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March 28, 1986 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-03-28

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

12

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, March 28, 1986

NEWS

`Private' Visit

Allnet Communication Services, Inc.

26877 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, MI 48034

Continued from preceding page

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wages dropped an average of 25
to 30 percent."
While unemployment never
hit the 10 percent feared by
some, it did reach 8% percent
before dropping back to under 7
percent — still high by Israeli
standards. Subsidies for food,
fuel, transportation and other
staples were slashed. Spending,
especially in defense, was re-
duced.. However, large cuts in
government jobs, though an-
nounced, were not implemented.
Perhaps most important,
Pack said, government deficits
declined; printing more shekels
to mask economic woes went
out of fashion. And devaluation
of those shekels already in
circulation, while hard on the
Israeli consumer, helped boost
exports, a key feature in the
recovery plan.
All this impressed one par-
ticular economist — Shultz
himself. The Secretary took a
close interest in Israel's eco-
nomic reform from the start,
asserting that financial sound-
ness would contribute to Israel's
strength as an ally.
As Shultz told the Senate sub-
committe, "I had something to
do with hanging onto these
funds [the supplemental aid].
This helped Israel face up to its
problems and confront them in
a way it might not have done
otherwise. The problems aren't
over yet but they are a long way
toward that."
Meanwhile, a new cloud has
arisen in the form of a debt crisis
facing several of Israel's "flag-
ship" enterprises, including the
Soleh Boneh construction giant,
Zim Shipping Co., the high-tech
leader Elscint and the Kupat
Holim health fund. The His-
tadrut union federation, Labor's
political ally, is linked in some
degree to all but Elscint. Rescu-
ing these operations at a cost of
$300 to $400 million and fully
implementing the cabinet's new
plan to pump $450 million into
"growth" could jeopardize
stablization efforts.

Said Pack, "It's not obvious
to me that inflation is really
licked." He believes that Israel's
economy will begin to grow soon
without new policies to promote
growth. The stabilization plan
itself envisioned renewed expan-
sion of exports as one key to
recovery and "it takes a year to
a year and a-half for companies
to find potential export mark-
ets."
Pack said that if Israel's
domestic demand is not stimu-
lated too much, increased ex-
ports will lead to growth, as
planned. Some commentators
have said that Israel's stabiliza-
tion benefitted from good luck
— the plunge in oil prices and
drop in the value of the dollar.
These made austerity less pain-
ful than it would have been
otherwise. But the embassy
source argued that the program
took hold before either of these
changes and that the gains
caused by cheaper petroleum
have not yet worked their way
through the Israeli economy.
Much will depend, he added,
on the new national wage con-
tract to be negotiated between
Histadrut and employers and on
whether the new national bud-
get will keep deficits under con-
trol. In any case, Peres will be
reminded next week that at
least one American, an econom-
ics professor from Stanford who
also happens to be Secretary of
State, will be watching closely.
Eric Rozenman is assistant
editor of Near East Report.

Convent Planned
At Auschwitz

Paris (JTA) — The French
Jewish Consistory has asked the
Vatican to reconsider its decision
to build a Carmelite convent on
the site of the Auschwitz concen-
tration camp. Consistory
president Jean Paul Elkann
enabled Cardinal Willebrand to
ask him to intercede with the
Pope on this issue.

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J. Tylee Wilson, Chairman and Executive Officer of R.J.
Reynolds Industries, Inc. (second from 1.), accepts the
American Jewish Committee's first Louis E. Seidman Human
Relations Award from Peter Strauss, President of the Seneco
Company (second from r.), at a tribute dinner held recently in
New York City. At far left is DinnetChairman Jay Martin,
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Capital
Cigar & Tobacco Co., Inc., and at far right, Theodore Ellenoff,
Chairman of the Board of Governors of the,American Jewish
Committee. Mr. Wilson was cited for his outstanding civic and
educational activities at the dinner.

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