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July 23, 1982 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-07-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

20 Friday, July 23, 1982

Washington Trip for Shamir?

JERUSALEM (JTA) —
Moderate members of Pre-
mier Menahem Begin's
Cabinet who are still,anx-
ious to pursue a diplomatic
solution to the impasse in
Lebanon are believed to be
pressing Begin to send
Foreign Minister Yitzhak
Shamir to Washington
without delay to discuss the
situation with the new Sec-

retary of State George
Shultz, and other Adminis-
tration leaders.

Begin apparently would
prefer Shultz to come to Is-
rael and take over the dip-
lomatic efforts in Lebanon
himself. He reportedly
hinted this in conversations
with visiting Americans in
the last few days.

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JERUSALEM (JTA) —
With the negotiations
under U.S. envoy Philip
Habib in Beirut still appa-
rently stalemated, hope for
a peaceable settlement to
the crisis in Lebanon fo-
cused on Washington this
week where the foreign
ministers of Syria and
Saudi Arabia held talks
with American policy-
makers.
According to reports from
Beirut, Syria's attitude is
now crucial— in the stale-
mate and in the hopes to re-
solve it. Syria suddenly an-
nounced last weekend a re-
versal of its earlier readi-
ness to take in the esti-
mated 5,000-6,000 Pales-
tine Liberation Organiza-

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tion fighters whom Israel
wants ousted from Lebanon.
Syria now says it is only
prepared to take in the
"leaders"; the rank and file
will have to find refuge
elsewhere.
But refuge elsewhere is
hard to find: the Arab states
have shown singular lack of
enthusiasm in offering a
new land to this large band
of armed and disgruntled
Palestinian fighters.

seige of west Beirut. The
president wrote bluntly
that an Israeli "assault" on
the besieged part of the city
would "grievously affect our
bilateral relations."
The warning seemed to
have a sobering effect here.
The theme appeared to
change from "time is run-
ning out . . ." to "Habib will
have the time he says he
needs." Begin told the
Cabinet July 11 that Israel
must avoid falling out with
Washington over the Beirut
crisis, although at the same
time he stressed that Israel
could not allow the present
situation to go on indefi-
nitely.

Israeli sources familiar
with the Habib negotia-
tion/cite the new Syrian
turnabout as the single
largest obstacle prevent.
ing progress in the talks.
Some Israeli analysts see
the Soviets' hand behind
The more public dis-
Syria's move; they sur-
sent there is inside Israel,
mise that the Kremlin is
the - more voices are
seeking in this way to rob
heard against attacking
Washington of a diploma- • west Beirut, the more
tic triumph — with far cocky and recalcitrant
reaching possibilities of the trapped PLO men be-
political success in the come because they take
Arab world.
encouragement from the
The internal debate has
internal debate in Israel.
taken on an even more
And, the more recalcit-
agonized aspect as doubt
rant the PLO becomes,
and dissent within the
the unlikelier it is that
Cabinet itself has survaced.
they will leave peaceably.
It was no accident that In-
Therefore the arguments
terior. Minister Yosef Burg,
of those in Israel who
the oldest Cabinet member,
favor force become
was reported as referring
stronger and more per-
his colleagues to the histori-
suasive.

cal lesson of Barcelona dur-
ing the Spanish civil war in
1936 when it took Gen.
Francisco Franco three
months of bloody street
fighting to capture the
Loyalist-held 'city. Burg's
message was clear, he does
not want Beirut to become
Israel's Barcelona.
Other ministers are
known to share his fears
and doubts. Among them
are Zevulun Hammer,.Mor-
dechai Zipori, David Levy
and possibly even -Simha
Ehrlich. (Both Levy and
Ehrlich are Deputy Pre-
miers). If it came to a vote
these ministers would
perhaps not comprise a
majority, but they would be
an impressive and powerful
minority.

Premier Menahem Be-
gin, naturally, would be
reluctant to take such a
crucial decision without
broad-based Cabinet
consensus, especially
since the Knesset opposi-
tion is not supportive.

Basically, the dilemma
exercising all minds here is
whether armed invasion of
west Beirut, even if it led to
the utter defeat of the PLO,
would be worth the Israeli
casualties, the Palestinian
•and Lebanese deaths, the
massive civilian destruc-
tion, and the worldwide op-
probrium, all of which
would almost inevitably re-
sult.
The extent of that likely
opprobrium was rudely
brought home to Begin with
a stern message from Presi- .
dent Reagan, urging an al-
leviation of aspects of the

Ignorance of the law ex-
cuses no many; not that all-
men know the law, but be-
cause 'tis an excuse every
man will plead, and no man
can tell how to confute him.
—John Selden

Government ministers
persistently point out this
paradox to Labor Party op-
position figures and to
others who oppose the use of

force in Beirut. They argue
that all Israelis, govern-
ment and opposition, want a
peaceable end if possible,
with maximum political
gains for Israel.
(Prime Minister Begin,
addressing visiting UJA
and Israel Bond leaders
Wednesday, emphasized
that there will be a two-
week deadline to get the
PLO out of Beirut and that
there will be no concessions
to this warning.)

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