Dayan Says Egypt Might Use American Arms Against Israel

Former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan raised the possibility that American arms provided to Egypt might be used against Israel, but expressed confidence that the U.S. would not dodge its responsibility to Israel. In his first television interview since he quit the Cabinet, Dayan, a member of the Knesset and soon-to-be editor of a new newspaper, said the objective of America’s new policy toward Egypt was to detach it from dependency on the Soviet Union.

“This means relieving Egypt of its military dependence on the Soviet Union” and could lead to American arms being used by Egypt in a war against Israel, Dayan said. He added, however, that Israel had the political power to reverse this trend through American public opinion and because the U.S. cannot and does not want to avoid its responsibility for Israel’s security.

Dayan said that regardless of American views, Israel cannot afford to be more flexible on the issue of dealing with the PLO or a Palestinian state. “Any retreat to the green line (the boundary between Israel and the administered territories) would not advance peace but on the contrary might bring war closer under worse conditions,” the former defense chief warned. But, he added, “It would be preferable to go to war rather than see another state created for the Palestinians between Israel and Jordan.”

Dayan said that a de facto state of non-belligerence now exists between Israel and Jordan and that while the three Arab confrontation states–Egypt, Syria and Jordan–are not ready to make peace with Israel, Jerusalem should demand a similar condition of non-belligerence from Egypt and Syria.

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