Middle East: Sharon Takes the Stand

Israel's Defense Minister spreads the blame for the massacre

He spoke calmly and deliberately, never raising his voice or losing his temper. Ariel Sharon, Israel's embattled Defense Minister, was on the witness stand, testifying before the commission of inquiry that is investigating the circumstances surrounding the Beirut massacre of Sept. 16 to 18. Since the hearings were being held in a lecture hall of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the setting seemed as relaxed as a college seminar. In fact, it was a tension-charged inquiry that could lead, in a few months' time, to...

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