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Dayan: War Preferable to Cairo’s Terms

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Defense Minister Moshe Dayan said here that he would prefer to go to war with Egypt again if necessary than accept the terms of a peace settlement dictated by Cairo. According to Dayan that was the choice being offered by President Anwar Sadat who claims that 1971 will be the decisive year. But the Defense Minister warned that renewed fighting would hurt Egypt far more than Israel. Addressing an Engineers Club luncheon Friday, Dayan said: “We can be subjected to pressure but it is not possible to extort results from us, at any rate not in 1971, because we are not objects for extortion.” Dayan said he thought the cease-fire would continue at least until spring.

Referring to security guarantees for an Israeli pull-back from the administered territories, Dayan said the intention behind them was probably sincere but that he knew of no practical or workable system for replacing the Israeli presence on the cease-fire lines. “It would result in having to ask others to fight for us and from our point of view it would be a black day indeed if American soldiers were to be killed for our sakes,” he declared. Dayan termed all solutions proposed by the Arabs so far as “temporary and fictitious.” What was essential, he said, was to bring about a change in the way the Arabs regarded Israel. He said he saw some “small glimmerings” in the relationship being formed between Israel and the Arabs in the occupied territories.

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