LONDON (Jul. 5)
A dominant figure in the Soviet hierarchy insisted today that the Soviet Union had been justified and correct in the policies it had pursued in the Middle East and asserted that Soviet policy would continue to support the Arab states.
Leonid I. Brezhnev, the Communist Party chief, said that “looking back, we can say with certainty today that our actions were correct In the crucial days of the Middle East crisis.” Speaking at a Kremlin reception, he asserted that the Soviet Union “firmly and resolutely supports the Arab states and is rendering them all-around assistance.” He added that conferences which President Podgorny has just concluded in Egypt, Syria and Iraq would undoubtedly “facilitate the coordination of Joint action in the political struggle” in defense of the rights of the Arab states.
The party leader assailed the Israelis, accusing them of aggression and of “behaving like the worst of bandits.” He accused them of atrocities against the Arabs and charged that “it seems they want to copy the crimes of the Hitler invaders.” The war, he said, was not the result of national strife between the Arabs and Israelis but “a struggle between the forces of imperialism and the forces of national independence, democracy and social progress.”
ISRAEL SEES EGYPT AS MILITARY THREAT IN ONE YEAR
The London Daily Telegraph said today that Israel was prepared for a long period of Soviet-inspired provocation from the Arab states, particularly Egypt. It asserted that Israeli officials expect the Arabs to put on military pressure along the cease-fire line and to wage political and propaganda warfare.
The newspaper reported that Israel had collected evidence that the Soviet Union had embarked on a massive rearmament of the Arab states, including Iraq, which was only slightly involved in the recent fighting. Hundreds of transport planes have landed in Egypt in recent weeks, the paper said, and the Egyptians have received fighter planes including the MIG 17s, 19s and 21s.
At the current rate of buildup, and allowing time for retraining and regrouping, Israel estimates that Egypt could again pose a serious military threat to Israel’s existence within a year, the Daily Telegraph asserted. The paper said the Soviet rearmament of Egypt probably stemmed from a desire to provide the country with some defensive capacity after its rout by Israel and to show the Arabs they were not being left in the lurch. It pointed out that Israel intended to stand firm on all its borders pending a peace settlement and was capable of maintaining control of the territory it had captured.