JERUSALEM (Oct. 17)
Defense Minister Gen. Moshe Dayan came under sharp criticism in some political circles here today for the speech he delivered in Tel Aviv yesterday in which he spoke pessimistically of early prospects for peace with the Arabs. He said Israel should consider annexing the territories it occupied in the June, 1967 war unless the Arabs agreed to peace. His critics maintained that the opinions he expressed ran counter to those held by a large section of the Cabinet. Prime Minister Levi Eshkol is expected to reply indirectly to Gen. Dayan when he addresses the Knesset (Parliament) next Monday. Mr. Eshkol is expected to say that he has hopes for “peace in our time” and to reiterate Israel’s willingness to come to terms with any Arab government, sources said.
Gen. Dayan, addressing the National Union of Israeli Students, said the Arab countries, which lost 70 percent of their Air Forces in the Six-Day War, had more than replaced the losses and were now 50 percent stronger in the air than they were on the eve of June, 1967. He said Israel must be prepared for another Arab onslaught and, at the same time, must strive for peaceful co-existence with the Arabs in the occupied territories.
Gen. Dayan’s differences with other Cabinet members were believed to center around negotiations with Jordan. He was known to oppose any separate agreement because he does not believe that King Hussein would have the power to implement it. Other Cabinet members hold that Hussein could stick by an agreement with Israel because he is backed by such Arab rulers as the kings of Saudi Arabia. Libya and Morocco and could count on United States and British support.
Gen. Dayan said, in his Tel Aviv speech, “We must settle the Golan Heights, fortify the Sinai and integrate the West Bank and Gaza economically and organizationally into Israel. Above all, we must seek to come closer to the Arab population in these territories even though they do not heed us at the moment.”
Gen. Dayan’s proposals for the integration of the West Bank into Israel ran counter to a plan attributed to Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon which suggested a kind of partition of the West Bank between Israel and Jordan. Political circles have reported that Gen. Dayan submitted a plan to the Government which called for retention of strategic points along the West Bank and establishment of Jewish settlements there, while allowing the Arab population autonomous administration. The plan was said to be favored by Herut Party leader Menachem Beigin, a member of the Cabinet, who advocates annexation of the occupied territories.
Foreign Ministry officials said today that there was a wide gulf between Jordanian demands and Israeli thinking on what form a peace treaty between the two countries might take. They stressed that negotiations must and do continue, mainly through United Nations peace envoy Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring. But so far, they said, there was no sign that Jordan would agree even in private to tell Israel it was willing to conduct talks aimed at reaching a peace treaty. According to well informed sources. Jordan has demanded a “map” of Israel’s demands or, as an alternative, seeks to arrive at a timetable for “implementing” the Security Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 peace resolution. That concept was rejected by Israel and by the Western powers, which do not regard the resolution as self-implementing but see it only as a basis on which both sides could reach an agreement.