JERUSALEM (Jun. 15)
Defense Minister Moshe Dayan took a dim view last night of the prospects of reaching an interim accord with Egypt to reopen the Suez Canal. He said Israel was ready for such an accord which could be the first step in a stage-by-stage movement toward peace. However, Dayan declared, the gap between Israel and Egypt with respect to an interim settlement today is as great as the gap between the two on an overall peace settlement. Dayan addressed Hebrew University students at the Jerusalem Convention Center. He warned that the present tendency among the Arabs was to renew the war rather than terminate it. He said Israel was therefore, obliged to act to insure the continuance of the cease-fire, but he ruled out the possibility of a military alliance with the United States.
Dayan said the U.S. was not interested in such an alliance, even if Israel asked for it. On the other hand, he said, such an alliance would obligate Israel to accept the U.S. political position which would mean agreeing to the Rogers Plan. Dayan said the present situation was preferable to a military alliance. He said that despite Washington’s desire to avoid a confrontation with the Russians, the U.S. has refused to make common cause with Moscow in the attempt to impose a settlement on Israel. Dayan added the word, “yet.” He dissociated himself from talk about the possibility of a new preemptive strike by Israel to subdue Egypt. He said it would not be in Israel’s interest to cross the Suez Canal, occupy Cairo and set up an Egyptian “puppet government” to make peace on Israel’s terms. But he added that this did not mean that a situation couldn’t arise which would oblige Israel to cross the Suez Canal and capture Cairo or even Damascus or Amman.