West Beirut - July 1982
West Beirut - War of words, hidden meanings, vanished neighborhoods.(photo: Roland Neveu)

July 26, 1982 – Semantics Over Beirut – Nuances Of Middle-East Diplomacy – A First In China.

West Beirut - July 1982

West Beirut – War of words, hidden meanings, vanished neighborhoods.(photo: Roland Neveu)

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July 26, 1982 – West Beirut was the scene of the 5th straight day of Israeli raids – bombing targets purported to belong to the PLO as well as residential districts along the coast. At first, some called it a breakthrough on the Beirut crisis. Yassar Arafat, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, issued a one sentence statement the day before after meeting in Beirut with a U.S. Congressional delegation. The statement said; “Chairman Arafat accepts all UN Resolutions relevant to the Palestinian question”. Representative Paul McClosky (R-Calif.), a member of the delegation, said the statement applied to UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, recognizing Israel’s right to exist. Soon afterward, the PLO’s UN observer said the statement looked less and less like a breakthrough, even though McClosky was adamant, saying it was a question of semantics and he would recommend that the Reagan administration consider cutting off all military aid to Israel. The State department shrugged the Congressional action off, saying it was a publicity stunt on behalf of the PLO and the visiting delegation, saying the Congressional group were naive and not at all versed in the nuances of Middle-East diplomacy. Speculation that Tel-Aviv would be prompted, even if a sniff of “McClosky’s Caper” were true, to circumvent the whole deal by simply invading Beirut.

Meanwhile, at least 350 were reported dead and many more missing as the worst floods in Japan’s history struck the city of Nagasaki. In addition to the grim task of recovering the dead, the problems facing those who survived the floods were ones of food and shelter. Homes that survived now faced no water or electricity and garbage was piling up in the streets otherwise unaffected by the flooding as the city’s garbage trucks were all destroyed.

And China had something of a first – television viewers in that country were informed of an event unique to China; a case of Air Piracy. Chinese National Television showed a brief report on a hijacking, the first ever reported in China. The report showed a four-engine plane, that was hijacked earlier in the week on a domestic flight between X’ian to Shanghai and its flight crew. No details were given in the report and very little information was released in China’s newspapers. None of the reports revealed that the five hijackers wanted to be flown to Taiwan.

And that’s a little of what happened, this July 26, 1982 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.






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