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Begin, Cabinet Assail Council for Condemnation of Raid on Iraq

Premier Menachem Begin announced after today’s Cabinet meeting that the government of Israel “condemns the condemnation” by the UN Security Council of the June 7 air attack on Iraq’s nuclear reactor and expressed “deep regret” that the United States supported the resolution unanimously adopted by the 15-member Security Council Friday.

“This resolution gives expression to the double morality that rules the roost in this international organization,” the Cabinet statement read by Begin said. The “Iraqi tyranny” built the reactor in order secretly to manufacture atomic bombs which would have been dropped “when the time came” on Israel’s population centers, Begin stated. “Instead of condemning this, the Security Council has condemned the state (Israel) that had taken unavoidable action to protect the lives of its citizens.”

Continuing, the Cabinet statement said, “With deep regret, we note that the U.S., our friend and our ally — in the words of the U.S. Ambassador to the UN — lent its hand to this grievous injustice perpetrated against Israel. America even conducted negotiations with Iraq to formulate an agreed draft.”

CABINET SAYS ISRAEL ‘WILL CONTINUE’ DEFENSE

The statement said that “Israel … will continue to defend its people and will prevent its enemies from obtaining weapons of mass destruction aimed against it by all the means at its disposal. This is the supreme duty of the State of Israel.”

EBAN ASSAILS U.S. SUPPORT FOR RESOLUTION

Abba Eban, foreign affairs spokesman of the opposition Labor Party observed that the U.S. has supported “the most injurious” resolution ever adopted by the Security Council against Israel. The injury was tangible and “operative”, Eban said because it required compensation to Iraq and inspection of Israel’s (nuclear) facilities. “It was not, therefore, a run-of-the-mill condemnation.”

According to Eban, “There is no justification for this U.S. position.” He observed that the U.S. itself had invoked the principle of deterrent action during the Cuban missile crisis and had asserted the right of intervention across its sovereign borders in the name of its national defense. “A major effort will be needed to restore U.S.-Israel relations,” Eban said. He added however that the Likud government was hardly helping by its “exaggerated pronouncements about ostensible unanimity between Jerusalem and Washington.”

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