Jew-
ish institutions were on de-,
posit or otherwise involved
in Rosenbaum's bank.
Swiss authorities closed
the bank last week pending
an investigation into its sol-
vency. The bank asked a
Swiss court at the same time
for a moratorium on pay-
ments.
The three bankers who met
with Rabin pledged secrecy
on any moves they may make
to rescue Rosenbaum's bank.
Israeli financial circles ap-
peared more optimistic that
the rescue efforts may suc-
ceed. The outlook improved
after reports were received
that the Hessische Landes-
bank Girozentrale, of Frank-
furt, a part owner of the
Rosenbaum bank, had recon-
sidered its earlier decision
not to put more money into
the Swiss enterprise.
Police, meanwhile, • have
confiscated documents of the
Israel Corp. following a com-
plaint by the corporation
against its suspended man-
aging director, Michael Tsur.
Tsur has been accused of
depositing corporation funds
intended for the capital de-
velopment of Israeli indus-
tries, with Rosenbaum with-
out the knowledge or consent
of the board pf directors.
Israel Corp. money, possibly

as much as $20,000,000, was
funneled by Rosenbaum to
companies he maintained in
Liechtenstein, a European
tax haven.
Monday night the identity
of the second signature on
the monetary transfer notes
signed by Tsur was revealed.
It belonged to 'Mordechai Li-
Mon, a representative of
Baron Edmund de Roths-
child, board chairman of the
Israel Corp. Limon admitted
that he added his signature
under Tsur's, but said he did
so in good faith because he
had trusted Tsur.
Sources close to the bank
say the bank's assets can eas-
ily cover all of its deposits
and other liabilities.
Other financial sources in
Geneva said, however, that
as the Hessiche Landesbank
Girozentrale could ascertain
during recent negotiation's in
Frankfurt, the International
Credit Banks assets are vast-
ly inferior to its liabilities.
These sources expressed the
hope that the bank's future
will be rapidly settled one
way or another as any delay
harms other Jewish or Isra-
eli-connected firms in Swit-
zerland and Western Europe.
Meanwhile small depositors
continued to arrive in 'Gen-
eva in a vain attempt to with-
draw funds deposited with
the bank.
The Israel Corp., a holding
company established in 1968
by Jewish industrialists and
financiers to create capital
for •the expansion of Israeli
industries, owns or holds sub-
stantial interests in some of
Israel's largest firms. These
include the Zim steamship
lines and the Atta Mills, Is-
rael's largest textile manu-
facturer.
'Workers at the Atta plant
called a meeting Oct. 14 to
discuss the money due them
should Atta be forced to shut
down. They got - assurances
from the plant's director gen-
eral, Amos •en-Gurion, that
their pe,nsion funds and sev-
erance pay were safe.
Histadrut, meanwhile, has
instructed its comptroller to
find out if any Histadrut en-
terprises have been involved
in Rosenbaum's bank or other
enterprises. The investiga-

lion was initiated' following
rumors that Histadrut's giant
construction cooperative, Sol-
el Boneh, may have had some
connection with •osenbaum's
companies.
Finance Minister Yehoshua
Rabinowitz, who just re-
turned from Washington
where he attended a meeting
of the World Bank, said that
while deposits by the Israel
Corp. in the International
Credit Bank in, Geneva should
be investigated' and those
who did wrong should be pun-
ished, due consideration must
be given to 'the fact that the
Israel Corp, is a successful
enterprise that has developed
profitable industrial projects.
Meanwhile, there have been
unofficial reports that funds
of the Jewish Agency for Is-
rael, the World Jewish Con-
gress and other institutions
were deposited with the bank
or trust owned by Rosen-
baum, who had been active
in the institutions and a gen-
erous contributor.
In the Knesset, Acting 'Fin-
ance Minister Haim Bar-Lev
tried to dispel the impression
that the corporation had
abused its concessions and
used its funds to speculate
abroad.
In the five years since its
establishment, he said the
corporation had sold shares
to the value' of $66,000,000
and taken short-term loans
for $35,000,000. Some $90,000,.
000 had been invested in in-
dustry, shipping, refineries
and hotels, and the corpora-
tion was-planning to invest in
the expansion of the petro-
chemical industry, refineries,
new hotels and in a new ce-
ment plant.
Bar-Lev said the state
owned only 7 per cent of the

Religious Leaders
Head Missions

WEBSTER

Bar Association-
Poll Names
Judge Robert B. Webster

"Best Qualified"

Non-Partisan Circuit Judge



NEW YORK—Three Cath-
olic and three Jewish leaders
announce they will lead sev-
eral hundred Catholics and
Jews to Israel and Rome
next year in a •series of three
interreligious study missions
to "probe the Jewish roots of
the Catholic holy year."
The year 1975 has been pro-
claimed as a holy year. by
Pope Paul VI, and will be
observed as a "year of re-
newal and reconciliation" by
Catholics around the world.
The study missions will be
co-sponsored by the Ameri-
can J e wish Committee's
Christian Visitors to Israel
Program, directed by Inge
Gibel, and the Graymoor
Ecumenical Institute of the
Atonement Friars of Garri-
son, N. Y. The tours have I
been officially approved by
the Vatican Central Commit- I
tee for the Holy Year.

Halakic •Scholar Speaks to Zionists

NEW YORK — Rabbi Jos-
eph B. Soloveitchik, Halakic
scholar, philosopher and ed-
ucator, will address the clos-
ing luncheon of the American
Zionist Federation Conven-
tion Oct. 28 at the Statler
Hilton Hotel in Boston.
This marks a rare appear-

ance 'by the noted Orthodox
Jewish leader before a col-
lective Zionist audience corn-
prising religious and secular
Jews. Dr. Soloveitchik, pro-
fessor of Talmud and Jewish
philosophy at Yeshiva Uni-
versity, is 'an authority on
Jewish law.

shares in the corporation and
had only one of the seats
on the board of directors,
which, he said, included high-
ly respected financiers •and
bankers from Israel and
abroad.
16 — Friday, October 18, 1974 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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