TEL AVIV (Jun. 7)
Israel’s Chief of Staff, Gen. Mordechai Gur, warned last night that a new war could break out in the Middle East as a result of internal conflicts in the Arab states, irrespective of Israel’s policies toward the administered territories and without any provocative action by Israel. He also claimed that it was dangerous for Israel to put much faith in security guarantees by the Big Powers.
Addressing the 50th national convention of B’nai B’rith, Gur said the lessons of the Six-Day War should be remembered. He recalled that the American guarantee to keep the Straits of Tiran open proved worthless when Egypt closed the straits in May, 1967. He said that after the Yom Kippur War when Israel asked the U.S. to put certain commitments into writing, it was given to understand that written agreements do not obligate superpowers to act when it is not in their interests and when it is, they will act with or without signed documents.
Gur warned the Arab states not to mistake internal criticism in Israel as a sign of weakness. He said that Israel is a democracy and as such must have the physical and moral strength to face each new situation and use it as a springboard for growth. (By Yitzhak Shargil)