THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION earnestly wanted to provide aid and comfort to an Israel reeling from the blows of terrorist bombers but wasn't certain how to do it. The first response was practical: U.S. officials stopped fussing about who was going to pay for $15 million worth of sophisticated explosives-detection devices the Israelis were interested in and shipped seven of them off on an Air Force plane. The bomb finders were followed to Israel by a team of American counterterrorism specialists, who will offer expertise and try to persuade the Israeli and Palestinian security forces--once sworn enemies--to cooperate.

For Bill Clinton and...

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