LONDON (Nov. 7)
General Yigal Allon, Israel’s Labor Minister, a here of Israel’s War of Liberation, said tonight that the Arab threat to attack Israel over the Galilee-Negev irrigation project “may be an empty threat but we are not taking chances and we are ready to meet it.” The Labor Minister, who addressed the annual dinner of the Anglo-Israel Association tonight, touched on several issues of Israeli security. Among other subjects, he elaborated on the frequently proposed offer by Israel to sign a non-aggression pact with its Arab neighbors.
Asserting that Israel did not abdicate its right to defend itself with its own weapons when necessary, he said that Israel wants peace with the Arabs, and has given proof of a sincere desire for peace on many occasions. He cited as an example the fact that Israel remained passive and refrained from mobilization during the frequent periods of Arab internal strife or inter-Arab conflicts.
However, he said, if a peace treaty with the Arabs was presently impossible, as seemed to be the case, than perhaps another approach might result in stability which would in fact be neither war nor peace–a non-aggression pact with or without United Nations participation. He insisted any such pacts would have to provide for arms inspection to insure against surprise attacks. He argued that the existing UN truce machinery could not provide such assurance, because it was operating only in the frontier attacks. Under modern conditions of war, the former military leader noted, major attacks do not originate in frontier areas.
The Labor Minister also warned the Iraqi against intervening in the Jordan River irrigation project. He said that the Iraqis “seem to think that, because they did not sign an armistice agreement” with Israel at the end of the 1948 war, “they are free to do what they like. They should remember they are playing with fire.”