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October 08, 1982 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-10-08

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


Begin: Blaming Israel for Beirut
Massacre' 'Totally Despicable'

Premier Menahem Begin of
Israel has sent a letter to
Sen. Alan Cranston (D-
Calif.) replying to the sol-
on's criticism of Israel's re-
cent actions in Lebanon and
Israel's rejection of
President Reagan's Middle
East peace initiative.
Begin charged that "the
whole campaign over the
last 10 days" to blame Israel
for the massacre of Palesti-
nians in refugee camps in
west Beirut was "unbeliev-
able, fantastic and totally
The premier's letter, re-
leased by the Israel Em-
bassy Oct. 1, was in reply to


a letter Cranston, the de-
puty Democratic leader in
the Senate, wrote to Begin
Sept. 22.
A spokesman for
Cranston said that the
Senator has received Be-
gin's letter, dated 'Sept.
29, and had no comment
since he felt that both his
letter and Begin's . reply
spoke for themselves.
At the outset of his letter
to Cranston, Begin noted
that the Senator has "a per-
fect right, even from afar, to
criticize Israel's actions or
proffer advice because you
are a real friend of our
people and country."
Explaining why Israel
went into west Beirut Sept.
15, Begin wrote that after
Lebanese President-elect
Bashir Gemayel was assas-
sinated, he told the Israel
Cabinet there was a need to
prevent "a revenge on the
Moslem population by the
Christians." Begin added:

"It never occurred to any-
one dealing with the
Lebanese militia units,
which subsequently entered
the Shatila and Sabra
camps, that they would per-
petrate a massacre." He
noted that it would have
been "morally untenable
and sinful" to make the "as-
sumption that a disciplined
military unit will behave
like beasts."
Begin also wrote that
"the first horrific truth is
that Arabs murdered
Arabs. The second simple
truth is that Israeli
soldiers stopped the car-
nage. The third simple
truth is that if the current
campaign should go on,
without a reaction of out-
rage — indeed outrage —
by decent men, then,
within a matter of a few
weeks or months,
everyone everywhere
will have gotten the im-
pression and will begin to
believe that it was an Is-
raeli military unit which
perpetrated the horrible

Begin stressed that Israel
has now decided to hold a
commission of inquiry, add-
ing that the delay in estab-
lishing such an inquiry was
due to "several factors
which could not possibly be
known even to our best
friends living thousands of
miles away from the scene
of the tragedy."
But Begin stressed that,
now that an inquiry will
take place, "nothing will be
hidden. Everything will be
In his letter to Begin,
Cranston said while he had
initially supported Israel's
efforts in Lebanon, it now
appeared to both friends
and critics of Israel that
Begin and Defense Mipister
Ariel Sharon "have substi-
tuted naked. military force
for a balanced foreign policy
which should reflect a der
cent respect for the the opin-
ion of mankind."
Cranston urged Israel
to cooperate in achieving
the swiftest withdrawal

of all foreign forces from
Lebanon and "to return
to Israel's traditional
concern over only im-
mediate threats to its own
borders" while abandon-
ing "its reliance on mili-
tary force for the solution
of essentially diplomatic
Cranston said also that
"though I myself have a
reservation about elements
of President Reagan's pro-
posed peace plan" for the
Middle East, "I urge your
government to reconsider
promptly its outright, pre-
cipitous rejection of his
entire proposal."
In replying to the last
point, Begin said Israel
could not accept the
President's proposal be-
cause it would result in a
"mortal danger" for Israel.
Begin also pointed out
that both he and Reagan
have agreed that Israel and
the United States are
friends and allies. "Between
friends and allies, there
should be complete candor,"
Begin stressed.
"How, then, could we, the
Israelis, say that the 'posi-
tions' are negotiable if we
feel with all our heart and
analytical reasoning that
we see in them an ultimate
danger to our children, to
our future, to our very
existence? Are we going to
be asked for the sake of any
interest whatsoever, to give
up our innermost convic-
tions, put in jeopardy our
independence and sacrifice
our most vital interests?"




The basketball season is
underway in Israel, even
earlier than the National
Basketball Association of
this country gets started.
The NBA won't start opera-
tion until the latter part of
October at which time the
Israeli National League
season will have been under
way for close to five weeks.
There has been a influx of
American players in Israel
and some of the government
officials aren't too happy
about this particular situa-
Judith Hibner, the de-
puty director general of the
Interior Ministry, revealed
that her office has been be-
seiged by leading sport
clubs to grant citizenship to
newly imported American
players. This was done be-

fore the Sept. 1st deadline,
prior to the opening of the
season, the cut-off date for
new applicants.
A count of the immig-
rants made by Israel
television reporters indi-
cated that there are 20
American players who
made their way to Israel,
joining the 21 U.S.
players already in the
country bringing the
total of Americans to
nearly 40 percent of the
entire league. If this
trend continues there
seems little likelihood
that the young kids in Is-
rael will develop into
"pro" players of the fu-
The big news in early sea-
son play was that Maccabi
Haifa upset Maccabi Tel
Aviv, 98-96. This win was
considered a sensation on a


national scale. Maccabi Tel
Aviv has lost only one
league game in Israel in the
past four years. They are
perennial champions of the
National League and have
won the European Cup
championship twice in the
past four years.
Willie Sims, a black,
Jewish ballplayer, led the
Haifa team in scoring with
21 points.

Meanwhile the Israeli
championship wheelchair
basketball all-stars, repre-
senting the Ilan-Sports
Center for the handicapped,
have scheduled nine games
in the U.S. during October
and November. The team
will play in New York, Long
Island, New Haven, Provi-
dence, Boston, Utica, Al-
bany, Philadelphia and




you to °trend the

Perc yKopi
mpagn e
Lu ncheo
Honoring Percy

Kopion on the
g his retirement os
rector of the
of Gr Notionoi Fu
eoter Detroi

U.S. Players Filling Israeli Teams

(Copyright 1982, JTA, Inc.)

Friday, October 8, 1982 1


17, 1982


? ynagogue
2990/ Middlebelt
Forrnington Hills,
$25 00
to the pr person


Notionai Fund

For information
and reservations call


27308 Southfield Road, Southfield, Mich. 48076 o Phone 557-6644

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