Percy Rebutted on Charge That Israel Broke Its Word to the U.S.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a sharp rebuttal yesterday to Sen. Charles Percy’s charge that Israel had “broken its word” to Washington by invading Lebanon and that U.S.-Israeli relations are at their lowest ebb.

The Illinois Republican, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made his remarks in an appearance on the CBS-TV “Face the Nation” program Sunday. In response, the Prime Minister’s Office claimed that Israel in fact had demonstrated its concern for U.S. interests by not informing Washington in advance of its plans to invade Lebanon.

According to the government, had Israel disclosed its plans, the American Administration would have been vulnerable to charges by its enemies of collusion with Israel. The Prime Minister’s Office also challenged Percy’s assertions that Israel was losing the support of American public opinion because of its actions in Lebanon and that there was discord within Israel on the same issue.

It cited a recent Gallup Poll which showed that Americans supported Israel’s objectives in Lebanon by a majority of 76-14 percent and a recent poll taken in Israel which showed that 83 percent of the population supported the war in Lebanon.

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