Middle East Here a Stall, There a Slide

A peace plan is left hanging as Shamir sidesteps U.S. pressure

The performance, given by a wily veteran of guerrilla warfare, was a tactical masterpiece. Arriving in Washington last week, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir faced heavy pressure from the Reagan Administration to accept a U.S. proposal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, a plan whose conditions he had publicly reviled at home. Engaging in a shrewd game of stalling and sliding, Shamir, who got his start as a leader in the Jewish underground in pre-1948 Palestine, managed to avoid an open confrontation with his U.S. allies: he neither formally rejected their proposal nor moved an inch closer to it. At...

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