Dayan Says Mideast Situation is More Dangerous Than Imagined

Former Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan said last night that the Mideast situation is more serious and potentially dangerous then that depicted in the press. Dayan spoke on the Israel television program “Moked.”

Citing the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the turbulence in Iron as examples of the volatile Moslem world, Dayan noted that the situation is much more serious than one thinks. But, he added, he does not believe it will bring about a clash between the superpowers.

In that light, Dayan said “It is very very important for Israel to defuse its conflict with the Moslem world and making progress on the autonomy question would be one way of doing that.” There “are a number of local problems,” including autonomy, “whose quick solution would remove us from the circle of those in conflict with the Moslem world, ” he said.

The former Foreign Minister dismissed the view that the U.S. snubbed Israel by not informing Jerusalem of the decision to use air bases in Egypt. “The American can still be our friends without telling us they have an air base at Kina,” he observed.

In Dayan’s view, the U.S. prefers to use bases in Egypt rather than Israel because they are thinking in terms of actions in the Moslem world. By using bases in Israel in order to realize such an aim, the U.S. would alienate Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, bases in Egypt are more centrally located than those in Israel.

Along with these observations, however, Dayan emphasized that if the U.S. were to need Israeli bases, Israel must answer such a request in the affirmative. If Israel were to refuse this request, we could no longer expect to receive American aid, Dayan also said he does not believe the idea of a strategic alliance between the U.S., Egypt and Israel is feasible. He believes the Americans will take military action in order to ensure their oil supplies.

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