Middle East: Inching Toward the Table

The initial cease-fire between Israel and Egypt had hardly taken effect last August before both sides were using the lull to prepare for war. Israel's Bar-Lev Line, along the Suez Canal's east bank, was extended and impressively hardened. Across the canal, the late Gamal Abdel Nasser rushed so many Soviet-built missiles forward that, as a Western diplomat in Cairo cracked last week, "even if the Russians wanted to move more in, they probably couldn't find a place to put them."

The buildup, and its potential for precipitating an all-out war, apparently frightened...

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