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February 17, 1984 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-02-17

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

91•1 ■ 1E—

32 Friday, Feburary 11, 1984

_,

EL

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Ariel Sharon Defends Record in Hostile Interview

TEL AVIV (JTA) —
Former Defense Minister
Ariel Sharon charged last

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week that President Re-
agan was "misled" about
Lebanon by prominent
members of his own Ad-
ministration and some of
his top diplomatic aides.
Reagan originally under-
stood 'fully the Syrian and
, Soviet threat to Lebanon's
freedom, Sharon declared

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during a half-hour televi-
sion interview. "But he was
misled by special envoy
Philip Habib, Defense Sec-
retary Caspar Weinberger,
Nicholas Veliotes and U.S.
Ambassador to Israel
Samuel Lewis."
Veliotes, former Assis-
tant Secretary of State for
Near Eastern and South
Asian Affairs, is presently
the U.S. Ambassador to
Egypt.
According to Sharon,
the present situation in
Lebanon could have been
prevented "if the Ameri-
cans had listened to us
earlier and if the opposi-
tion and part of the news

media had not caused us
to squander the
achievements of the war"
in Lebanon.
He said the U.S. should
act now to ensure free pas-
sage from Beirut along the
coastal road to Sidon and
the Israel-held area to pre-
vent the collapse of the
Christians in Lebanon. The
U.S. also should insist on
implementation of the May
17,1983 withdrawal and se-
curity agreement between
Israel and Lebanon, Sharon
said.

.C.
Trojan

sion's findings that he bore
indirect responsibility for
the Shatila and Sabra refu-
gee camps massacre in Sep-
tember 1982, Sharon's reply
was "malicious blood libel."
The term "blood libel" was
former Premier Menahem
Begin's initial response to
demands that Israel's role
in the massacres be investi-
gated.

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ARIEL SHARON
He ardently defended the
war in Lebanon and his role
in it. He repeated his pro-
posal for a "full-scale inves-
tigation" of the war by the
government on condition
that the opposition and the
media also be investigated
for their "anti-government
and anti-war stand at the
start of and throughout the
fighting."
Sharon said he had never
evaded responsibility for
the war. "I never ran away
from my responsibility as a
Cabinet member and as
Minister of Defense," he
said. He suggested that an
investigation of the war
should include examination
of Cabinet minutes, a refer-
ence to charges by some of
his colleagues that he had
often acted on his own with-
out consulting them.
Commentators noted
that Sharon was safe in
making such demands
because he knew the
government would never
agree.
interview
The
dramatized Sharon's ongo-
ing battle with the media.
The hostility between the
panel of three interviewers
and their guest was almost
palpable. He "buldozed" his
way past embarrassing
questions, made no attempt
to convince his critics "but
gave full satisfaction to his
fervent supporters," obser-
vers said.

Sharon also addressed
students at Bar-Ilan Uni-
versity. He said he still con-
siders himself a candidate
for the Premiership and
would offer to head the
Herut party list in the next
Knesset elections and to
serve as Prime Minister. He
dismissed charges that his
views and methods
endangered democracy in
Israel as "a propaganda of
fear put out by the opposi-
tion to give legitimacy to
opposition plans."
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