was, in fact, a condolence call, an attempt
by Sharon to maintain an open line of com-
munication into the leading Christian fami-
ly in faction-torn Lebanon.
Dan also provides numerous details
about Sharon's emotional departure from
the Defense Ministry, his decision to sue,
and the trial itself.
On another level, he marshalls a broad
attack against David Halevy, the
originator of the Israeli story. In the book,
he begins by stating that Halevy was
"born in Jerusalem to a family with left-
wing leanings, members of the Mapam pan
ty." He describes how Halevy "cozied up"
to Labor leader Shimon Peres; referring to
Halevy's brief service in the IDF during
the war of attrition on the Suez, he writes:
"Halevy served for three months. Many,
many other Israelis also volunteered and
served longer, but Halevy cashed in on his
three months. Apparently discarding his
patriotism along with his uniform, the
hard-hitting reporter immediately publi-
cized his heroism at the Suez Canal."
Dan makes it clear that in his view, most
Israeli journalists are no better than
Halevy. "He overlooked or never absorbed
the fact that he was supposed to observe
American journalistic standards and acted
precisely like the Israeli reporter he was,"
he writes. "After all, he had grown up
among Israeli journalists. The sole dif-
ference was that they published their
falsities in Hebrew, while Halevy published
his in English for Time."
Time magazine, he says, had a special
reason to accept the false reports of the
Israeli journalist. "They have had a long-
bias that does not favor a strong Israel, an
Israel with its own opinions about several
things in the world," he says. "From time
to time it was more anti-Israeli, from time
to time less anti-Israeli — but when it came
' to the Begin-Sharon era, this is where I
think their nails came out. They began to
believe what they were writing; it became
a vicious circle. You have a certain
preconception about a political figure, you
begin to write about him, and then you
begin to believe it:'
He suggests that Time felt free to attack
Sharon because, "by February, 1983, he
was considered by the Israeli press as a
political cadaver. You can spit on him. You
can write a story without checking with
him — I repeat, without checking with
him. They never dreamt that it would come
"This, by the way, is why most of the
rivals of Sharon are making the mistake
again and again by coming to bury him
and not to praise him. They are always sur-
prised to find that he is more alive than
dead. That's a beautiful saga."
If Dan is hard on Halevy, he is positive-
ly effusive about General Sharon, a feeling
which comprises the final layer to the com-
plex construction of Blood Libel. Every ad-
jective relating to the general is a positive
Uri Dan: the worst he can say about his former boss is that he displays a "slight tendency toward impatience."
Photo By Stan Barouh