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Faysal's Letter No. 105

Faisal Fayamin(?), a retired diplomat, has been sending these letters to the members of the US Senate for a number of years now. And he has been copying them to me. His lonely but dogged attempt to set the facts straight touches me. Maybe he or someone else will eventually publish the collection as a book. Not that reason and meticulous historiography will have much effect on such a fraught subject. I don't post all of them because they are tedious to edit to format.
 ~ the Editor
Subject: American Presidents And Middle East Conflict Part V
Did Nixon Have Two Policies About The Arab-Israeli Conflict?
While Kissinger was supporting Israel’s deep penetration to inflict maximum losses on Egypt, William Rogers was proposing (January 1970) his own Peace Plan to the two warring parties. The emboldened Israelis were not interested and used their American-supplied Phantoms to carry out a systematic bombing of Egyptian targets in the Nile Delta, as well as on the outskirts of Cairo and far south in the Nile Valley. The Israelis were pleased with their new strategy and announced to the world of their determination of maintaining its deep penetration to get Egypt stop its War of Attrition on the Suez Canal.
When Nixon Asked Golda Meir’s Help On a Domestic Issue?
When the Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir met with Nixon and his Secretary of State at the White House on March 1, 1973, the president asked for her intervention to rein in a number of pro-Israel senators in Congress, including Henry Jackson. These strong supporters of Israel were delaying Nixon’s request to approve a trade agreement with the Soviet Union. The president believed the delay harmed his détente policy with the Communist superpower.
Why Nixon Administration Declared A Nuclear Alert In 1973?
The Israelis kept on breaking the cease-fire on flimsy excuses in order to inflict as much damage as possible on the encircled Egyptian unit in Sinai. This attitude aroused Soviet anger and the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev proposed to his American counterpart, Nixon, that the two superpowers send their military forces to Egypt and warned “bluntly that if you do not deem it possible to cooperate with us in this respect,” the Soviet leader hinted his country’s readiness to act UNILATERALLY.
American officials, especially Henry Kissinger, were alarmed by the Soviet threat. Then the United States decided (October 25, 1973) to declare a nuclear alert. This grave announcement was taken in order to deter the Soviets from acting unilaterally and send their troops to impose the UN cease-fire resolution on the two warring parties in Sinai. A scandal ridden Nixon with the Watergate episode had distracted him from following up closely the very rapid developments in Sinai. Nixon was spending considerable part of his time and effort to chase away any harm to his presidency. It allowed the Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to profit from the temporary absence of his boss from the international scene and pressured the White House to declare the one day worldwide high alert of American forces, including the Strategic Air Command responsible for initiating any American nuclear attack.
Kissinger risked a direct confrontation with the Soviets when he proposed that the United States forces are placed on a temporary combat alert. He wanted to demonstrate to the Soviets America’s total opposition to any form of Soviet military involvement in the conflict. A few years later, Kissinger expressed his regrets for having resorted to such an extreme measure to demonstrate his adopted country’s determination to remain the sole superpower dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict. He expressed his misgivings to the Soviet Ambassador to Washington, “the White House had made a mistake putting its forces on high combat alert.” The Soviets took a back seat and Kissinger was in the forefront trying to resolve the cease fire issue on American terms.
How Nixon demonstrated His Concern To Israel During The 1973 War?
The pro-American Arab regimes in the Gulf area [King Faysal of Saudi Arabia] asked Nixon (October 1973) for a more even-handed policy [as recommended by William Scranton]. However, Nixon prodded by Henry Kissinger decided to brush aside the Arab pleas and openly embarked on a massive airlift of sophisticated military weapons to the beleaguered Israeli military army in the midst of the October War. American tanks
were taken from the inventory of United States military units on active duty, reserve units, even straight off production lines in order to raise Israeli military forces to its highest level to defeat the Arab forces.
