Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, voicing a growing sentiment of the Israeli leadership, charged today that the United States is changing its Middle East policies to Israel's deteriment because of the need for Arab oil.
Dayan's comment, in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth, joined an increasing chorus of complaints here about what is discribed in Washington as a broad review of U.S. policy toward the Palestinians. The criticism was seen as particularly serious because of its direct language and Dayan's position as the official head of Israeli foreign policy.
"It is not just erosion, but a shift in U.S. policy toward Isreal, to Isreal's detriment," Dayan was quoted as saying. "It is a result of American concern about economic and energy problems, concerns about quantities of oil and their prices."
Dayan specifically mentioned what he said was U.S. support for an Arab effort to alter U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 to win endorsement of it by the Palestine Liberation Organization. The endorsement, which would in effect constitute recognition of Isreal, would be designed to open the way for a dialogue between the PLO and the United States and ultimately for linking the Palestinian group to negotiations under way for Palestinian autonomy in Gaza and the West Bank.
Israel, however, has vowed never to deal with the PLO even if it recognizes Israel and accepts the resolution. The Israel government regards Resolution 242 as the foundation for its peace treaty with Egypt and reportedly has warned it would reconsider its obligations under the past if the resolution is changed.
The 12-year-old resolution generally is considered the basis of Middle East peace efforts. It mentions the Palestinians only as refugees. The PLO has never accepted it, but recently there have been indications that Palestinian leaders might accept an amended version.
The proposed amendement would add a reference to Palestinian rights or to Palestinians' right to a homeland.
Without PLO approval, U.S. diplomats fear, West Bank leaders will continue to boycott the talks and make a sham of any self-rule system.
U.S. willingness to cooperate in the Arab effort, Dayan said, stems from a desire to please Arab oil nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, in order to guarantee sufficient oil supplies at reasonible prices.
Although Dayan did not say so, there is suspicion in Israel that the recent Saudi decision to increase temporarily its oil production from about 8.5 million barrels a day to about 9.5 million barrels a day has produced a sense of obligation in the United States to win Israeli concessions to Arab demands on behalf of the Palestinians and on Jerusalem.
The Saudis pledged to increase their production for about three months after a personel plea from President Carter during a time when the energy pinch was being felt particularly hard in the United States. There was no announcement of what prompted the decision but Saudi leaders recently have been hinting that oil production levels could be linked to political developments.
These hints have been regarded here with concern. Israeli leaders traditionally have regarded their support among the American voting public a guarantee against significant shifts in U.S. support for Israel.
The energy crisis in the United States now has made them wonder, Israel observers say, whether the need for reasonably priced gasoline might not turn out to be a stronger campaign issue in the coming elections than support of Israel.
Interior 1minister Josef Burg, leader of the Israeli team for Palestinian autonomy talks, has spoken recently of troubling noises coming from "across the ocean" and of a "relationship between holy places and oily places."
He endorsed Dayan's comments today when asked about them at a news conference here making the end of the 5th plenary session of the autonomy talks. The negotiations themselves were marked by Israel anger over Egyptian endorsement proposals and what is seen here as American willingness to go along with them.
Dayan, although a member of the Israeli negotiating team, boycotted the talks. He explained in the interview that he was staying away because he could not endorse the version of autonomy being sought by Prime Minister Menachem Begin's team. He offered no explanation, however, of what he found wrong with Begin's approach or what he would do otherwise.
The interview gave a picture of a dispirited man. He lamented the government's handling of the economy, saying Israel's poor economic health makes it particularly liable to pressure from the United States at this time.
At the time, however, Dayan said Israel never has been so strong militarily and that it has the ability to withstand any pressure from the United States to make concessions that it views as against its interests. CAPTION: PICTURE, MOSHE DAYAN . . . joins chorus of complaints