Israeli Paper: Rumsfeld Rejected Invitation to Visit Tel Aviv
US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has rejected an invitation to visit Israel during his tour of the Middle East, according to an Israeli press report.
The Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot quoted Israeli sources as saying that Rumsfeld turned down the invitation from Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer.
The paper, cited by the official Saudi News Agency (SPA), speculated that the reason behind this decision was that Washington wished to keep Israel away from playing any role in the coalition against terrorism, fearing that Arab countries would stay out of the alliance because of the Israeli presence.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been rebuked by the White House for accusing Washington of siding with the Palestinians in order to encourage Arab states to support the international coalition to fight terrorism – Albawaba.com