NEW YORK (Dec. 13)
Gen. Moshe Dayan said on the NBC television program “Meet The Press” today that he did not discuss terms for Israel’s return to the Jarring talks at his meeting with President Nixon and other top administration officials in Washington last Friday and that he was not taking home any “concrete” message for his government. The Israeli Defense Minister declared that Israel would return to the stalled Jarring talks when the “right conditions” prevailed. At another point during the half-hour interview he referred to the “proper conditions” but would not say precisely what those conditions are. (White House press secretary Ronald Ziegler said after the Friday meeting that President Nixon hoped the Israeli-Arab talks would resume soon but declined to say whether Mr. Nixon was any more optimistic on that point than he was before meeting the Israeli Defense Minister. A White House source said Dayan did not discuss specific terms of military aid to Israel. Other sources said his talks with President Nixon, Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird and Secretary of State William P. Rogers dealt with Israel’s general terms for a. Mideast settlement and the means to cope with the enlarged Soviet role in Egypt. It was reported that U.S. officials urged Israel to return to the Jarring talks before the currently extended cease-fire expires on Feb. 5.)
Dayan’s “Meet The Press” appearance was taped yesterday, several hours before he addressed a United Jewish Appeal banquet. (See separate story). He surprised newsmen on the TV panel by denying the existence of a controversial proposal attributed to him for a mutual disengagement of Israel and Egyptian military forces in the Suez Canal zone as the basis for a renegotiated cease-fire agreement. Questioned about the proposal which has been in the news here and in Israel for weeks, Dayan replied, “I read about it, I read about it, but I have not submitted any such proposal to my government or anyone else…It simply doesn’t exist.” He added that demilitarization was no substitute for a country’s army. Asked if Israel would accept United Nations peace-keeping forces as a buffer between Israel and its Arab neighbors, Dayan replied, “Certainly not on the Israeli side. What do we want them for?” Dayan had uncomplimentary words for the UN General Assembly and the Security Council which he thought were obstructing the quest for peace. He said a way had to be found to have the Security Council “not intervene and not try to impose on us a solution. W don’t want the Security Council to dictate to us what to do.” Dayan repeated several times that Israel will not go back to the old armistice lines that existed prior to the June, 1967 war. “This is unacceptable to us. We don’t want to return to the old lines. What’s wrong with that?” he asked newsmen.
Dayan said that he was “not instrumental” in dropping Israel’s requirement for rectification of Egyptian missile violations as a condition for returning to the Jarring talks. “The Cabinet decided what they decided,” he said, adding, “We haven’t dropped it (rectification) but we have to face the facts of life” and “get a substitute.” He indicated that a “substitute” was sufficient American military supplies to cancel out the Egyptian missile threat. Referring to U.S. arms aid. Dayan said Israel was “not expecting” a military balance with the Arabs, “but we don’t want an embargo,” and “we don’t want to run out of ammunition.” He spoke scornfully of Egyptian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad’s demand that the U.S. stop military deliveries to Israel although Egypt continues to accept arms from Russia. He said he didn’t think the Russians are pushing the Arabs toward war now but neither are they seeking peace. Dayan refused to reply to any questions predicated on what he would do if he were Israel’s Prime Minister. He indicated surprise at reports suggesting that the Arabs would prefer to deal with him rather than other Israeli leaders. “Me personally? They don’t know me,” he said.