israel have a right to defend themselves

  1. 3,567 Posts.
    This attack on Syria is justified in my opinion as many of these arab countries must be helping these terrorists. This could lead to another large middle east war but with the US already in Iraq it wouldn't be much of a fight. Syria has quite a powerful force but Israel, the US and Britain would easily wipe out these countries.

    Interesting times, pity so many people will die just to get peace in the holiest place in the world.

    Israeli raid on Syria raises spectre of war
    Oct 07
    Peter Hartcher | Washington

    Israel's air raid against Syria has posed the most severe challenge yet to the United States' road map to peace in the Middle East, and has pitched the region into a new crisis.

    The Arab world reacted angrily to the attack, while Israel - supported by the US - claimed it was a legitimate strike at a terrorist camp.

    The move threatens to destroy any chance of hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, leaves Israel open to a retaliatory attack, exposes Syria to further criticism by Washington, and raises the spectre of a broad regional war.

    At Syria's request, the United Nations Security Council met in an emergency session yesterday to discuss the attack, which was the first Israeli assault deep into Syrian territory for 30 years.

    Israel said the air raids, near the Syrian capital of Damascus, were a strike on a training camp used by the terror group Islamic Jihad. Syria said they were an unprovoked attack on a sovereign state.

    The Israeli attack was in retaliation for a suicide bombing in the Israeli city of Haifa the day before, an explosion that killed 19 people plus the attacker and which Islamic Jihad claimed as its handiwork.

    The leader of Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Shallah, said Israel's retaliation was "a grave development that exceeded all rules of the game", and promised further attacks on Israel.

    By striking Syria, Israel was changing strategy. It would usually have responded to a suicide attack by hitting targets in the Palestinian territories, but it appears to have seized on recent US criticism of Syria as an opportunity to strike that country instead.

    The 22-nation Arab League met to condemn the Israeli raid and said it contained the possibility of drawing the region into a "violent whirlpool".

    With Britain and France also joining condemnation of the raid in the Security Council, the US was the only country defending Israel.

    UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that "this further escalation of an already tense and difficult situation has the potential to broaden the scope of current conflicts in the Middle East".

    The White House said Israel had given the US no warning of the attack. US President George Bush phoned Israel's Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, and advised against any further escalation, a White House spokesman said.

    Still, in the Security Council US ambassador John Negroponte reserved his criticism for Syria:

    "The US believes that Syria is on the wrong side of the war on terrorism," he said. "We believe it is in Syria's interest, and in the broader interest of Middle East peace, for Syria to stop harbouring and supporting the groups that perpetrate acts such as the one that occurred yesterday" in Haifa.

    Israel defended its action using the same terms the Bush administration has used in its so-called war on terror.

    "Any country who harbours terrorism, who trains, supports and encourages them will be responsible to answer for their actions," Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner said.

    While the Bush administration has been trying to reduce tensions and salvage its plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, known as the road map, Israel's action threatened a major escalation of the conflict.

    The Bush administration was already concerned at Israel's tactics and was considering how to bring it into check.

    US Secretary of State Colin Powell said last week that "the issue is the fence" - the eight-metre high wall that Israel is building in what the US describes as a premature and provocative delineation of a disputed border.

    "The president continues to believe that the fence presents a problem, and to the extent that the fence intrudes on Palestinian land, that problem is exacerbated," Mr Powell said.

    "We also have concerns about continuing settlement activity on the part of the Israelis, and we are examining the loan guarantee program to determine what we should do about it," he said, referring to a proposal to cut US aid to Israel in an attempt to control its actions.

    Syria circulated a draft resolution in the Security Council condemning the Israeli raid, but as long as the US objects to it there is no prospect that it will be passed.
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