When Push Comes to Shove: Israel flouts U.S. diplomacy with an attack on Beirut

Israel flouts U.S. diplomacy with a ferrocious attack on Beirut

COVER STORIES Israel flouts U.S. diplomacy with a ferrocious attack on Beirut

Ronald Reagan made a point of not smiling when he took his seat in the White House Cabinet Room across from Yitzhak Shamir. The studied gesture was designed to reinforce the stern words he coldly read to Israel's Foreign Minister. An Israeli attack against the Palestine Liberation Organization guerrillas in West Beirut ran the risk of threatening the special relationship between Washington and Jerusalem.

A cease-fire must be maintained. Reagan's grim warning: "When P.L.O. sniper fire is followed by 14 hours of...