Rabin Says Israeli Forces Could Have Seized Arab Capitals ‘in One Day’

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Gen. Yitzhak Rabin, said here today that Israel’s forces could have captured Cairo, Amman and Damascus “in one day” during the Six-Day War of June, 1967 but halted at what Israel considered the limit before there might be outside intervention. Gen. Rabin, who was Chief of Staff of Israel’s Army at the time, spoke in reply to a reporter at the Atlanta Press Club who asked why Israel had stopped after six days and had not taken “another six days” to capture the Arab capitals and “settle things.”

Ambassador Rabin told the Press Club audience that he was pessimistic about peace prospects because he believed the Arabs did not want peace. He added that Israel could live under present security conditions for another 15 or 20 years and continue its development even in the absence of peace. Gen. Rabin said that Soviet military supplies to the Arabs Justified the supply of supersonic planes to Israel. He said negotiations with the United States for the sale of supersonic Phantom Jets were in a “practical stage” and that while he could not say that a final decision on the sale had been reached, he was confident that it would be authorized by the Johnson Administration before it left office next January.

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