President Bush and Secretary of State James A. Baker III personally put heavy pressure on Israel yesterday to cooperate with a U.N. investigation into last week's killing of 19 Palestinians in the Old City of Jerusalem and thereby allow the United Nations to turn its attention back to the Persian Gulf crisis.

Angered by the Israeli government's refusal to accept a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for the investigation, Bush told reporters traveling with him on Air Force One, "We want to see that U.N. resolution fully implemented."

His comment about the resolution adopted last Friday followed disclosure yesterday that Baker had sent a message to Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy warning that if Israel does not cooperate, "there will be some who will compare you, even though it is not justified, to {Iraqi President} Saddam Hussein and his rejection of Security Council decisions."

Their tough comments, reflecting unusual new tension in the longstanding U.S.-Israeli relationship, were echoed in tone by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. He said in Jerusalem that "Israel will not pay the price" for Western hypocrisy in refusing to recognize radical Palestinian threats to the Jewish state.

U.S. officials said the administration wants the Israeli government to reverse its decision because the United States hopes to end the furor that gripped the United Nations last week after the Palestinians were killed by Israeli police during a rock-throwing riot at the Old City's Temple Mount on Oct. 8.

The administration appears to have substantial public backing for its position. A Washington Post-ABC News poll completed Sunday found that 51 percent of those interviewed said that Israel typically responds too harshly to Palestinian protesters. Twenty-eight percent thought Israel's responses were about right, and 13 percent said they were not harsh enough.

A large majority -- 62 percent -- favored the United States condemning Israel for the deaths. However, the survey of 1,006 adults found that a 47 percent plurality thought the Palestinians were more to blame for the violence, while 30 percent blamed Israel.

To prevent the incident from straining the U.S.-supported coalition of Arab countries opposing Iraq's occupation of Kuwait, the United States supported a resolution condemning Israel for excessive use of force and welcoming Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar's plan to send an emissary to Israel to investigate the deaths and the situation of Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

At the same time, though, the United States warded off demands by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) for a resolution that would have given the Security Council a role in protecting Palestinians in the occupied territories. The U.S. hope was that Israel would help defuse the situation by letting the mission quietly carry out an inquiry while the Security Council turned its attention back to putting pressure on Iraq.

However, Shamir's government, which has proclaimed that the riots were caused by radical Arab agitation, voted Sunday not to cooperate with the U.N. mission. Israel's U.N. ambassador, Johanan Bein, met with Perez de Cuellar yesterday to inform him that any U.N. delegation "will not be received," and Bein said afterward that he expected the mission to be scrapped. However, Perez de Cuellar asked for a number of clarifications that U.N. officials said were intended to determine whether there is any flexibility in the Israeli position.

The Shamir government also leaked to the Israeli press the contents of the message Baker sent to Levy in hopes of warding off the cabinet's negative vote.

U.S. officials said the message was sent to Israel Saturday and delivered to Levy orally by U.S. Ambassador William Brown just before Sunday's cabinet vote. The State Department last night released a summary of Baker's message. It said Baker's main points were that the United States felt Israel should have been prepared to deal with violence without widespread death and injury, that it has accepted representatives of the secretary general as recently as last June and that the United States hoped Israel would help to conclude the matter by working with the United Nations.

However, versions of the message that surfaced in Israel indicated that Baker was much blunter. They quoted him as saying that Israel "played into the hands" of Iraq by not being better prepared for violence and warned that in many countries Israeli refusal to cooperate with the United Nations would evoke comparisons with Saddam Hussein's defiance of world opinion.

"The aggression of Saddam Hussein is the real issue the world should be concerned about; we want to keep that in focus and you should too," Baker reportedly said. "This week we expect to go back to the Security Council with a new resolution on Iraqi aggression. Let's not let Saddam Hussein off the hook."

Later, when reporters flying with Bush on a campaign trip to Texas asked about the looming U.S.-Israeli dispute, he replied: "We want to see that U.N. resolution fully implemented. We were a part of it, and we think it's the right step."

State Department spokesman Margaret Tutwiler also made clear that the administration has no intention of backing down despite the mounting Israeli anger at the U.S. position. She said:

"The United States voted for this resolution because we think it is right. Therefore we are disappointed that the Israeli government has decided not to cooperate with the mission. In fact, we think that failure to cooperate denies Israel an opportunity to present its case to the secretary general. We are hopeful that the secretary general's people will be able to carry out this mission."

Several sources in leading American Jewish organizations said the majority of American Jews appear to feel that the administration unfairly supported a one-sided resolution that failed to note the Palestinian role in starting the violence. Some of the sources, who asked not to be identified, said there is growing suspicion in the American Jewish community that the administration is using the fight over the resolution to strengthen its anti-Iraq alliance by distancing itself publicly from Israel.

One prominent exception was Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, which represents 840 Reform synagogues in the United States and Canada. He called on the Israeli government to cooperate with the United Nations as a way of presenting its case to the world.

Polling director Richard Morin and special correspondent Trevor Rowe at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Q. Generally speaking, what's your impression of the way Israel responds to Palestinian protesters - would you say Israel's response is too harsh, about right or not harsh enough?

About right..............28%

Not harsh enough.........13%

Too harsh................51%

Don't know............... 8%

Q. Israel's soldiers shot and killed 19 rock-throwing Palestinian protesters this week. Do you favor or oppose the United States condemning Israel for firing on the protesters?



Don't know........ 5%

Regardless of your overall feelings toward Israel and the Palestinians, who do you think is more to blame for the recent violence - Israel or the Palestinians?



Both equally..... 8%

Don't know.......15%

Figures are based on a Washington Post-ABC News telephone survey of a random sample of 1,006 adults nationwide conducted Oct. 10-14. Margin of sampling error is, however, only one of many potential sources of error in this or any other public opinion poll. Interviewing was conducted by Chilton Research of Radnor, Pa.