Many points raised by Betty Berenson in her February 18 letter need to be answered, but let me take up the one that I consider to be the most preposterous. She said: "Every billion dollars spent by Israel will create 20,000 jobs in American construction, banking and related industries." Is it possible that Betty Berenson believes her own propaganda? It seems that her way of thinking when it comes to Israel can be summarized as follows: The bigger the lie, the less ludicrous it gets.
If Betty Berenson is so confident that shipping American taxpayers' money to Israel makes business sense, I invite her to meditate on what Israeli journalist Yigal Laviv had to say in Hadashot, an Israeli newspaper, last September 25. He reported that "the chiefs of the Conference of Presidents of Jewish Organizations recently approached 20 Jewish billionaires in the U.S., selected from the list of 500 richest persons in the world, asking them to guarantee Israeli loans. All the 20, who support Israel politically, flatly refused. They claimed that as businessmen motivated solely by the considerations of profitability, they could not guarantee loans to a state considered a risk case in respect to its repayment ability."
If the conventional wisdom made American Jews skeptical of the repayment ability of the Jewish state, why should our political leaders, who are overwhelmingly, to use Shamir's vocabulary, Gentiles, be less skeptical? Or is it OK to squander American taxpayers' money? They should immediately stop considering guaranteeing any loan to Israel. American entrepreneurs should be the ones who benefit from guaranteed loans, not Israel. Then we can be sure that the "20,000 jobs" Betty Berenson is talking about will be created here at home.
April 3, 1992
For a reply see and