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September 17, 1993 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-09-17

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

Strengthen Economy
To Aid Autonomy

Mom's always on the go.
There's hardly time to talk.

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Jerusalem (JTA) — In order
for the Palestinian
autonomy plan to succeed,
the economy of the ad-
ministered territories will
have to be strengthened, ac-
cording to the head of
Israel's central bank.
In a briefing, the governor
of the Bank of Israel, Jacob
Frenkel, said that to invig-
orate the economy within
the territories a strong
"interdependence" must
remain in place for at least
three to five years between
the Israeli and Palestinian
economies.
In addition, said Mr.
Frenkel, mass infusions of
international aid will have
to be funneled to the region
to create a Palestinian econ-
omic infrastructure.
He said that during the
interim period of autonomy,
he expected the heavy flow
of workers from the ter-
ritories into Israel to con-
tinue and the flow of goods to
approximate a free trade
zone.
Mr. Frenkel emphasized
that a free trade arrange-
ment did not presume the
eventual establishment of a
Palestinian state.
The governor estimated
that $50 to $75 million will
be needed to meet the Pales-
tinians' immediate needs
and to help build popular
support for the autonomy
plan by showing it produces
concrete benefits.
The plan calls for Palestin-
ian self-rule in the Gaza
Strip and Jericho as a first
step toward extending Pa-
lestinian authority
throughout the territories.
In addition, the World
Bank has projected that in
the next three to five years,
the Palestinians will need
$1.25 billion to develop their
infrastructure, he noted.
On the day Mr. Frenkel
spoke, European Commun-
ity finance ministers in
Belgium reportedly discuss-
ed a $600 million aid
package to the territories.
German Chancellor
Helmut Kohl also reportedly
called for a redevelopment
plan similar to the Marshall
Plan used to rebuild Europe
after World War II.
While Israel will con-
tribute to the development of
the Palestinian economy,
Mr. Frenkel said, it will not
divert for that purpose any
amount from the $10 billion

in loan guarantees it receiv-
ed from the United States.
That money, Mr. Frenkel
stressed, was designed to
help the Israeli economy ab-
sorb the hundreds of
thousands of immigrants
from the former Soviet
Union.
In fact, the bank governor
said, the autonomy agree-
ment and the economic
stability it is expected to
produce could spark a
significant rise in immigra-
tion from the former Soviet
Union, making it all the
more critical to continue to
earmark the money for the
absorption effort.
Meanwhile, Mr. Frenkel
predicted that an increasing-
ly stable political envi-
ronment in the region would
attract private foreign in-
vestment that would spur
production and economic
growth.

Cemetery
Is Defaced

Amsterdam (JTA) — Twen-
ty-five tombstones at an old
Sephardic cemetery in the
southwest Dutch province of
Zeeland were defaced with
swastikas and Nazi slogans
last week.
A group calling itself the
Nazi Front Zeeland took
responsibility for the van-
dalism, which police an-
nounced only after the
damage had been cleaned
up.
No perpetrators have yet
been found.
Three times last week, the
Nazi Front Zeeland tele-
phoned threats to bomb a
center for asylum-seekers in
Middelburg. In all cases the
threats.proved false.
The Sephardic cemetery in
Middelburg, the provincial
capital of Zeeland, was in
use only between 1656 and
1721, when the last Sephar-
dim left Middelburg and the
Jewish community there
became only Ashkenazic.
Sephardim had come to
Middelburg from neighbor-
ing Antwerp, Belgium, and
from Brazil. Many Sephardic
Jews, who originally came
from Portugal, fled Brazil
when the Netherlands gave
up that country to Portugal
in 1654 and some of those
went to Holland. ❑

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