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

March 06, 2003

COMING IRAQ FIGHT TIES HANDS OF SHARON

The New York Post notes that Israel will limit reprisals against terrorists so as not to intefere with American planned attack on Iraq.
JERUSALEM - Israel will not carry out any major military reprisals for yesterday's deadly terrorist attack because of concern that it will interfere with the U.S.-planned war in Iraq.

That's the consensus of high-ranking officials, who believe the imminent military confrontation with Saddam Hussein is vital to Israel's security and the prospects for long-term peace in the Mideast.

One official who went on the record was the new justice minister, Yosef "Tommy" Lapid.

"This attack cannot go without our reaction," he said of the bombing that killed 16 people. "But we have to do it in a way that will not interrupt the Americans."

Lapid is one of the highest-ranking members of the new government formed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon last week - a coalition that has been described as packed with right-wing hawks no longer restrained by dovish partners from the Labor Party.

But one telling fact of last night's meeting of Sharon's defense Cabinet is that, in hours of discussion, no one suggested expelling Yasser Arafat from the West Bank.