Montreal (Sep. 15)
Israel and Egypt will each have to be more flexible if the autonomy talks, to be resumed Sept. 23-24, are to succeed, former Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan said here yesterday. The Israeli diplomat also said he welcomed the idea of joint military exercises between Israel and the U.S. and American use of Israeli ports, airfields and maintenance services which may come about as a result at the strategic cooperation agreed to during Premier Menachem Begin’s meetings with President Reagan in Washington last week.
Dayan, speaking to reporters at a 1981 Combined Jewish Appeal luncheon at the Shaar Hashamayim synagogue, covered a wide range of topics related to the Middle East. With respect to the Reagan Administration’s proposed sale of AWACS reconnaissance aircraft to Saudi Arabia, he warned: “If at any time the AWACS in Saudi hands spy on Israel and transmit their intelligence to other Arab nations, we would shoot them down and go to war with them.”
SEES SIGN OF MATURITY IN PLO
Dayan said he detected “a sign of maturity” in the Palestine Liberation Organization’s observance of the cease-fire on the Lebanese border, although they continue to stockpile more weapons and prepare for war. He warned that “If they don’t respect the ceasefire we (Israel) will enter the area they control and clear it of all tanks and heavy weapons.” Dayan insisted that Israel could never hold a dialogue with the PLO because its one aim is the destruction of Israel by terrorist means.
On the upcoming autonomy talks, he cautioned that “unless all parties, including Israel, show more flexibility there will be no result but another conference followed by another conference.” Dayan implied criticism of President Anwar Sadat’s methods of dealing with his opponents in Egypt. “Putting 1,500 people in jail is no solution.” But, he added, “Sadat is a strong man and has the confidence of the ordinary people and of his army commanders in particular.”
Asked about the chances of Begin’s narrowly based coalition government staying in office for a full four year term, Dayan replied: “Theoretically, yes. I can’t think of any of his constituents breaking the coalition. The people of Israel will judge Begin on the way he acts in the best interests of Israel.”
Alexander Mayer, chairman of the Combined Jewish Appeal, said that despite the tremendous financial difficulties encountered by the Jewish community, the results of this year’s campaign will surpass last year’s by about 15 percent.