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Dayan Hints at Nuclear Option

Former Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan hinted strongly yesterday that Israel possesses a nuclear option and would not hesitate to use it if faced with destruction by combined Arab forces. Addressing the Political and Social Forum, a non-partisan discussion group, Dayan stressed that Israel has always said it would not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the region.

But Israel never said that it will miss the timetable, Dayan declared. He observed that the Arabs have some 7000 tanks which they could use against Israel on the eastern front. Should Israel be in danger of destruction, “it will be, to the best of my evaluation, in a position to tell the Arabs: ‘if you want to destroy us, we are capable of destroying you as well,’ he said.

Speaking on the future of the West Bank, Dayan maintained that Israel cannot give up the right of deploying its troops along the Jordan and in specific areas of Judaea and Samaria as agreed to at Camp David. “if the Arabs are able to move into these areas without the permission of the Israeli army, we would be allowing the dismantling and disintegration of the State of Israel,” he said.

Dayan, who resigned from Premier Menachem Begin’s government last October and is an independent MK, also spoke of the economic situation. He proposed a joint plan of economic cooperation between Israel and diaspora Jewry. But such a plan would not be possible if the ideological gap between Israel and the diaspora continues, he said.

Finance Minister Yigal Hurwitz, who also addressed the forum, said that more taxes would not solve the inflation problem because they would lead only to more price hikes. What is needed, he said, is a strong government capable of effecting a radical change in the present structure of Israel’s economy. He referred to the imbalance between production and service workers. The service sector is by for larger than warranted, he said.

Likud MK Zalman Shuval, who chaired the discussion, observed that the time is coming when members of the forum must ask themselves what measures have to be taken to ensure that the ideas and positions they support are implemented. (By Yitzhak Shargil)

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