HOUSTON (Jan. 31)
–Former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan declared here Saturday night that “the dawn of a new era in the Middle East” has arrived because “the Arabs for the first time are asking for peace.” He predicted that the new Carter Administration would not pressure Israel.
Dayan spoke to nearly 1.000 persons attending the Southwest Regional Conference of the United Jewish Appeal at the Oakes Hotel here, the largest group to attend a meeting of this kind in Houston. Outside some 200 Arabs demonstrated carrying placards that said: “The Jewish People, Yes. Zionists, No.”, and a “Home for Palestinians.”
Dayan said that before 1977 ends Israel may achieve its greatest foreign policy victory — “ending the state of war with the Arabs.” He said he felt that the Syrian incursion in southern Lebanon was based on internal Arab problems and that Lebanon and Israel would continue their friendly relations. In response to question, Dayan said Israel has the capacity to turn back a combined Arab assault and the Arabs know this. He also said he did not think Egyptian President Anwar Sadat had lost any credibility by the recent turmoil in Egypt.
Asked how young American professionals can assist Israel. Dayan replied “buy a one-way ticket to my country.” His response drew laughter from the audience. Dayan added that professionals could work on Israeli farms like David Ben Gurion and Golda. Meir.
The business of Israel, Dayan said, is to fulfill the “dream of our people which has stayed alive with us for two thousand years.” In future peace talks, he said, Israel is willing to compromise “on our realities” but “we are not going to compromise on our dreams.”