NEW YORK (Jun. 13)
Former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan declared here tonight that his country has disengaged itself from war and can now pursue “the constructive projects of peace” such as developing its economy, receiving more immigrants from Russia and other countries and building more settlements and cities.
But, he told more than 750 Jewish leaders attending an Israel Bond dinner in his honor at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Israel will probably have to spend-over $1 billion a year “just to renew our armaments” should it have to go to war again. “One of the things that we all know, but that is brought home to us in a very direct way in every war, is that we can never afford to lose a single battle, not only a single war,” he said. He urged the fullest support of the Israel Bond campaign to help finance the recovery of Israel’s economy from the impact of the Oct. war and to further industrial and agricultural development.
Discussing the recently signed disengagement agreement with Syria, Gen. Dayan said “For the first time since October, for the first time in more than seven months, there is no shooting, no fighting, no war. And now that this war is finally behind us, we can and we must look at what’s ahead for us.” He said he believed that “the Syrians will also concentrate on normalization of the evacuated areas bringing back their refugees, just as the Egyptians are now busy reopening the Suez Canal and bringing back their people to the cities along the canal.” He warned, however, that the next phase of peace negotiations in Geneva “would not be much easier for Israel than the disengagement talks with Egypt and Syria.” Dayan praised the U.S. for its political and military assistance to Israel. “I should like to say to the credit of the Administration in Washington that they listen to our requests and understand our needs.” Dayan said.