What Israel says

By Ana

I just read this article in the Haaretz which you can access at http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/795418.html called “Former IDF intelligence chief: War is more likely if Siniora quits” by Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service. This is really bad publicity for the Seniora government. Here are a couple of points that stood out:

1.

Chances of another war in Lebanon would increase should Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora choose to resign, according to former chief of Israel Defense Forces Army Intelligence Corps, Major General (res.) Aharon Ze’evi Farkash.

Farkash told Army Radio Sunday that Israel should not intervene in the political crisis in Beirut. “It is Europe’s responsibility to prevent radical elements from overtaking [Lebanon], elements that try to turn it into an Iranian outpost,” he said. 

The former intelligence chief also warned such intervention could possibly lead to an attempt on Siniora’s life: “At this point, anything that appears to be a positive Israeli gesture toward Siniora and Lebanon would intensify [the internal Lebanese] struggle, and will push Iran and Syria towards deciding they should assassinate Siniora,” Farkash said. 

2.

The mounting crisis threatening the Siniora government in Lebanon, and the specter of a Hezbollah takeover, have spurred senior Israeli government officials in Jerusalem to raise several proposals in recent days aimed at strengthening Siniora, who faces street protests that Hezbollah has launched against his government. 

The goal is to prove that Siniora can obtain more through peaceful diplomacy than Hezbollah, which has accused him of a “defeatist policy” toward Israel, was able to gain through violence.

Btw, it is quite interesting to see how well-informed the Israeli public is about Lebanese affairs. No lebanese newspaper ever bothers discussing important Israeli national issues…

December 3, 2006

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