Warning to the West: Don’t Arm the Arabs
EDITOR'S NOTE: Is a new war about to break out in the
What should the
Each statesman gave his views without knowledge of the other's answers.
Q Mr. Prime Minister, since arriving in Israel, I have heard constant denunciation of the American plan to supply arms aid to
A If the Arab states realize, as they are now in the process of doing, that, peace or no peace, they can get arms, why should they make peace? The giving of arms to Arab states which refuse to make peace becomes a premium upon their policy of permanent warfare against
Q If we don't provide arms to the Arab states, how do we build up Middle East defense against
A There is, first of all, the question of whether the Arab states can at all be relied upon to play an effective part in any war on the side of the Western powers or, for that matter, on the side of anyone.
The Arab states have a time-honored tradition of sitting on the fence. They did very little to fight
You see, their reasoning is fairly simple. They say, "There are two sides to the conflict - one must be strong, and the other weak. The strong party does not need our help; the weak party does not deserve our help. It is only at the very end of the conflict that we can ascertain which party is stronger and which weaker. Therefore, let us bide our time . . ." There is no democratic idealism whatsoever throughout these countries. Democracy is not something that they would feel so precious as to be worth fighting for.
So, from the point of view of defending democracy, I think the Western powers should be warned against squandering their resources on the arming of Arab states.
Q What's the alternative?
A On that, opinions may differ. But as far as