Congressman Paul Findley wrote about the Nixon Administration succumbing to Israeli demands, "Admiral Thomas Moorer recalls a dramatic example of Israeli lobby power from his days as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. At the time of the 1973 war Mordechai Gur, the defense attaché ‚ at the Israeli embassy, who later became commander-in-chief of Israeli forces, came to Moorer demanding that the Americans provide Israel with aircraft equipped with a high technology air-to surface anti-tank missile called the Maverick. At the time, the U.S. had only one squadron equipped. Moorer recalls telling Gur, 'I can't let you have those aircraft. We have just one squadron. Besides, we've been testifying before Congress convincing them we need this equipment. If we gave you our only squadron, Congress will raise hell with us.' Gur told Moorer, 'you get us the airplanes: I'll take care of Congress,' Moorer pauses, then adds, 'And he did.' America's only squadron equipped with Mavericks went to Israel. Moorer, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff under Reagan, strongly opposed the transfer but was overruled by political expediency at the presidential level." Moorer lamented, "I've never seen a President-I don't care who he is-stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles your mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn't writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens don't have any idea what goes on."
Why Nixon Provided Massive Aid To Israel In 1973?
A well-known American journalist explained the reason for Nixon’s immediate support to replenish Israeli military losses. On March 10, 1980, Jack Anderson wrote in his syndicated column, “Locked in secret Pentagon files is startling evidence that Israel maneuvered dangerously near the edge of nuclear war after the 1973 Arab assault. The secret documents claim that Israel came within hours of running out of essential arms. At this crucial moment, the possibility of nuclear arms was discussed with the U.S.,’ declares one report. American authorities feared the Israelis might resort to nuclear weapons to assure their survival. This was the most compelling reason, according to the secret papers, that the United States rushed conventional weapons to Israel.”
In addition, Henry Kissinger played a major and an effective role in expediting American military help to the Jewish State. He told Nixon and highly placed officials, “:... an Israeli defeat by Soviet arms would be a geopolitical disaster for the United States.” The specter of Soviets establishing a stronger foothold in the Middle East area in the event the two Arab armies defeated Israel prodded Nixon to move expeditiously.
Why Golda Meir Sought Nixon Help?
Yehuda Avner, who served as an advisor and English speechwriter to four prime ministers, including Golda Meir, wrote about the panic stricken Israeli leadership in the first few days when the Arab forces had an upper hand in the 1973 War. He witnessed their despondency, “Gold Meir’s face went ivory white. She looked despairingly at her defense minister (Moshe Dayan), covered her face with trembling fingers, than rose to stare out of the window. The more she pondered, the more the color seeped into her cheeks until, composure returned, she turned to face Dayan and said, ‘Moshe, one way or another I’ll get you your weapons. Your job is to bring us victory, mine is to give you the means to do so.’”
Meir then instructed her secretary to call the Israeli ambassador in Washington Simcha Dinitz who was shocked to receive this unexpected call at 3am local time. The call was made on October 14, on the ninth day of the war. The startled Dinitz was instructed by his prime minister to call Henry Kissinger right away and ask him to relay to Nixon Israel’s military dire situation and request an immediate military airlift to make up for the Israeli forces losses on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts. Meir also stressed of her readiness to fly to Washington and meet with the president to plead her country’s military needs immediately
Nixon and Kissinger spoke about Meir’s unexpected request and how it would impact the Soviet Union status in supplying more weapons to the Arab side.
Avner added, “Two hours later (after Nixon and Kissinger had a conversation) Richard Nixon called Henry Kissinger. It has been suggested that given his event more incoherent flow of words he was, now, truly inebriated (since the president was embroiled in the Watergate scandal).” The italics are author’s stress about the mental status of the president.
Nixon asked his secretary of state to do his utmost to replenish the Israeli forces and enable it to fight and win. Avner reported, “Over the ensuing days and weeks U.S. aircraft conducted 815 sorties delivering more than 27,000 tonnes of material, replenish Israel’s arsenals and enabling the IDF to decisively move over to the offensive.”
How Watergate Impacted Nixon’s Middle East Policy?
Nixon, weakened by Watergate scandal, decided to give Israel a $2.2 billion emergency aid on October19, 1973. The blatant American pro-Israel attitude triggered the wrath of the friendly oil-rich regimes. The following day the most pro-American regime, Saudi Arabia, in the Gulf region initiated a total oil embargo against America in retaliation for Nixon's ignoring its pleas of following an "even-handed" policy. Other Arab oil states quickly followed.
Did Nixon’s Military Aid Help Restore Israeli Losses In 1973?
