JERUSALEM (Jun. 6)
Former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan expressed the view over the weekend that Syrian action in Lebanon poses no threat to Israel. He took a militant stance in favor of Jewish settlements on the West Bank, however and delivered a scathing attack on the government of Premier Yitzhak Rabin which he accused of spreading “doubts and confusion” among Israel’s most faithful ally abroad–the Jewish people.
Dayan’s remarks, coinciding with the second anniversary of Rabin’s assumption of office, were widely viewed here as evidence that the former defense chief is planning a political comeback. Some pundits are linking him with Prof. Yigal Yadin, the former army chief of staff turned archaeologist, who recently entered the political arena and is challenging some of the policies of the Rabin government. But Dayan differs sharply with Yadin over the future of the administered territories.
With respect to Lebanon, Dayan said that Israel should not consider intervening unless Syrian actions posed a direct threat to its security or unless the Lebanese Christian community specifically asked Israel for help and offered to make peace with Israel. Since neither of those contingencies is imminent, Dayan said, he saw no need for Israeli intervention in an internal Lebanese dispute.
URGES MORE SETTLEMENTS
Dayan urged Israel to seek end-of-war or nonbelligerency agreements with Syria and Egypt through the United States. In the meantime, the government should act unilaterally in accordance with its final peace map, if it has one, Dayan said. In that connection he called for the establishment of more Jewish settlements on the West Bank, especially on the chain of hills running from Jerusalem to Nablus. He also saw the possibility that Israel and Jordan could settle the Palestinian issue between themselves even without formal peace talks.
He noted that King Hussein has re-instated the West Bank delegates to the Jordanian Parliament, reversing his decision to suspend Parliament following the Rabat summit meeting. According to Dayan, this indicates that he might not, after all, comply with the pro-PLO resolution at Rabat. Hussein has also announced plans to re-settle a half million Palestinian refugees on the east bank of the Jordan. Israel should “try very hard indeed” to encourage the U.S. and other Western countries to help Hussein in this project. Dayan said. He observed that if a half million Palestinians were settled on the East Bank and if Israel provided housing for the 200,000-plus Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, the would-be Palestinian state will have been accommodated.