March 11, 2005


Israel, in a shift, wants Syria to leave Lebanon (Steven Erlanger, March 11, 2005, The New York Times)

The Bush administration has told Israeli officials, including Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, to hold their tongues on the politics of Lebanon in order not to help Syria and its main supporter there, Hezbollah, Israeli officials said Thursday.

But Israel is making no secret of its desire to see Syria out of Lebanon, representing a new consensus among the Israeli political and strategic elite that the days of Syrian-sponsored stability in Lebanon are over.

The Israeli view is that Hezbollah, which is funded and supplied by Iran and Syria, would be more weakened by a Syrian withdrawal than it would be restrained by a continuing Syrian presence.

Hezbollah agrees, but both are mistaken, at least in political terms.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 11, 2005 12:02 AM
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