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Israel: We do not hide our red lines

May 6th, 2013
05:08 PM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

Syria may call Israel’s airstrikes near Damascus this weekend a "declaration of war," but if you ask Israeli officials, it's all overblown.

"There are no winds of war," Israeli commander Yair Golan told reporters while out on a jog.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn't even in Israel – he’s in Beijing – adding to the impression that all is in hand.

Indeed, Israel is bending over backward to convince Syria that it was simply going after Hezbollah-bound arms from Iran, and that its airstrikes were not to support the rebels.

Still, dozens of Syrian soldiers were killed, according to the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, citing medical sources.

“Nobody in Israel wants another war with Syria – this is not the intention,” the former head of Israel’s internal security service, Ami Ayalon, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. Israel, he said, simply felt it had no alternative. 

RELATED: Six Israeli security chiefs stun the world

“We cannot see a creation of situation in which irrational or not responsible organizations will possess these kind of weapons,” he said – be it Hezbollah or “other extremists” within the Syrian opposition.

“This is our red line. We are sending a message,” he said of chemical weapons use.

It’s not yet clear how red the Obama administration’s red line must be before it gets involved in the Syrian conflict. Ayalon said that sometimes the Israeli government is in a position of not only explaining their own red lines to the Israeli people, but also to Americans.

“We are living in the Middle East – Americans are living in America. So it is clear that our red lines are different from American red lines,” Ayalon said. “We do not hide our red lines.”

Peace with the Palestinians

Ayalon has founded a non-partisan political group that seeks to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is believes that a new approach is need to solve the decades-long standoff.
“One thing I can assure: It will not be business as usual,” he told Amanpour about the short-term future of negotiations. “Even if the American administration gives up on the idea of direct talks – or even if we Israelis try to create a virtual reality in which Palestinians don’t exist.”

Israel cannot afford to continue down the same path it’s been going down, he said, because he believes the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has become a source of hatred and instability in the entire Arab world.

He believes that Americas should not push for direct negations, but rather Israel must show independent progress in order for the Palestinians that they should come to the table to negotiate.

READ MORE: A rare interview with former head of the Israeli military

Filed under:  Latest Episode • Palestinian territories • Syria
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Irena Hulova

    I live in the UK and I wanted to watch this clip but unfortunately the window with the video didn't show up (and it is the same for any other video form Amanpour's page). I don't know why because it worked like a month ago. Is there anybody who could help me with it?

    May 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  2. starofdavidscotland

    The world screams for Obama to do something he does bugger all The world screams for the UN to do something. They twiddle their thumbs. The world screams for va,wron to do something for Merkel to do something. They sit or their asses

    Israel does something. Where's the praise the marches in the streets thanking the Jews for helping the rebels Oh I get it. Muslims slaughtering Muslims is ok as long as no Jews involved. Sick the lot of u pathetic fanatical lefties

    CNN. Are u confused?

    May 6, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • Miller Morstan

      put down that crack pipe

      May 6, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  3. Moaaz Ha

    And Israel is the meddle east's policeman?!

    May 6, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  4. Miller Morstan

    Does Israel really want peace? No. Else they'd have it by now...

    "The most significant action Israel could take to demonstrate good faith would be a settlement freeze." – President Reagan 1983

    Israeli spy Pollard 
    The most damaging to America, anti-American spy in history since the Rosenberg's sold Russia American nuclear secrets. Netanyahu has demanded Pollard be released to Israel. And American politicians kiss Bibi's ass...

    May 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  5. onceapoet

    Israels contribution over the decades has been controversial based on extremist ideologies innate to that nation, therefore any action by Israel further complicates matters, fighting Islamic extremism is best left to Muslims, interference may defeat the purpose.

    May 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  6. jogee

    Evil Israel.Raping the Holy lands and blame the Palestinians.

    May 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Reply
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