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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

September 23, 2002

New tack by the anti war crowd - Blame Israel- U.S. Senators Warn of Possible 'Arab-Israeli' War

The new tact of the anti Iraq War (Operation Lets Roll) crowd is to blame Israel. These guys love the war but will not support it since they worry that if the U.S. attacks Iraq, Iraq will attack Israel, Israel will respond to Iraq and an Israel Arab war will break out which will hurt the U.S. This theory is Rub Goldbergian in scale. This plays off of recent Israeli statements that it would reply if attacked (although it would coordinate with the U.S. (and basically do what the U.S. says)).

Israel bombing Iraq would only serve to enlarge Israel in the eyes of the Arabs who are beginning to think or Israel as weak.

To combat this strawman, the U.S., as a result, may end up twisting Israel's arm into agreeing not to retaliate if attacked. This will of course weaken Israel in the eyes of the Arabs and actually increase the chances of a war. A possible Israel end run would be to bomb Lebanon over recent diversions of water and/or Syria over Hizbullah actions to demonstrate before the war that Israel bombing Arab countries will not cause an Arab Israeli war.

Prominent members of the U.S. Congress warned on Sunday that a unilateral U.S. attack on Iraq could draw in Israel and lead to a wider Middle East war.

Sen. Joseph Biden, a Delaware Democrat and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said if the Israelis became involved "it becomes an Arab-Israeli war." . . .
Sen. Richard Shelby, ranking Republican on the Senate intelligence committee, said any retaliation by the Israelis could mean "a widespread war in the Middle East."

"And also we'd be perceived, we'd be fighting side-by-side with the Israelis against all the Arab interests, and the war could spread," the Alabama senator said on "Face the Nation."