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Sharon Criticizes Government for Failing to Stand Up to the U.S.

Reserve Gen. Ariel Sharon declared that he resigned as an advisor to Premier Yitzhak Rabin because the present government is incapable of standing up to the United States. He said Israel must risk confrontation and stand up to Washington if it does not want to be abandoned by the U.S. as was South Vietnam. Sharon’s remarks were made during an interview Tuesday on the popular “Moked” television program, an Israeli “Meet the Press” type show.

The popular general, who was one of the founders of the Likud opposition, called for a direct election of the Premier rather than the present system of election by the coalition in control of the Knesset. He urged the government to introduce plans, which he said are now totally lacking for the border question, the economy, and the social structure. There must be plans, targets and goals for which people can strive, he said.

But most of the hour-long program was devoted to security questions. He declared that the second interim agreement with Egypt has not reduced the chances of war. He claimed that while there have been reports that one-third of the Egyptian army has returned to civilian life, not one single unit has actually been cut. Sharon said what has happened is that modernization of the Egyptian army has increased its fire power and thus allowed for reducing the number of men as an economy move.

Challenging the government’s contention that the rebuilding of the Egyptian towns along the Suez Canal showed an indication of an Egyptian desire for peace, Sharon said that the Egyptians have stated that the Soviet surface-to-surface Scud missile is a reply to the danger of Israeli attacks on the canal towns.

U.S. HAS RENEGED ON PROMISES

Sharon charged that Israel was pressured by the U.S. to sign the Sinai agreement in return for certain promises that have not been kept. He said there was a promise made that there would not be any American pressure for further withdrawals for at least three years. But even before the ink was dried new pressures were exerted, he said. He said the government claimed that signing the agreement would increase American-Israeli friendship, instead there has never been such a deterioration in U.S.-Israeli relations as now.

The government also claimed that the agreement would isolate Syria, Sharon said, but in reality it is Israel that is isolated while Syria is being supported by the U.S. for her actions in Lebanon.

Sharon charged that even Americans are surprised to see how easily the government gives in to pressure from Washington. He said Israel should tell the U.S. what its bottom line is beyond which it will not succumb to pressure.

Ambassador William Scranton’s speech in the United Nations Security Council March 23 was only a feeler by the Americans to see how much Israel will take. Sharon said. He said the U.S. veto two days later in the Security Council will cost Israel dearly. “If we have to depend our future on the will of the Americans, we have nothing to do here,” Sharon declared.

He said it was time to risk a confrontation with the U.S. but for this Israel must be united economically and socially. During the interview, Sharon denied that the American airlift to Israel during the Yom Kippur War was Israel’s lifeline that saved the Jewish State. It was not, he said.

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