THE MIDDLE EAST: A DIPLOMAT GETS A DRESSING DOWN

A DIPLOMAT GETS A DRESSING DOWN

Edward Abington, the able American consul general in Jerusalem, has the most delicate job in Middle East diplomacy: dealing with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. His job is made even more difficult by the U.S.'s apparent fear of offending Israel. The latest evidence: TIME has learned that Abington was rebuked by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for his statement, quoted in the New York Times May 21, that Israel's settlement expansion in the occupied territories is "ideologically driven" rather than based on natural growth and a demand for housing.

Abington's statement reflects more than an educated hunch; it is the result of...

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