The massive American airlift restored the Israeli Army and Air Force strength beyond their previous strength by the time the cease-fire was in place on October 26, 1973. Leah Rabin wondered whether the Jewish State could have survived the Arab onslaught if Nixon had not been very responsive and ordered an immediate and continuous massive airlift of more than 500 flights of equipment and munitions [to the battlefields in Israel]. She stated that the American Galaxy transport planes were used in replacing Israeli tank losses.
Why Nixon Believed That Helping Israel Was In U.S. Interests?
The Republican president believed that expanding of American aid to Israel was not just a mere donation but an investment to safeguard United States' interests in the region during the Cold War period. Hence Nixon believed America needed the Jewish State as a strategic ally as much as Israel needed American financial and military aid.
President Gerald Ford: Why Ford Middle East Policy Did Not Change
The Ford Administration's policy towards the Middle East conflict did not change because Kissinger was kept in the dual role as Secretary of State and National Security Advisor.
Why AIPAC Killed Ford’s Re-assement Initiative?
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is the lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States.
It used its incredible lobbying influence on the senate, who 76 of them, signed a letter to President Ford asking that his administration stopped re-evaluating, “reassessment” its policies toward the Jewish State. It was Henry Kissinger, who was facing immense problems because Rabin did not agree on the terms to withdraw his forces from the depth of Sinai, thus, among other matters, intended Israel to hand back the oil fields, to conclude the 1975 interim agreement with President Anwar Sadat. Kissinger was aware that AIPAC had drafted the senator’s letter which succeeded in killing his “reassessment” initiative.
Then when Democratic Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter and Republican President Geraldine Ford were having their second television debate, Carter accused Ford that his “reassessment” announcement aimed at bringing Israel “to its knees.” Carter was hoping to score a point with the American Jewish voters.”
President Jimmy Carter: Why Carter Decided To Hold The Camp David Summit?
The courageous Sadat trip to Jerusalem (November 19, 1977) set its own political dynamics in the region and the world. It was the start of intensive diplomatic rounds in which the United States played the major role in setting up the historic summit meeting between Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin at Camp David (September 18, 1978). This summit meeting with Carter and Begin was preceded by a number of other diplomatic activities, however. Carter was on a trip throughout the Middle East (January 1978) when he made a short stop over at the famous Egyptian winter resort of Aswan. He repeated his principal foreign policy objectives for settling the Arab-Israeli conflict and stated that his Administration was serious about resolving the conflict through peaceful means and also indicated that the Palestinian People had legitimate rights to participate in deciding their own future. The latter statement upset officials in Israel. The second meeting between the American and Egyptian leaders went so well which encouraged Carter to send an invitation to Sadat to come to Washington to continue with their discussions about the peace effort.
It was in early January 1978 when Sadat and Carter spent two days of intensive discussions at Camp David whereby the two leaders dwelt on the procedural steps to attain a peace treaty between the Arabs and the Jewish State. Then Carter extended an invitation to the Israeli Prime Minister to come to Washington. It was 6 weeks later when Menachem Begin traveled to the American capital and held meetings with Carter and unlike his meetings with Sadat were less cordial because Begin was reluctant to compromise despite Carter’s urging to be flexible. Parallel to Carter’s effort to secure peace in the region, a second venue was established to further that goal. The Jewish-born Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky was constructive in arranging a meeting (July 1978) between Sadat and Shimon Peres to pursue the peace effort.
Why American Jewry Was Annoyed with Carter?
As soon as he was elected president in 1976, Carter spoke the unspeakable as far as American Jewry and Israel was concerned. He stressed that his administration would strive to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and in the process would establish a Palestinian homeland. He gave a speech in which he announced in a news conference on May 12 ,1977 , “I don’t think that there can be any reasonable hope for a settlement of the Middle East question, without a homeland for the Palestinians.”
How Begin Upset Carter?
