Saturday, November 27, 2010

Maariv: Ball in Hezbollah’s Court, Feltman Deeply Involved in Lebanon Quagmire


"27/11/2010 Israeli daily Maariv reported Friday that “there are US-Israeli understandings” on way to counter the repercussions of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) indictment against Hezbollah in the assassination case of former Premier Rafiq Hariri.
The newspaper’s correspondent in Washington Shmuel Rosner said that the US administration was working on this track more than it was on the Israeli Palestinian track. He added it was surprising to see how busy the US official’s schedule on the Middle East, be it with Saudi or Israeli officials who have been to Washington lately.

Rosner also quoted a “well informed Israeli official on US-Israeli talks on Lebanon” as saying that “between Washington and Tel Aviv are understandings concerning what we will or will not do, in case of escalation in Lebanon.” He added that “Washington had hinted that Israel could attack Lebanon” and that “this was the most efficient threat available, based on the hypothesis that the Americans will not send aircraft carriers to tackle the problem of Hezbollah in Lebanon....

Maariv also said that US Undersecretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman “is deeply involved in the Lebanese quagmire and hopes to create a coalition that can stand in the face of Hezbollah in the aftermath of the STL indictment.....

The Israeli newspaper quoted Feltman as saying that everyone working in Lebanon knows that the situation in this country does not allow those working inside or outside it, to control everything that’s happening there. This means, according to Maariv, that “if Lebanon was simply destroyed, the US would not necessarily be able or even be willing to try to save this country; this is what Feltman and Obama have implied. This is also what the Iranians, the Turks, Hezbollah, and Lebanese Cabinet members already know.”

Maariv concluded that “for the Lebanese, a US intervention does not seem a decisive element in the existent conflict. In fact the steps of the closer neighbors, including Israel, are very much more important (to them).” "

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