From: Ismail Zayid
To: Globe& Mail
Cc: Patrick Martin
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2001 2:28 PM
Subject: Israel had a choice.

Dec. 13, 2001
The Editor,
The Globe & Mail.
Dear Editor:
Ilan Dunsky [letter Dec. 13] claims that Israel had no choice in invading Sinai in June 1967. We assume that Mr. Menachem Begin, Israel's Prime Minister, knew better when he stated ; " In June 1967 we ,again, had a choice....We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him{Nasse}". This story that Israel was threatened with extermination in 1967 was repudiated by Mr. Mrdechai Bentov, member of cabinet at the time, who stated : " All this story about the danger of extermination has been a complete invention and has been blown up aposteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territories." { Al Hamishmar, April 14,1972.}
As to Mr. Dunsky's claim that there were " artillery attacks on Israeli towns from the then-Syrian Golan Heights and threats to destroy Israel issued daily on Arab stations", I will let General Moshe Dayan, Israeli defence minister at the time, answer that. He told a reporter in 1976 : "He regretted not having stuck to his initial opposition to storming the Golan Heights. There really was no pressing reason to do so, because many of the firefights with the Syrians were deliberately provoked by Israel, and the kibbutz residents who pressed the Government to take the Golan Heights did so less for security than for the farmland." {The N.Y.Times, May 11, 1997.}
Finally, I think we need less falsification of history and accepting Mr Begin's advise for a measure of honesty.
Yours sincerely
Ismail Zayid, M.D.