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August 22, 1980 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-08-22

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

MINIMMINE
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

..•■••■•■■ ammor.

WC.
Trojan

Now Is the Time to Deal With
Palestinians
Israeli General

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JOHANNESBURG
(JTA) — Brought to South
Africa under the auspices of
the Friends of Tel Aviv
University's visitors pro-
gram, Maj. Gen Aharon
Yariv quickly makes it
clear that he is a soldier who
prefers peace to war. He
knows what war is all ab-
out.
He served in the
Hagana, was a British
captain in World War II,
commanded the famous Go-
lani Brigade, was military
attache in Washington, di-
rected Israeli military in-
telligence, graduated from
the French Army Staff Col-
lege, advised Premier Golda
Meir on terrorism and was a
special assistant to the
Chief of Staff during the
Yom Kippur War, headed
the Israeli delegation at the
kilometer 101 cease-fire
talks with Egypt and later
entered first the Meir
Cabinet and then the
Cabinet of Yitzhak Rabin
before resigning to estab-
lish and head Tel Aviv Uni-
versity's Center for
Strategic Studies.
Yariv's thinking —
whether speaking or writ-
ing — is marked by a consis-
tent clarity, a fearless logic

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and a flair for drawing the
right conclusions. The fact
that he is at present outside
any party political arena
seems to have increased
rather than detracted from
his authority as an analyst
of Israel's strategic position,
his point of departure in his
current series of talks.
At this point, says
Yariv, Israel has been
fortunate in maintaining
the military balance
vis-a-vis all her
neighbors, except Egypt.
Israel has maintained
and sustained this bal-
ance through its own ef-
forts, but also to a grow-
ing extent due to U.S. aid
by way of both dollars
and military hardware.
However, over the next
five to 10 years Israel's
defense is going to be a
more difficult matter.
For one thing, inflation
aside, the cost of carrying on
the arms race is increasing.
A war-plane that cost $5
million a few years ago now
costs 10 times more for cur-
rent models. But Israel's an-
tagonists also have at their
disposal both the Russian
and Western arms markets.
In addition, the Arab
states have large standing
armies and are not as de-
pendent on mobilization as
is Israel. Those armies may
not be as efficient as Israel's
armed forces, but they can
and do operate their ever
more sophisticated
weaponry.
In war it is not only the
kind of weapons system that
matters. Israel has come to
rely on more skilled man-
power. Yet the Jewish state
has always tried to enjoy an
edge in the area of superior
weapons systems, mainly of
Western origin. But now
Egypt can obtain U.S.
weaponry, as can hostile
Saudi Arabia, while Iraq
and Syria can obtain
hardware elsewhere in the
West.
There is no need for
panic, however, Yariv
says. Indeed, Israel
should continue to main-
tain the military balance
— even after most of its
neighbors have signed
peace treaties. Yet he
predicts that the effort is
going to become increas-
ingly more difficult to
maintain While Egypt is
for now, and hopefully
for always, out of the
fray, the rejectionist
states and their friends
are not.
In the Arab east, Syria
has vowed to redress the
military balance now that
Egypt is out of the war
party. Damascus maintains
a tank force equivalent to
that of NATO and has the
biggest of the Arab air
forces. Iraq's expeditionary
forces amount to six ar-
mored divisions and their
paraphernalia includes up
to 1,500 tanks. Jordan is
likely to have 1,000 tanks
by 1985 and now has a qual-
ity air defense. Saudi
Arabia is beginning to be a
military factor which for the

first time has to be taken
note of.

While he approaches the
problem of peace mainly
from a military point of
view, he understands that it
is not the only view that de-
serves consideration. Yet
something has to be done to
avoid complete isolation,
even estrangement from the
U.S. which provides Israel
with a valuable umbrella in
the East-West struggle,
Yariv observes.
The issue of the Palesti-
nians has to be faced. It will
not go away. They will not
emigrate to South Africa
nor elsewhere. So, it is bet-
ter to face up to the chal-
lenge now rather than later,
Yariv advises.

Friday, August 22, 1980 13

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