Carter was surprised (March 1980) to learn that the Israelis were covertly intervening in the U.S. domestic affairs. The National Security Agency succeeded in intercepting conversations between Edward Koch, the Jewish mayor of New York City, and Begin’s office in Jerusalem that revealed the Prime Minister’s advice to Koch on the best way of defeating Carter from being reelected. It was reported that Carter was very upset and had remarked, ”If I get back in, I’m going to fuck the Jews.” His meddling with American domestic politics, however, was not confined to his telephone conversations with Koch. Begin had appealed (December 1978) to American Jewish leaders to pressure the various pro-Israel lobbies to mount a campaign against President Carter. Begin wanted Israel’s supporters to send letters and telegrams to the White House and members of Congress to support Israel’s views during the Camp David deliberations. Begin’s interference resulted in 33 Jewish intellectuals writing Carter and asking him to be more understanding to Israel’s views when the president was involved with the Camp David meetings. These pro-Israel groups overlooked the fact that Camp David accords provided the Zionist leadership in Israel a golden opportunity to implement its expansionist and aggressive policies, without worrying about Egypt’s military involvement. Israeli leaders were emboldened to annex Jerusalem, increase their colony activities in the territories, attack the Iraqi nuclear reactor, and invade Lebanon as well as deal severe blows to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
Why AIPAC Disliked Carter?
Carter, who was in a position to know about the influence of pro-Israel lobby in the United States stated among the factors that has “contributed to the perpetuation of violence and regional upheaval;(were) the condoning of illegal Israeli actions from a submissive White House and U.S. Congress during recent years, and the deference with which other international leaders permit this unofficial U.S. policy in the Middle East to prevail. There are constant and vehement political and media debates in Israel concerning its policies in the West Bank, but because of powerful political, economic, and religious forces in the United States, Israeli government decisions are rarely questioned or condemned, voices from Israel dominate our media, and most American citizens are unaware of circumstances in the occupied territories. At the same time, political leaders and news media in Europe are highly critical of Israeli policies, affecting public attitudes.”
How Carter Served Israel’s Military Strength?
Despite Carter's cautious approach to the Likud-led government, he took a decisive decision (March 1979) in favor of the Jewish State. Seymour Hersh in his book, "The Samson Option," wrote about the first KH-11, which was a satellite that was capable of taking images that were digitally relayed to ground stations where they were picked up for instant analysis by the intelligence community. It had been launched in December 1976, after Carter had defeated Ford in the November elections. Seymour remarked, " The Carter administration followed Ford's precedent by tightly restricting access to the high-quality imagery; even Great Britain, America's closest ally in the intelligence world, was limited to seeing photographs on a case-by-case basis."
He went on to state, "The intensive security system was given a jolt in March 1979, when President Carter decided to provide Israel with KH-11 photographs. The agreement gave Israel access to any satellite intelligence dealing with troop movements or other potentially threatening activities as deep as one hundred miles inside the borders of neighboring Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Jordan."
Seymour noted that: "Carter's decision to provide that high-tech was suspected by some American intelligence officials as being a reward for Prime Minister Menachem Begin's successful Camp David summit with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat the year before."
The Carter decisions upset British intelligence officials a great deal according to Americans involved with them. These Americans described the British as being "mad as hell" about Israel's being provided with the opportunity of securing intelligence that the British, World War II allies and even fellow members of NATO, could not obtain. A few British intelligence officials suspected that the Jewish State had used the high-tech photographs to target the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak. The British suspicions were right. Subsequently, highly secretive investigation pointed out that Israel had indeed relied to a very great degree on the KH-11 photography in gathering valuable intelligence information in preparation for attacking the Iraqi nuclear target. The investigation indicated that William Casey, Reagan's director general of CIA, had inadvertently played a key role. The CIA had concluded an arrangement with the Israeli intelligence as to how the Jewish State would use the KH-11. However, the CIA officials did not bother to ascertain that the Israelis followed the agreement. They failed to monitor what the Israelis were doing, which encouraged Israel to manipulate the agreement, and went far beyond the agreement, to meet its intelligence requirements.
President Ronald Reagan: How Regan Conducted His one-on-one-Meetings With Foreign Heads?
The Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who had met with several American Presidents and world leaders was astounded how his one-on-one one meeting with President Ronald Reagan was conducted when he met him in the White House in September 1981. Begin revealed his astonishment to Yehuda Avner, his advisor and English speechwriter. Avner indicated hat the one-on-one meeting between the two leaders in the Oval Office allowed Begin to explain Israel’s policies, its relationship with America and other topics before Reagan responded.
Avner relayed what his prime minister had stated to him, “He (Reagan) slipped his hand into his pocket and extracted a pack of three-by-five inch cards….(Begin) stared in disbelief as the American president began reciting in a mechanical tone a series of ‘talking point’…. This was the fifth president I had met, after Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter, but Reagan was the only one who resorted to this bizarre practice of using cue cards. When he paused, which he did twice, Begin assumed it was to allow him to engage, but it was not. It was simply Reagan making sure of his line.”
