JERUSALEM (Jun. 9)
Former Premier Yitzhak Rabin blames American misconceptions for the present impasse in Lebanon. He said Secretary of State George Shultz relied on erroneous information when he insisted that Syria would accept the Israel-Lebanon agreement.
The Syrians should have been brought into the negotiations from the outset, Rabin declared on a television interview yesterday. “I had a difficult argument with Shultz when he was here, and asked what made him think the Syrians would accept an American-Israeli-Lebanese agreement,” Rabin said. “He relied on information that the Syrians were ready to do so in principle. I nearly fell off my chair when I heard what American policy was based on and I am still worried by their conception,” Rabin said.
He was referring to his meeting with Shultz last month when the Secretary of State spent 17 days in the region shuttling between Jerusalem and Beirut in an effort to secure the Israel-Lebanon agreement signed May 17.
According to Rabin, a Knesset member and a leader of the opposition Labor Party, he is concerned that as the stalemate in Lebanon continues, the U.S. will link a solution in Lebanon to wider issue such as the future status of the Golan Heights which Israel annexed in 1981.