Skip to content

How Reagan Stopped Israel’s Saturation Bombing of Besieged West Beirut

President Ronald Reagan’s action in August 1982 to stop Israel’s saturation bombing of West Beirut, Lebanon, exposes the wretched lie that President Joe Biden and his Tony Blinken sidekick are “pressuring” Benjamin Netanyahu to please stop his government’s genocide against Gaza. It had been earlier reported that then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin had stopped a massive aerial bombing campaign after a call from President Reagan, but the content of the call only became public on May 1, 2007, when Vanity Fair included Reagan’s own entry on his call in the extracts it published of Reagan’s diaries, prior to the official release of The Reagan Diaries by HarperCollins. That revealed that Reagan had informed Begin how Israel’s future U.S. relations with the United States were at stake if this “holocaust” did not stop.

The IDF had invaded Lebanon and surrounded West Beirut in mid-June 1982, in an attempt to drive Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization out of that neighborhood. The IDF siege which followed mirrored IDF operations today against Gaza: “There was no bread, water, or gas, and near-daily bombardment came from land, air and sea,” a survivor of the siege told Al Jazeera for a reprise of this story published on Jan. 2, 2024.

Reagan was engaged in diplomatic initiatives seeking to resolve the crisis, which were thrown in trash by Israel’s bombing the hell out of West Beirut for 14 hours over August 11-12. Reagan wrote in his diary that day:

“• Met with the news the Israelis delivered the most devastating bomb & artillery attack on W. Beirut lasting 14 hours…. King Fahd [Saudi Arabia] called begging me to do something. I told him I was calling P.M. Begin immediately. And I did—I was angry—I told him it had to stop or our entire future relationship was endangered. I used the word holocaust deliberately & said the symbol of his war was becoming a picture of a 7 month old baby with its arms blown off. He told me he had ordered the bombing stopped—I asked about the artillery fire. He claimed the PLO had started that & Israeli forces had taken casualties.

“End of call. Twenty mins. later he called to tell me he’d ordered an end to the barrage and pleaded for our continued friendship.”