JERUSALEM (Jul. 29)
Abba Eban, former Israel Ambassador to the United States, reiterated today his strong opposition to the proposal of former Army Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan for a policy of “hostility for hostility” in Israel’s handling of the United Arab Republic blockade of Israel shipping.
Mr. Eban, in a lengthy article in the evening daily, Maariv, urged Israel leaders to postpone any decision on giving up the present policy of reacting to Arab aggressions by diplomatic means even if adhering to such a policy required strong self-restraint.
The former envoy presented a lengthy list of international and internal Israel gains in the 30 month since the Sinai campaign. These, he contended, had been made possible by the “relative tranquility” which has prevailed on Israel’s borders.
He said this policy of exhausting all channels of the international community was the guiding principle of Israel’s efforts to ensure freedom of passage through the Suez Canal. “It is definitely too early to say this policy has failed to bring any immediate results,” he stressed.
The speech by President Nasser of the United Arab Republic, claiming victories against Israel in the 1956 Sinai campaign, will be answered on Israel’s Arab broadcasting station by Mr. Dayan, it was announced here today. One of President Nasser’s other claims was that not a single Egyptian soldier or officer was captured by Israel during the Sinai campaign and that the ones captured were only “a few National Guardsmen.”
The Arab-language program will broadcast interviews with hundreds of officers among the more than 5,000 Egyptian prisoners. The interviews will include one with Gen, Abdulla el Agridi, who commanded the captured Eighth Egyptian division and who is now infantry chief at Egyptian army headquarters.