In its March issue, Matzpen comments on the new Israeli budget, as it is presented in a circular issued by the United Jewish Appeal (the arm of the zionist movement which raises contributions for Israel among world Jewry). The article is translated below:

The information department of the United Jewish Appeal has recently published a circular designed to help the Zionist functionaries to describe Israel both as a paradise for potential immigrants and at the same time as a country in sore need of the tax-free donations of world Jewry. “It is well known”, the circular says, “that the Israeli citizen pays more tax than citizens of any other country in the world. In the next financial year each Israeli family will have to pay on average IL 5,700, which is about IL 1,000 more than last year”.

The budget for the financial year beginning this April amounts to IL 7.85 billion ($ 2.2 billion). IL 4 billion will be levied as taxes, IL 700 million more than last year.

The financial year 1969-70 will be the second year in which the appreciable increase in defence expenditure will affect the whole structure of the budget. The budget of the Ministry of Defence in 1969-70 will be IL 2.5 billion out of IL 7.8 billion, compared with IL 1.9 billion in the preceding year and IL 1.4 billion in the current year. Defence expenditure consumed about three quarters of all state revenue from direct and indirect taxes. Total tax revenue covers only half of the budget, all the rest is covered by loans and deficit finance.

“In order to renew what we lost in the war and to prepare our equipment for modern warfare”, the circular goes on to say, “we have to spend enormous sums of money. For example, a tank in the period 1948-51 cost $ 60,000 and now costs over $ 300,000. The Phantom planes which we are going to get will cost over $ 14 million each, compared with $ 1.5 million which we used to pay for French Mirage planes”. The Jewish Agency’s emissaries will later translate this into the simpler formula: The Arabs want to destroy Israel – give money.

Somebody in the Jewish Agency is very eager to grab the occupied territories. The circular says: “In order to adhere to the extremely strained time-table, buildings” (in the occupied territories) “are built from pre-fabricated parts, which enables new settlements to be established within a short time”. In numbers we got the following picture: “Until now IL 22 million were invested in new settlements” (all of this in the occupied territories – translator’s note). “In the new financial year, additional IL 3 million will be invested. The new settlements will be Kfar Etzion (North of Hebron), two new settlements in the Golan Heights, and one in Rafah. Money will also be invested in extending settlements which have already been established”.

According to our information there are so-far ten Israeli settlements in the Golan Heights, two in the Sinai and five in the West Bank. The Government of Israel has further very important expansion in view. For instance, “in the new financial year IL 50 million will be allotted to populating East Jerusalem” (i.e., to subsidize housing of Jews in the Arab part of Jerusalem; from the zionist point of view, a territory populated by Arabs is considered un-populated – translator’s note) “and IL 10 million to the reconstruction of the walled part of Jerusalem” (for instance to demolish houses of Arabs and to build locations for Jewish National Institutions – translator’s note). “IL 33.7 million were allotted for the defence and security of 37 villages in the Beisan Valley. During 1969-70 Israel will spend about IL 155 million in the occupied territories”.

The circular further explains that security also makes indirect demands on the economy: “More people have to be called up for reserve service and the conscription period has been extended to three years. This delays employment in the economy of much needed new labour power. In addition, defence also requires large-scale excavations and construction work”.

We have no further comment.

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