TEL AVIV (Oct. 5)
Two leading Cabinet ministers expressed the belief last night that there will be no new war in the Middle East in the immediate future. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan told 300 members of the United Jewish Appeal Study Mission, “I think the Arabs will not renew total war against us.” Yigal Allon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Culture, addressing a Labor Party rally in Netanya, said that Egypt would not start a war against Israel because it knew such an adventure would end in defeat. The Egyptians instead are concentrating on trying to bring international pressure to bear on Israel to make concessions, he said.
Dayan, replying to questions from the visiting UJA leaders at a reception in the garden of his home here, stated: “I believe the Russians did not withdraw from this area completely, but they learned a lesson and drew the conclusion that it was not worth while to enter into active war with Israel. Under those circumstances, I think the Arabs will not renew total war against us.” He added that Israel must continue to fight Arab terrorism and at the same time learn to live with it because the terrorists might now and then succeed in inflicting losses.
Dayan discussed the Russian presence in Syria earlier in the day at a meeting with the Moetzet Hapoalot (Pioneer Women), the women’s section of the Labor movement. He said that in his opinion the Russians were not likely to protect the skies over Syria in the event of war with Israel to the extent that they set up air defenses over Egypt.
NOT INDIFFERENT TO JORDAN’S PEACE SIGNALS
He said the Russians have increased their penetration into Syria by means of arms supplies and political support, but they have not committed themselves to take an active part if war broke out. Dayan said that Russian aid to Syria has taken the form of material aid so far rather than personnel but, he added, “that might also come.”
Dayan said Israel was not indifferent to “peace” signals from Jordan, but warned that there was a large gap between the positions of both countries. For that reason, he noted, peace was not imminent. He said Jordan was prepared to accept only minor border adjustment whereas in Israel even the minimalists insist on substantial boundary changes. In addition, Dayan stated, there was the question of Jerusalem’s status and of the Arab refugees.
Transport Minister Shimon Peres, addressing a Labor Party rally in Petach Tikva, said Egypt may have dissociated itself from the Russians but was allied with the most extreme elements in the Arab world–El Fatah and the regime of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya. He said the regime in Damascus appeared stable but might be undermined if it enters into an alliance with the Russians. He predicted that the Russians would eventually depart from Syria as they had from Egypt.