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June 20, 1975 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-06-20

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

8 Friday, June 20, 1975

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Bulk of Jewish Agency Budget Geared for Aliya

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JERUSALEM (JTA) —
Leon Duizin, Jewish Agency
treasurer, presented to the
fourth annual assembly of
the Jewish Agency a $541.9
million budget for the first
fiscal year which began last
April 1, a budget $150 mil-
lion below that he presented
last year.
The largest single alloca-
tion was for aliya and ab-
sorption for which the Dul-
zin budget provided almost
$98 million. He said that fig-
ure was based on an annual
aliya of 45,000 newcomers
but he acknowledged that
present forecasts, based on
a heavy drop in immigration
this year, were considerably
lower.
He argued, however, that
the Jewish Agency must
plan for the long term and
not be daunted by transi-
tional trends. He said he
had taken into account po-

tential as well as actual
aliya projections.

Duizin said the situation
could change quickly both
in the Soviet Union and in
western countries, leading
to large and sudden waves
of aliya.

Dulzin earmarked $42
million for social welfare
services in Israel, a $20 mil-
lion cutback from actual
expenditures the previous
year. He said this reflected
the Israel government's
shouldering of the burden of
welfare subsidies.
He listed $11.6 million for
health services and $44.3
million for pre-university
education, both items
clashed compared with the
previous year.
He said $80.8 million
would go to universities, the
same total as last year and
$38.1 million to youth care
and training, a figure higher
than that of last year to
take account of Youth Ali-
ya's expanding program to
educate disadvantaged Is-
raeli youth as well as young
immigrants.

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The budget figure for
settlement was $64.3 mil-
lion, more than last year,
with large sums ear-
marked for the agency's
settlement projects in the
Arava and the Galilee.

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The figure for housing,
$91.6 million was less than
the amount spent in that
category last year, reflect-
ing the drop in aliya. But
Duizin warned that it was
inadequate, adding that
even the "pessimistic" aliya
forecasts would require
more money for housing
than he had been able to al-
locate.
At the assembly Pinhas
Sapir, chairman of the Jew-
ish Agency Executive, said

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that Israel would have to
have a Jewish population of
at least six million, before it
could have peace and secu-
rity.
The present population is
three million, and at the
present rate of natural in-
crease it will take 25 years
to double it, which means
that every effort must be
made to increase aliya.

The opening session was
attended by President
Ephraim Katzir of Israel,
Jerusalem's Mayor Teddy
Kollek, Max Fisher of De-
troit, chairman of the Jew-
ish Agency Board of Gov-
ernors and Ezra Shapiro,
world chairman of Keren
Hayesod.

Sapir noted in his address
that only 32,000 immigrants
came to Israel in 1974 com-
pared to 55,000 in 1973. He
said that the 7,400 olim who
arrived during the first five
months of 1975 cotnprised
"about half of what it was in
the same period last year."
Sapir attributed the
sharp decline in immigra-
tion in part to the harass-
ment and persecution of
Jews in the Soviet Union
who seek exit visas. He said
he wanted to assure them
that the campaign for their
freedom was continuing in
Israel and in Jewish com-
munities throughout the
worl d.
Sapir said that while the
immigrant housing problem
was practically solved, there
were still many problems
ahead, notably in the area of
social absorption. He told
the delegates that they
must devote special atten-
tion to organizing aliya as
special projects of their
home communities rather
than as an initiative from
outside.

Meanwhile, representa-
tives of 1,000 immigrant
families from the U.S.
demonstrated Wednesday
outside the convention hall
where the Jewish Agency
assembly was in progress
to protest rent increases
which, they said, violated
promises made to them
before they came to Israel.
All of the families immi-
grated during the past five
years.

The immigrants said that
before they came to Israel,
Jewish Agency emissaries
promised them that their
rent would be established
for a 12-year period with
increases every third year at
a fixed rate. However, the
housing authorities are now
demanding an upward revi-
sion of the rent scale which
the tenants say is a burden
they cannot bear.
A spokesman for the dem-
onstration said they were
told by government officials
that the original promise
had been based on a miscal-
culation that has cost the
government IL 42 million to
date.
The government is trying
to divide the increase be-
tween the housing ministry,
the building contractors and
the tenants. But the immi-
grants say that the miscal-
culation was not their re-
sponsibility and that they
are not about to pay for it.

During the assembly,

the general display of un-
ity within Zionist ranks
was marred by an attack
on Sapir emanating from
the Revisionist (Herut)
wing of the World Zionist
movement. Several hours
before the assembly
opened, the Revisionists
held a press conference in
Tel Aviv at which the fac-
tion's chairman, Rafael
Kolowitz, blamed Sapir
personally for the decline
in aliya and demanded his
ouster. The attack brought
swift and angry rebuttals
from Max Fisher and Jew-
ish Agency treasurer Leon
Duizin.

meanwhile, that he was
hopeful and encouraged by
reports from Washington of
the strengthened American-
Israeli understanding.

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Fisher expressed full con-
fidence in Sapir, calling hin
the "one person who has
done more than anyone else
for the development of the
country and for the im-
provement of its absorption
capacity." Dulzin said the
attempt to blame Sapir for
declining aliya was "im-
moral."
President Katzir said,

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