document the difference of approach between the U.S. government and
pro-Israeli elements in the U.S. on how to deal with the situation in
Lebanon. These differences go back several decades.
The following letter was sent in February, 1981, by
Secretary of State Cyrus Vance to Ambassador Dean in Lebanon, after Mr.
Vance had relinquished his duties:
February 18, 1981
Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful letter. I admire greatly
the work that you have done during the last two years in Lebanon. You
have served under the most trying conditions and have represented our
country with consummate skill and understanding. I am very proud to have
been able to serve with you. I know that I speak for all of our
colleagues in thanking you for your great service to our country.
Gay joins in sending warmest regards to you and Martine.
Hoping to see you soon,
The pro-Israeli Jewish Telegraphic Agency in New York saw Ambassador
Dean’s actions in Lebanon quite differently. In its August 21, 1980,
issue, the Washington correspondent wrote the following under the
headline “U.S. sets aside statement by its envoy in Beirut condemning
Israel for its raids in Lebanon.”
U.S. SETS ASIDE STATEMENT BY ITS ENVOY IN BEIRUT CONDEMING ISRAEL FOR
ITS RAIDS IN LEBANON by Joseph Polakoff
Washington, August 20 (JTA) – U.S. Ambassador John Dean’s
statement today in Beirut condemning Israel for raiding terrorist
strongholds in Lebanon was set aside within several hours by the State
Department which said its words, and not those of the ambassador,
constitute the U.S. government’s position.
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