Newsletter : 13fx0816.txt
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Israel Keeps to Sidelines as Mideast Deteriorates into Bloodshed
By YnetNews & DEBKAfile
As Egypt's death toll rises to 638, mysterious bombing hits Hizbullah's Beirut
stronghold, Israeli defense official insists 'Israel will continue in its non-involvement
policy' At the wake of violent days both in Beirut and Cairo, Israel maintains its
reserved stance on the unrest at its borders.
"Hizbullah has been hurt, but Israel will continue in its non-involvement policy and will
not take sides, also in regards to Cairo," a senior defense establishment official
clarified on Thursday. "We've no interest to be perceived as supporters of either
Against the backdrop of Hizbullah's relative successes in the Syrian civil war as a
supporter of Bashar Assad, the hit the Shiite group suffered in its own base the
Dahiyeh quarter in Beirut came as a necessary backlash in the eyes of some in the
Israeli defense echelon. "Nasrallah significantly intervened in the Syrian war and is no
longer perceived as 'Lebanon's protector,' but as Assad's man, and now he is paying the
price," said the same official.
Though Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman and other top Lebanese politicians pointed a
finger at Israel for orchestrating the car bomb, a so far unknown Sunni group took
responsibility for the attack, which claimed the lives of at least 22 people and 200
TV footage showed scores of residents screaming in flight and dozens of cars in flames.
Some witnesses reported hearing gunfire after the blast. A Salafist Sunni group claimed
the attack. The same district was the target of a similar car explosion in July against
the background of Hizbullah's involvement in the Syrian war.
Lebanon Interior Minister Marwan Charbel also pointed blame at Israel, saying that the
blast may have been in retaliation to last week's explosion near the Israel-Lebanon
border, which Hassan Nasrallah said Wednesday was perpetrated by Hizbullah.
Earlier Thursday, Druze member of the Lebanese parliament, Walid Jumblatt, who heads
the Progressive Socialist Party, told the Hizbullah affiliated al-Mayadeen TV channel: "I
blame Israel for the Beirut blast. Israel wants to avenge itself on Lebanon for its defeat
in the Second Lebanon War ." A Hizbullah parliament member told the al-Manar network:
"Those who conspired against Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War are letting terror
"Hizbullah and Nasrallah's situation isn't good," a State official added. "Criticism
against Hizbullah is growing in light of its involvement in Syria and the fighting seeping
into Lebanese territory. Hizbullah is weakening and forecasts are that the attack against
the organization will continue."
Meanwhile, violence in Egypt has dropped on Thursday and the curfew has been limited
but top Muslim Brotherhood officials vowed that the movement will not desist and
urged its followers to take back to the streets in protest after Friday's prayer. "We'll
protest across the country and shed the blood of any police and army officer in the
streets," a member of the Brotherhood's political arm promised.
After President Barack Obama's announcement cancelling the joint drill with the
Egyptian army, the Americans issued a travel alert for Egypt and urged its citizens
staying in the country to leave it immediately.
Wednesday's official death toll has so far risen to 638, and the number of wounded
leaped to 3,994, according to the Egyptian Health Ministry. "We stay on the sideline as
far as Cairo goes this is an internal Egyptian matter," said an Israeli source.
"Our interest is focused on the Sinai Peninsula, where global jihad operatives are. What's
happening in Egypt is troubling, but it's internal. The fact they're occupied with their
own internal affairs so far had no effect on the war conducted in Sinai." He added that
Israel was considering all the possible scenarios, including another regime shift. "No one
knows what's going to happen. It's impossible to analyze."
Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet's defense analyst, explains that the Israeli interest is for the
Egyptian unrest to calm down, and similarly for tumults in other neighboring countries.
Every failing state increases the terror threat on Israel, and actually an attack on
Hizbullah boosts the chances for civil war in Lebanon, which, like in Egypt, Israel would
Civil wars, political instability and economic hardship these are the main
factors for terror on the Israeli borders. All these factors are currently in motion in
the countries that went through the Arab Spring, as well as in Lebanon. Without internal
conflict, stability and economic prosperity return from which Israel benefits as
Pollard Breaks His Silence
Jonathan Pollard, who has spent more than 27 years and more than 10,000 days in
American prison, broke his silence. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, which appears
on Friday, Pollard criticized the Israeli government "over the past 60 years" on issues
such as evicting Jewish communities, releasing murderous terrorists and his own situation.
"Israel is the only country in the world that ever voluntarily evicted citizens from
their homeland in order to give the land to its enemies, and the only country that ever
voluntarily destroyed the homes and businesses of its citizens, broke promises and
shattered their lives," Pollard told the Jerusalem Post.
Referring to his personal story, he told the newspaper, "Israel holds the world record
for betraying those who were loyal to it. It is the only country in the world that ever
willingly cooperated in a lawsuit against its intelligence agent, refused to give him
asylum, turned over documents to incriminate him, denied knowing him and then allowed him
to rot in prison for decades."
Pollard also spoke about Israel releasing terrorists as a "gesture" to the Palestinian
Authority ahead of peace talks, saying, "A sovereign state which can desecrate the dead by
releasing murderers and torturing bereaved families, in principle, gives up and throws
away the moral foundation of its existence."
He added, "Many of those released were serving life sentences for multiple heinous
crimes. The blood of the victims cries out from their graves over the lack of human
decency. Their cries are not being heard. The bereaved families of the victims asked and
begged not to release the savage murderers of their loved ones. Their pleas were ignored.
No one in Israel sees the broken hearts that are bleeding continuously over their
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