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October 05, 1979 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-10-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

6 Friday, October 5, 1919

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Israeli Political Circles Buzzing Over Dayan

We Make Our Own Glasses

By UZI BENZIMAN

(Copyright 1979, JTA, Inc.)

HEADQUARTERS FOR
LATEST DOMESTIC AND
...01
IMPORTED FRAME FASHIONS

JERUSALEM — „Moshe
Dayan has done it again. As
so often in the past, he is
once more the focus of public
attention and a cause of
nervousness in the Israeli
political arena. Politicians,
Cabinet ministers, jour-
nalists and commentators
are once again pondering
and discussing the foreign
minister's motives and in-
tentions.
c,
This extraordinary man,

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who for 30 years has held an
assortment of posts at the
center of political events, is
once again triggering
curiosity and speculation.
Since he recovered from his
recent major operation,
Dayan has astonished the
Cabinet with several ideas
and declarations that left
his colleagues stunned.
At the first Cabinet ses-
sion following his discharge
from the hospital, Dayan
suggested a comprehensive
reconsideration of Israel's
foreign policy, arguing that
the overall situation in the
Middle East had radically
changed since Camp David.
He recommended that
Israel make an effort to
convince the U.S. to take
over the sophisticated
military bases in Sinai
which are to be restored
to Egypt under the peace
treaty. Dayan told his
Cabinet colleagues that
the U.S. may have an
interest in operating the
air bases as a contribu-
tion to the strategy of es-
tablishing a chain of
Middle East states affil-
iated to the Western
world.
At the next Cabinet meet-
ing, Dayan urged his col-
legues to resist the Ameri-
can intention to establish a
Unitecl_Nations observers'
force in Sinai in place of the
UN Emergency Force (wh-
ose mandate was not re-
newed by the Security
Council because the Soviet
Union refused. to go along).
A week later, at the next
Cabinet meeting, Dayan
warned the government
that Egypt was violating
the terms of the peace
treaty. Cairo, he said, was
ignoring the treaty's stipu-
lation that civilian, not
military personnel run the
El Arish airfield, handed
back in May. Dayan also ac-
cused several government
ministries of maintaining
separate ties with Egypt
and with the U.S, without
coordinating with the
Foreign Ministry.
At the next Cabinet meet-
ing, Dayan astounded the
Ministers by criticizing the

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MOSHE DAYAN

-

government, charging it
with incompetence in the
economic and social field.
Dayan used sharp and un-
conventional terms in ex-
pressing his views about the
government's poor image:
"We are described as a
corpse" said the foreign
minister.
He revealed to the
ministers that U.S. Secre-
tary of State Cyrus Vance
had sent him a message
asking whether informa-
tion reaching the State
Department that Israel
faces economic disaster
was correct.
Dayan said angrily: "A
system of cover-up prevails
here. Nobody believes —
nor do I — that this gov-
ernment is capable of tak-
ing decisions."
A day later, Dayan ex-
posed the same views to the
public in interviews to the
two mass circulation pap-
ers. The foreign minister
told his interviewers that
the government suffers
from a serious malfunction-
ing. He complained that its
poor image was encourag-
ing the U.S. to step up its
pressure on Israel.
Warning of a dangerous
"change" in the American
policy towards Israel and
the Palestinians, Dayan as-
serted that Israel has
enough strength to protect
its vital interests.
Dayan's statements
stirred up dramatic reac-
tions: the Likud caucus
expressed criticism of the
functioning of the gov-
ernment (though several
of the party's Knesseters
expressed their reserva-
tions at Dayan's public
attacks). Several of the
Cabinet ministers pro-
tested — publicly and to
Premier Menahem Begin
privately — at Uayan's
political ethics as ex-
pressed in the interviews.
The press was full of
comments and explana-
tions of Dayan's "real"
intentions.

warnings are aimed at get-
ting the Cabinet to realize
the dangers inherent in the
situation, so that it will ur-
gently set about improving
its efficiency. Dayan,
moreover, these circles say,
seeks to signal Washington
that Israel will not yield to
American pressure that
contradicts Jerusalem's
vital interests.
There are, however, other
interpretations of Daya
conduct. Several politi
observers believe that
Dayan is preparing the way
for his own resignation from
the government soon be-
cause he disagrees with its
policy regarding the au-
tonomy talks and the nor-
malization of relations with
Egypt. Others claim that
the foreign minister seeks
to persuade Begin to reshuf-
fle the Cabinet.
Some speculate that Day-
an's recent statements
should be understood
against the background of
his health, namely, his
reaction to the cancer he
was stricken with (though
it was successfully re-
moved). Some "Dayan
analysts" even see his re-
cent moves as aiming to
heal the scars between him
and his former colleagues in
the Labor Party.
There are columnists who
explain Dayan's statements
as a reflection of his emo-
tional need to sound alarm
bells, as a result of his mis-
conception on the eve of the
1973 Yom Kippur War. The
weeks ahead will provide a
more accurate answer to the
Dayan enigma. Meanwhile,
he continues to fascinate
the Israeli community — as
he has done for 30 years.

Israel Clarifies
Policies Affecting
Falasha Jews

Israel's support for com-
munities affected by perse
cution includes a program of
aid for Falasha Jews.
A statement made public
by the Sephardi Federation
and the World Zionist
Organization outlines the
activities in behalf of the
Falashas.
According to the
statement: "Israeli Prime
Minister Menahem Begin
promised that action will
be taken on behalf of the
Falashas. In return, the
Falashas in Israel have
promised to tone •
their public demand
urgent efforts to save the
community."
At first, the community
was irate at the premier's
suggestion that if they con-
Circles close to the tinued to drum up public
foreign minister give the support, the failure of ef-
following simple explana- forts to extricate the 27,000
tion to Dayan's moves: he Falasha Community in
genuinely is worried, they Ethiopia would be "their re-
say, about the government's sponsibility." They-were
functioning and about U.S. eventually induced to have
intentions towards the - confidence in the govern-
Palestinian problem. His ment's efforts.

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