Peter Rosenblatt [letters, Jan. 20] said Stephen Rosenfeld stood history "on its head" in his Dec. 24 op-ed article ["Israel and Syria: Correcting the Record"]. But he used convoluted reasoning to explain away the admissions Mr. Rosenfeld correctly attributed to the late Moshe Dayan about Israel's provocative behavior in the Israel-Syria demilitarized zones prior to 1967--behavior that was amply documented at the time by U.N. observers. Moreover, the full report of Mr. Dayan's remarks in his 1976 interview with Israeli journalist Rami Tal showed that kibbutz leaders had been pressing their government to wrest the Golan Heights from Syria. "They didn't even try to hide their greed for that land," Mr. Dayan said.

As for Israel's claim to exercise sovereignty over the central DMZ, this unilateral assertion was not recognized by anyone but the Israelis, and Israel's efforts to exert military control over the zone were in violation of the 1949 Israel-Syria General Armistice Agreement. Mr. Rosenblatt also should be aware that Syria's attempt in 1964-65 to divert the sources of the Jordan River took place only after the Israelis began diverting water from the Sea of Galilee into their national water carrier on June 5, 1964.

THOMAS J. CAROLAN Jr.

Silver Spring