The same thing happened when the two leaders met again in the White House in the Oval Office in June 1982.
Avner reported, “He (Reagan) held in his hand a pack of cue cards which instructed him to begin by saying, ‘Welcome Mr. Prime Minster.’ None of us on the Begin team scoffed any longer as this strange cue card practice of Reagan’s. Between this meeting and the last, the prime minister had come to realize that this president’s forte lay in knowing how to delegate authority, and in trusting his intuition over his brain power. Hence, when it came to the one-on-ones of the sort now taking place in the Oval Office, he preferred to go strictly by a prepared script, which on that day he read in the same laconic tone one might use to discuss balmy weather, although there were definite signs of dark gray storm clouds approaching (following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and Reagan’s anger).
Why Reagan Valued American Jewry Political Clout?
Although Reagan was elected without much support from the American Jewry, he was cognizant of its political power. For American Jewry’s political clout had defeated Jimmy Carter’s reelection bid since the Jewish votes deserted him [for being perceived anti-Israel] and split their votes between Reagan and the third-party candidate John Anderson.
When Reagan Falsified Facts To Support Israeli Views?
Reagan, as a radio talk person, commented (April 13, 1977) about Leonid Brezhnev's March speech in which he introduced the Middle East conflict and reiterated the Soviet Union opposition to the acquisition of territory by war. Brezhnev demanded that Israel withdrew its military troops from captured Arab land. Reagan wrote, "The real issue IN THE MIDDLE EAST has to do with the Arab refusal to recognize that Israel has a right to exist as a nation. To give up the buffer zones [i.e. captured Arab lands] Israel took in the 6 day war would be to put cannon on her front walk aimed at her front door by those who have said she must be destroyed."
Hence he supported Israeli occupation of the Arab land. He also expressed his support of Israel in his March 27, 1979 radio talk. He claimed that Israel was established as a prophecy of the old BIBLE and that its borders were less than 20 percent of the area called Palestine. He considered that Jordan was part of Palestine, similar views expressed by Israeli Revisionists.
On March 13, 1980, Reagan remarked, "In the Middle East our alliance with Israel must be continued for both of our sakes. Israel is a stable democracy sharing our own values maintains with its combat trained & experienced military a deterrent to Soviet expansion in that troubled part of the world.”
How Reagan Viewed Israeli Settlements?
Reagan became President of the United States in January 1981. In the same year Menachem Begin was elected for his second term as Prime Minister. Begin was extremely gratified with the defeat of Carter and Reagan’s victory because he endeared himself to American Jewry and Israelis alike from the first few weeks of his Administration. Reagan withdrew United States opposition to Israel's construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which Carter had bitterly opposed and considered them to be a big obstacle to peace. All the previous American Presidents had stated that Israel's West Bank settlement policy was illegal. However, Reagan suddenly decided to change the U.S. position regarding Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories. He stated (February 2,1981), "I disagreed when the previous administrations referred to [Israeli settlements] as illegal, they're not illegal." It encouraged Israel to continue with its settlement policy without worrying that it would be a point of friction with America. The very rapid pace of establishing Jewish settlements did cause some alarm even to the pro-Israeli Reagan Administration. The president later on remarked that Israel's "rush" to construct settlements was "unnecessarily provocative." This very mild rebuke of Israel did not deter Begin from his settlement policy because he kept on repeating that they were needed for Israel's security.
How Reagan Tied U.S. And Israel With An Iron- Clad Agreement?
Reagan took a step in reversing the previous trend of his predecessors of not tying the United States and Israel with an ironclad agreement. On November 30, 1981, Reagan's Secretary of State Alexander Haig announced that the United States had concluded The Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Cooperation with Israel. The agreement called for American-Israeli cooperation against threats in the Middle East "caused by the Soviet Union or Soviet controlled forces from outside the region." [Reagan expected that Israel would act as a land based American carrier.] Despite this very important pro-Israeli measure that Reagan and his administration embarked on, the Zionist leadership in Israel went on implementing its own policy, at the expense of American interests in the Arab world. Begin was secure that Reagan and his Secretary of State remained very firm allies of Israel although both of them had expressed their displeasure over Israeli Air Force attack of the Iraqi nuclear reactor in Osirak and the massive (1982) invasion of Lebanon. The president and Haig remained adamant that Israeli actions should not never distance the United States from its protégé because they considered Israel very crucial in helping in the anti-Soviet strategies of America as well as motivate the Zionist leadership in Israel to take risks for peace when it negotiated with the Palestinians.
