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Israel Shifts Uneasily Over Syria - IPS ipsnews.net
JERUSALEM, Feb 14, 2012 (IPS) - Grappling with the fallout on their country of a possible forced removal from power of Syria's President Bashar Assad, Israeli leaders are fluctuating between wariness, cautious optimism, and self-righteousness.

Last week, as the toll exacted by the 11-month Syrian uprising was mounting dramatically, Israelis were offered by their Prime Minister the customary appraisal that their country is like "a villa in the Mideast jungle".

"We have received a reminder about what kind of a neighbourhood we live in," reiterated Benjamin Netanyahu, while delivering the customary recipe: "Developing Israel's strength".

Netanyahu's statement prudently reflected the smallest common denominator in an array of tentative attitudes and positions with regard to the chaos gripping their north-eastern neighbour. Israel has officially adopted a policy of non-interference in the Syrian crisis. But that was before the uprising evolved into civil war.

When asked by Army Radio whether Israel was in contact with the Syrian opposition, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon retorted rather obliquely, "Whether there's contact or not, don't expect me to discuss these things in the media."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 11:42:15 AM EST
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