Begin Says Israel Should Maintain Low Profile on Iran-iraq Conflict
Menu JTA Search

Begin Says Israel Should Maintain Low Profile on Iran-iraq Conflict

Download PDF for this date

Premier Menachem Begin attacked Iraq today for precipitating the war with Iran but insisted that Israel had no intention of involving itself in the conflict but is watching the situation very closely.

Addressing an army education unit, Begin said it was Iraq which violated the agreement it signed five years ago with Iran. He recalled that at the time, Israel assisted the Kurdish rebels in Iraq with arms and military experts. But the Premier has insisted on several occasions in the past few days that Israel must maintain a “low profile” in the Iraqi-Iranian war while taking full advantage of its propaganda value for Israel.

His remarks to that effect at a meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee yesterday were seen as oblique criticism of Deputy Defense Minister Mordechai Zipon’s statement in a Moariv interview yesterday that Israel might assist Iron with military equipment if the Iranian regime abandoned its anti-Israel policies and slopped supporting the Palestine Liberation Organization. Close associates of Begin have also expressed annoyance over Ziporis suggestion.


Meanwhile, Israel has mounted a world-wide information compaign intended to convince diplomats and public opinion that the War in the Persian Gulf plover Israel’s long standing contention that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not the sale or even the main cause of instability in the Middle East.”

Israeli envoys around the world have received cabled instruction to disseminate background papers showing that the deep undercurrents of political, economic, religious and ethnic tensions in the region are entire of unrelated to Israel and would continue to generate unrest even if the Palestinian problem was to be solved to everyone’s satisfaction.

That viewpoint coupled with the warning that the Iraqi-Iranian war poses grave dangers to the Western nations is expected to be stressed to Foreign Minister Gaston Thorn of Luxembourg who is due in Israel tonight on his second visit this month on behalf of the European Economic Community (EEC). Thorn, special envoy of the nine EEC member states to the Middle East, will spend two days here conferring with Begin and top aides of the foreign Ministry.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund