Gen. (Res.) Aharon Yariv, director of the Institute of Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University and former intelligence chief of Israel’s armed forces, warned here today that the Arab states were making “extensive efforts to maximize their military options against Israel” to force it “to accept an Arab solution to the Mideast conflict.”
Addressing a press conference. Yariv said “If there is a stalemate we can expect war.” He did not say when this might occur but stressed that “Israel will not be blackmailed into endangering its own existence even if threatened by war.”
Yariv cited as “evidence” of the Arab war threat the fact that “The Egyptians and Syrians have renewed their joint command and have appointed Egyptian Minister of War, Gen. Mohammed Gamasy, as head of the joint Egyptian-Syrian command. This is the same command that prepared the 1973 Yom Kippur War,” Yariv said. Further evidence, he said, are the “negotiations in process for the resumption of full relations between Egypt and Libya which will have the consequence of placing the arsenal of Soviet weaponry (in Libya’s hands) at the disposal of Egypt.”
Yariv said “This maximization of the military options will be used to pressure the world in an attempt to force Israel to accept the Arab solution to the Mideast conflict.” He added that “Israel is fully prepared to negotiate an overall settlement including considerable territorial concessions on the clear, unmistakable and unqualified condition of full, real and durable peace.”
Replying to questions, Yariv said he did not think the impending departure of Henry A. Kissinger from the office of Secretary of State would have an important effect on negotiations in the Middle East. “The strength of Kissinger’s position does not rest on his personality but on the power of the U.S.,” Yariv said. He also indicated that he did not consider Egyptian President Anwar Sadat or any other Arab leaders to be moderates because moderation means trying to find a peaceful solution and the Arab leaders are not doing this.
Yariv headed the Israeli military team that negotiated the first cease-fire agreement with Egypt after the Yom Kippur War. He served briefly later as Minister of Information in the Cabinet of Premier Yitzhak Rabin.
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