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Albert J. Meyer, associate professor of Middle Eastern Studies, last night gave a favorable account of Israel's economic growth since 1948. Yet he predicted that, under her present economic system, she is headed for financial ruin.
Meyer said that Israel's foreign economic problems would ultimately result in ruin. He listed soon-to-be-discontinued German reparations, decreasing American aid, the Arab economic boycott, and increasing competition from the Common Market as virtually insurmountable difficulties.
Meyer proposed three possible sources of income which, if pursued, might extricate Israel from the economic disaster which seemed probable.
* Israel's ideal climate and cultural attractions provide an excellent basis for developing the tourist trade.
* Israel can benefit from the "export of guilt." Meyer explained that many Jews who were not caught in the "holocaust of Europe" have feelings of guilt and would be willing to contribute, capital to their fatherland.
* Israel has made enormous "investments in its people in terms of education." Meyer predicted that education would permit Jews to emigrate to Europe where they would receive higher wages than they would had they stayed in Israel. These people would hopefully invest their increased wages in the Israeli economy.
In addition, he characterized Israel's agriculture and industry as "about the most inefficient system in the world." Despite their unproductivity, emphasizes agriculture and industry as her primary sources of income. As a result, "her foreign debt has now gone over $500 million, though the country began in 1948 with $150 million in assets."
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