LONDON (Aug. 26)
Moscow Radio told its Arab listeners today that Israel was speeding construction of a pipeline to carry oil from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean to “spur Israel’s war plan.” The pipeline, Moscow said in a broadcast, was not important to the Israel economy but was a vital part of an aggressive Israeli design.
Israel, which now has an oil pipeline from its Gulf of Akaba port of Eilat to the Haifa refineries on the Mediterranean coast, is building a 16-inch pipeline which would be able to carry enough crude oil to permit the Haifa refineries to work at full capacity and meet the country’s domestic fuel requirements.
The pipeline was commenced originally to circumvent the Arab anti-Israel boycott which seeks to cut off all oil supplies from Israel. Formerly, Israel had to buy crude oil at a considerable cost from Venezuela because supplies from nearby sources to the East could not be transited through the Suez Canal. The pipeline permitted Israel to buy crude oil in a more favorable market, carry it by tanker to Eilat and transport it from there to Haifa through the pipeline.
The Moscow Radio stressed that the Israeli pipeline was “the first in the Arab East outside the supervision of the Arab countries.” It said that the Arabs had been able to halt British and French support of Israel against Egypt during the Sinai campaign by severing oil supplies to Western Europe. Today, Moscow said Israel is “trying to snatch this strong defensive weapon from the hands of the Arabs” and was, in effect, creating an alternate oil route for the West to frustrate the Arab defense.
The Moscow propagandists tied their attack on the Israeli pipeline to charges that Israel was preparing the groundwork for “coming aggressions” against the Arabs. They asserted that “the voices demanding a repetition of the aggression against the Arabs have recently become louder in Israel,” and added that “Moshe Dayan, former Chief of Staff, is one of those voices.”
The broadcast warned the Arabs that while the United States Government is again “flirting with Arab nationalism and attempting to be a friend of the Arabs,” it was, at the same time, encouraging Israeli “aggressive circles” to frighten the Arabs into following policies desired by the West.