When Israel Confronted Reagan?
The cordial relationship between U.S. and Israel was suddenly interrupted, mainly because of Begin's total arrogance that he had Reagan and Haig in the pro-Israel lobby "pocket." In October 1981, Begin overreached and intervened in a direct manner with Congress to try and stop the sale of AWACs aircraft to the pro-American Saudi regime. This blatant interference in America's domestic policy caused Reagan to finally lose his patience and demanded that Israeli officials stopped meddling with United States' domestic affairs. Yitzhak Rabin was concerned when the Likud Party protested to the United States for selling AWACS planes to Saudi Arabia in the first year of the Reagan presidency. Rabin was aware that Reagan was an excellent friend of Israel and for that reason wanted his fellow Zionist leaders in Israel to avoid picking a fight with the Americans over an issue Rabin considered it to have such a remote impact for Israel. However, Rabin's position brought him considerable disagreements with members of Likud as well as with the more aggressive members of the pro-Israel groups in America.
Rabin, unlike Menachem Begin, was not a champion of AIPAC. In fact, Rabin limited AIPAC’s lobbying to Capitol Hill. The Israeli Prime Minister reiterated his position in a meeting he held with the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations [a consortium of 55 pro-Israel groups] shortly after he returned to power in 1992. Rabin lashed out when addressing the group (August 13, 1992), “You have waged battles that were lost in advance. By generating unnecessary conflicts with Reagan, over the sale of AWACS reconnaissance planes to Saudi Arabia, and with the Bush over the ($10 billion) loan guarantees, you caused Israel considerable damage. You did not bring Israel even one single cent.”
When Reagan Squashed His Vice President’s Attempt to Punish Israel?
Following the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Vice President George H.W. Bush chaired a meeting of the National Security Council because Reagan and Haig were on a trip in Europe. Bush proposed that the United States impose sanctions against Israel. However, Reagan returned to Washington prior to the adoption of sanctions. He was totally against it.
Did Reagan Administration Give Tacit Support to Israel to Invade Lebanon in 1982?
Patrick Tyler interviewed former president Jimmy Carter, who informed him the following about Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Carter revealed that General Ezer Weizman contacted him in 1982. The general stressed, “[Ariel] Sharon [Minister of Defense] got a green light from Al Haig [Secretary of State in the Reagan administration] to crush the PLO in Lebanon.”
However, Haig has denied that he gave Israel a green light.

More importantly was the fact that Reagan, unlike Carter, did not restrain/threaten Menachem Begin, which gave the strong impression that he hoped that Israel’s defeat of the PLO would pave the way for a peace agreement between Israel and Lebanon.
Carter had threatened Begin when Israel invaded Lebanon in 1978. He warned the Prime Minister that he would go to Congress and inform them that Israel had violated American laws because it made use of American-supplied weaponry in invading the neighboring Arab country. This was illegal since United States law stress that these weapons could be deployed only for defensive purposes.
How Reagan Reacted to Israel’s Use of Cluster Bombs Against Palestinian and Lebanese Civilians in 1982?
The Reagan Administration took a very mild position when Israeli forces used American-made cluster bombs against civilians in Lebanon in 1982, which was a grave violation of an agreement with the United States to employ them only in self-defense. Reagan instructed his officials to report to Congress (June 24) that Israel "may have" violated the Arms Export Control Act by deploying American weapons for purposes other than its own defense during its invasion of Lebanon. The Administration, in another "theatrical" gesture halted the shipment of cluster bombs to Israel, but only briefly. However, Reagan was outraged when Israeli Air Force planes mounted massive attacks on the Lebanese capital. It motivated him to personally telephone Begin twice the day of the vicious attacks. The president accused the Israeli leader that his Air Force was causing "needless destruction and bloodshed." Reagan went on complaining that "the bombings were unfathomable and senseless." Despite his outrage, the Israelis did not hesitate to keep on destroying the Lebanese capital.
God bless America and its people. (To be continued.)