• Short Summary

    In the course of a television interview in Washington on Sunday (July 19) Israel's Ambassador Mr.

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    GV Capital Building, Washington

    CU Rabin speaking (SOF)

    TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 2: RABIN: "I believe that as long as the Soviet will not intervene by their own forces, directly against Israel, there is a possibility to prevent another all-out local war."

    QUESTION: "At one time Israel believed that the Soviet Union did not seek Israel's destruction, but only wanted a state of continued tension in the Middle East. How do you view the Soviet intentions today?"

    RABIN: "Well, I believe that the main aim of the Soviet Union in the Middle East is to gain hegemony and a predominate role in that part of the world. If to achieve it, they'll have to come into confrontation, military confrontation with Israel, they will not hesitate to do so".

    QUESTION: "You said at the Press Club in 1968 that from the military point of view Israel would be able to hold its cease-fire line 2, 5, 10 or even 20 years. Do you believe that's possible today, if the Soviets do move?"

    RABIN: "Well, I believe that as long as Israel will have to cope militarily with the total strength of the Arab countries, supported by Russian, unlimited shipments of arms, Russian advisers, technicians and instructors, and even on top of that a very limited Russian military involvement, we can defend the cease-fire line. Israel like any other free democracy in this world, cannot withstand a massive, Russian, direct intervention."

    Initials CM/JH/MH

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In the course of a television interview in Washington on Sunday (July 19) Israel's Ambassador Mr. Yitzhak Rabin discussed his country's ability to deal with a combined assault by the Arab countries and Russia.

    He said he believed that Israel, like any other free democracy in the world, would not be able to withstand a direct Russian attack.

    Mr. Rabin conceded that Soviet aid could lead to Israel's loss of air supremacy over the Canal Zone. Once this happened there would be nothing to stop Egyptian troops crossing the waterway.

    Mr. Rabin refused to be drawn on Israeli reaction to the U.S. peace plan, which involves a 90-day cease-fire, or on the question of the use of nuclear arms in the area.

    But he did repeat Israel's pledge that it would never be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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