Day an Says Israel Prefers Separate Agreements with Arab States

Defense Minister Moshe Dayan indicated last night that Israel envisages separate, rather than collective peace agreements with its Arab neighbors and conceded that the Arabs might balk. “When we say that Israel is ready to withdraw from most of the territories occupied in 1967, we must know that our withdrawal from a major part of Sinai will not settle our border with Syria,” Gen. Dayan told the graduating class at the Haifa Technion last night.

“For the Syrians, the occupied lands are the Golan Heights,” he said. It is also possible, he added, “that the Egyptians will not make peace with us if we withdrew from all of Sinai but not from-the Golan Heights.”

Gen. Dayan insisted that the Middle East conflict continues “because the Arab states refuse to accept our stretched out hand for peace.” But he made it plain that he regarded the idea of a separate Palestinian political entity as “dead.” He said the Arabs themselves killed it in 1947 when they opted to join with Jordan rather than establish the Palestinian state envisioned by the UN partition decision in part of Palestine.

Dayan also declared that the Arab refugees who fled Palestine in 1948 will have to be absorbed by the Arab countries “sooner or later” because “Israel will not accept them willingly and not by force.” Dayan noted that Israel has absorbed some 700,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries who left behind not agricultural land but businesses and property which were confiscated by the Arab regimes.

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