JERUSALEM (Aug. 21)
Defense Minister Moshe Dayan said today that protecting the lives of Israelis was more important than world opinion. Dayan, addressing the second International Congress of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, was referring to the Security Council’s unanimous condemnation of Israel’s Aug. 10 interception of a Lebanese airliner in which terrorist leaders were believed to be traveling.
“I do pay attention to world public opinion but we have to take into consideration some practical matters such as the defense of our children,” Dayan said. He asserted that the Israel government had to defend the lives of children in the settlements near the Lebanese border and had to protect people coming to Lod Airport.
“We cannot rely on the Arab terrorists to observe the law, ” he declared. “Neither can we rely on the Lebanese government or any other government to bring the terrorists to court.” Israel, Dayan said, had to decide whether to protect the lives of its people and other people or surrender to the terrorists “because the world doesn’t like what we are doing.”